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3451  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / nucs on: February 09, 2010, 07:01:49 PM
Seems like it is just a matter of time doesn't it?

Iran will start the race in the Middle East I guess.

Everyone wants to be the big kid on the block.

I always felt Indians felt some shame in the poverty and third world status of their country.
Lets not think nucs will not be a source of "pride".

What is the answer?

****Associated Press Writer Muneeza Naqvi, Associated Press Writer – Sun Feb 7, 7:39 am ET
NEW DELHI – India again successfully test-fired a nuclear-capable missile Sunday that can hit targets across much of Asia and the Middle East, a defense ministry press release said.

It was the fourth test of the Agni III missile, the statement added. The first attempt in 2006 failed, but the last two tests were successful.

"The Agni III missile tested for the full range, hit the target with pinpoint accuracy and met all the mission objectives," the press release added.

India's current arsenal of missiles is largely intended for confronting archrival Pakistan. The Agni III, in contrast, is India's longest-range missile, designed to reach 3,000 kilometers (1,900 miles) — putting China's major cities well into range, as well as Middle Eastern targets.

India's homegrown missile arsenal already includes the short-range Prithvi ballistic missile, the medium-range Akash, the anti-tank Nag and the supersonic Brahmos missile, developed jointly with Russia.

The missile was launched from Wheeler Island off the eastern state of Orissa on Sunday morning.

The test appeared unlikely to significantly raise tensions in the region.

Nuclear-armed neighbors India and Pakistan usually notify each other ahead of such missile launches, in keeping with an agreement between the two nations. India and Pakistan have fought three wars since they gained independence from Britain in 1947.

The two sides began talks aimed at resolving their differences over the Himalayan region of Kashmir and other disputes in 2004. India put the peace process on hold soon after terrorist attacks in Mumbai in November 2008, which India blamed on the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

India recently offered to restart peace talks, though Pakistan has yet to formally accept.****
3452  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Emanuel's fault. The ONE is still protected. on: February 09, 2010, 09:43:28 AM
What I find truly remarkeble is the notion that it is always someone else's fault other then the ONE.
No fingers pointed at the ONE.  Only Emanuel.

The wagons are circling tighter and tighter to protect the ONE from all party loyal starting from the ONE himself down to the loyal academics, the msm, other crats, unions, womens groups, and the rest.

That is amazing to me.

*****Congressional Democrats point finger of blame at Rahm Emanuel
By Alexander Bolton - 02/09/10 06:00 AM ET
Democrats in Congress are holding White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel accountable for his part in the collapse of healthcare reform.

The emerging consensus among critics in both chambers is that Emanuel’s lack of Senate experience slowed President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.

The share of the blame comes as cracks are beginning to show in Emanuel’s once-impregnable political armor. Last week he had to apologize after a report surfaced that he called liberal groups “retarded” in a private meeting.

While Emanuel has quelled that controversy by meeting with advocates for people with disabilities, on Capitol Hill he’s under fire for poor execution of the president’s healthcare agenda in the Senate.

"I think Rahm ran the play his boss called; once Obama called the play, Rahm did everything he could to pass it, scorched-earth and all that,” said a senior lawmaker, who added that Emanuel didn’t seek a broader base of Senate Republicans. “I think he did miscalculate the Senate. He did what he thought he had to do to win."

Senate Democrats grilled White House advisers last week during a special Senate Democratic retreat, expressing frustration over the lack of a clear plan.

While Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) ripped chief political strategist David Axelrod, Senate Democrats say Emanuel, who was more closely involved in managing negotiations in Congress, also deserves scrutiny.

No Democrat is calling for Emanuel’s resignation, even privately, and they acknowledge his hard work and straightforward approach in a very tough job.

They also say there’s plenty of blame on healthcare to go around.

But centrists and liberal Democrats both take issue — albeit in different ways — with how he approached the Senate.

“I like Rahm; he's always been a straight shooter with me," said a Democratic centrist senator who was closely involved in the healthcare debate.

The lawmaker said Emanuel misjudged the Senate by focusing on only a few Republicans, citing Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins as too narrow a pool.

“In the Senate, you have to anchor in the middle and build out," said the lawmaker.

“They just wanted to win," the source said of Emanuel and other White House strategists. "Their plan was to keep all the Democrats together and work like hell to get Snowe and Collins. The Senate doesn't work that way. You need a radius of 10 to 12 from the other side if you're going to have a shot."

But liberals take a different view. They argue Emanuel made a mistake by allowing Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to spend months negotiating with Republicans on his committee, such as Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa).

“I’m most critical of the fact that the Senate [Democratic] leadership and, I assume, the White House tried to get a deal with people like Grassley, which was impossible and wasted a huge amount of time,” said Roger Hickey, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future, a liberal advocacy group.

One senior Democratic senator said Emanuel was initially reluctant to push healthcare reform so early in Obama’s first term, counseling instead for the president to focus on jobs and the economy

But the president decided healthcare had to pass when he had a strong political mandate and the party controlled large majorities in both chambers.

Obama was convinced overhauling the nation’s healthcare system would boost the struggling economy by curbing costs and reducing the long-term federal deficit, say Democratic sources.

An administration official, however, disputed the notion that Emanuel disagreed with the president’s timeline on healthcare.

Emanuel declined to be interviewed for this article.

Once Obama decided to make healthcare the top priority, Emanuel approached it with his signature hard-charging style. That did not sit well in the Senate, according to Democratic senators and House members.

A liberal House Democrat who served with Emanuel during his entire career in Congress said: "I don't think the skills that are attributed to him — muscling things through — are well-suited to the Senate.

"The House is like an Australian-rules rugby match,” the lawmaker added. “The Senate is like a march at a men’s club in imperial Britain. They're a bunch of barons over there."

Emanuel constantly pressed Senate negotiators to stay on a timeline for passing healthcare reform. Centrist Democrats and Republicans alike complained about “arbitrary” deadlines.

Snowe complained about a rushed process when she announced she would vote against the Senate healthcare bill, even after she supported the Democratic healthcare bill in the Finance Committee.

One liberal Democratic senator said Emanuel has a much better relationship with House Democrats.

The senator said that Emanuel allowed White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, who had worked 15 years for Baucus, to take more of a lead in the upper chamber. The lawmaker said that was a mistake that allowed Baucus more time than necessary to negotiate with Republicans.

Baucus scoffed at the notion that Messina could pressure him.

“He’s not going to put pressure on me,” Baucus told The Washington Post last year during an interview for a profile of Messina.

A liberal healthcare advocate said this management strategy wasted months of time.

It’s true that Messina was the person the White House relied on to quarterback the Senate strategy. He agreed with the Baucus strategy of going ahead to make this deal [with Republicans] and it did go on too long,” said the advocate.

Some Democrats in Congress also question whether Emanuel scheduled enough time for the president to travel the country to stump for healthcare reform.

“For a guy who talked a lot about not liking the culture of Washington, he spent a lot of time in Washington,” said a Democratic leadership aide.

The aide noted that former President George W. Bush traveled to states and congressional districts he carried on Election Day to pressure Democratic lawmakers to support his agenda. The aide said Obama did not put similar pressure on centrist Republicans.

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said Obama’s advisers lost touch with the county’s populist sentiment as he became consumed by the challenges of his agenda.

"As a group, overall, I would give them a good grade, but there's something missing there and that's an overall strategy of ‘What are the things we're going to get done and how are we going to work with Congress?’ ” Harkin said of Obama’s circle of advisers.

Harkin said they lacked “a feeling for what’s going on around the country, the populist sentiment.”

Obama’s advisers have since realized this mistake. The president has sounded more populist tones in recent weeks, such as proposing a hefty tax on the bonuses of Wall Street bankers.

The contents of this site are © 2010 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., a subsisiary of News Communications, Inc.
Comments (117)PAGE |1|2| ... |6|7|>That time was wasted negotiating with Senate republicans and conservative democrats should underscore how weak this administration is and how dysfunctional the senate is. The senate is more concerned with it's clubby atmosphere and good ol' boy network than it is in doing the people's business. Just once democrats need to find a pair and battle it out. Even if they lose it would be a good thing to show that they are at least fighting for their constituents. As it is, they roll over for republicans at the first sign of opposition. Dems will lose big in November ad not have a clue as to why.
BY AJ on 02/09/2010 at 06:19
It is arrogant to believe that the bill failed because of Emanuel's failures to 'work' the system. Both bills were/are bad and the sooner the libs admit that the sooner work can proceed on a pragmatic bill that most will be able to swallow. All the talk about Obama's inability to cram legislation through focuses on procedure and deal making, not on sincere statesmanlike objectives. If he truly believed his healthcare bill would bring costs down then he is delusional. I think he is intentionally lying. It is all about power. Witness the growth of government jobs at the rate of 10,000 per month since he came into office and the increase in their salaries. Public Unions are drooling at the thought of the money pooled by thousands of paying union members (Hence Andy Stern's regular visits to the WH.) Obama relied on public unions to get the presidency. He will do anything to keep them including this sham bill that will raise taxes and keep his union buddies happy with well padded healthcare and retirement benefits from the time they retire in their fifties until they die in their eighties. If he succeeds in pushing this garbage through you can bet the healthcare system will be top heavy with unionized medical workers. Just wait until you need oxygen at home and your in home health provider decides to go on strike. Nurses? Doctors? Med Techs? Think it can't happen? Think again.
BY cooper52 on 02/09/2010 at 06:41
AJ you are correct. The Dems will loose big in November, but not for your reasoning. They will loose because this Bill is bad and the strong arm Obama admin. is trying to ram it down our throats with special back room deals and without things like TORT reform. They need to start over with a clean sheet of paper in a bipartisan manner. By the way, We needs JOBS a lot more than we need free healthcare for Illegals.
BY Larry on 02/09/2010 at 06:58
"One senior Democratic senator said Emanuel was initially reluctant to push healthcare reform so early in Obama’s first term, counseling instead for the president to focus on jobs and the economy" I think if this had been the strategy, we'd see a far different landscape right now. Of, course, the line I've taken from the text here is contradicted in another part of the story, "One senior Democratic senator said Emanuel was initially reluctant to push health care reform so early in Obama’s first term, counseling instead for the president to focus on jobs and the economy." So, we really don't get any concrete answers in this article, since Rahm declined the interview. We're left to wonder which side of this story is correct? Did he agree that the time was now (don't let a crisis go to waste) or did he think the economy should be addressed (don't let a crisis spiral into an uncontrollable situation).
BY Chip on 02/09/2010 at 07:04
Members of Congress are experts at deflecting blame away from where it belongs— on themselves. If it weren't so tragic, I thought their blaming Wall Street for the collapse was hilarious, given that it was Congress that fostered the collapse by its polices. The failure of HC follows the same pattern. Congress denies any responsibility. What a joke. Hopefully, it will be held accountable in November.
BY Steve851 on 02/09/2010 at 07:36
I don't believe that any 1 individual is 'to blame' for health insurance/care reform not being passed.I do believe that far too many elected officials forget WHO they are in Washington to serve - the people of the United States and not just their own State's concerns.Also because it costs so much for elected officials to 'keep' their jobs, which is why campaign finance reform is such an important issue and being hyper-partisan is a cheap way of insuring re-election.However, none of the above gets the 'work of the country' done.Like AJ, what this story most clearly demonstrates is how the Senate as a legislative branch is no longer serving this country.The archaic rules, such as 'holds' to extort pork for your state (witness Sens. Bond Shelby) and the filibuster/cloture super majority are assuring that the vitally needed solutions for our country are NOT being legislated or enacted.
BY Dari on 02/09/2010 at 07:43
Businesses cannot make future plans because government interference is out of control. Washington only looks out for its friends, and takes from the little guys.My husband and I each owned a small business. I closed mine as of Dec. 31. We will close the other after this year. The new American dream is to retire early and live simply. I'm looking forward to less stress.You can't blame this on Bush.
BY CONUNDRUM on 02/09/2010 at 07:45
I, too, have chosen to opt out of this mess and live more simply. And I hope the government sorely misses my annual "contribution" in taxes of more than $100K. I hope my state misses my annual "contribution" in real estate taxes on two properties of more than $25K. All of my life, I've worked hard, struggled to raise my kids and put them through college, paid taxes, etc. I never once took a handout from anyone. There is no more reward for those who are responsible and work hard, as we're taxed to death at every turn, but watch our government take more and more of what we earn and give it to others, or it just goes down some black hole. The "rewards" all go elsewhere and, pardon me, not to those who necessarily desere it…so, why bother?
BY MamaD on 02/09/2010 at 08:08
What the Democrats fail repeatedly to realize is that, had they crafted a good bill, the American people would have been behind them. Then Rahm wouldn't have had to try "scorched earth" tactics. Also, the people wouldn't be getting ready to vote them out of office. It's not any strategist's fault, it is the fault of the party as a whole for producing a confusing, overreaching, overly instrusive and, lastly, hugely expensive boondoggle of a bill. The American people want something simple, cost effective and understandable. 2044 pages? Give me a break.
BY Tom on 02/09/2010 at 08:09
ObamaCare failed because it was bad legislation and the American people didn't want it. They could see the disaster for what it was and rejected it. Its failure can't be blamed on Rahm as far as his behavior, except that he promoted this disastrous bill.
BY Wise Cherokee on 02/09/2010 at 08:16PAGE |1|2| ... |6|7|>Add Comment
3453  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: February 08, 2010, 04:45:30 PM
John Bolton a long time hawk on Iran finally just came out and said the only thing to stop Iran from obtaining the bomb is a US or Israeli strike.

I have the impression the US powers to be have already quietly accepted that Iran will be a nuclear power.

3454  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The cans can be this stupid? on: February 08, 2010, 09:52:05 AM
The cans must *refuse* to participate.
They must negotiate on their terms - not those of the partisan ideologue misleader in chief.

There is not way they will look good, there is no way Bama will allow them to look good, it is at it always is about Bama.

They should have their own meeting have a few of them stand on podiums and have bama sit on a small chair down in the pit and manipulate and paraphrase, and distort everything he says to fit their own narrative.

They must NOT be stupid again and do this.  Let the crats claim they are calling them on being obstructionist.  They cna easily argue this away.  They will not win otherwise in such a  staged crafted planned trick  meeting:
***President Barack Obama is planning to host a televised meeting with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders on health care reform.

The Feb. 25 meeting is an attempt to reach across the aisle but not a signal that the president plans to start over, as Republicans have demanded, a White House official said.

“I want to come back [after the Presidents Day congressional recess] and have a large meeting — Republicans and Democrats — to go through, systematically, all the best ideas that are out there and move it forward,” Obama said in an interview with Katie Couric during CBS’s Super Bowl pre-game show Sunday.

Obama said he wants to “look at the Republican ideas that are out there.”

“If we can go, step by step, through a series of these issues and arrive at some agreements, then, procedurally, there’s no reason why we can’t do it a lot faster the process took last year,” he said.

In a statement, the official said, “What the president will not do is let this moment slip away. He hopes to have Republican support in doing so — but he is going to move forward on health reform.”

Obama first suggested reopening talks with Republicans during his State of the Union address last month, and reiterated the call at a Democratic fundraiser Thursday, but the White House had kept details of his plan under wraps until Sunday.

The idea has been met previously with skepticism by the congressional leaders of both parties. Republicans say they see little room for compromise because the bill should be scrapped, while Democrats argue they have already tried a bipartisan approach, but failed.

But since the Democratic loss in the Massachusetts Senate race, Obama has been forced to rework his legislative strategy – both by striking a more bipartisan tone, and returning to his campaign pledge of providing more transparency. He’s been dogged by questions about why he failed to live up to his campaign promise of televising the health care negotiations on C-SPAN.

The half-day meeting will take place at Blair House, and be broadcast live, presumably by C-SPAN, making it the first televised White House meeting involving the president since a forum last March.

There were 11 other roundtable discussions, usually led by White House health care reform director Nancy-Ann DeParle, that were webstreamed and, in some cases, carried live by C-Span.

“While he’s been very clear that he supports the House and Senate bills, if Republicans or anyone else has a plan for protecting Americans from insurance company abuses, lowering costs, reducing prescription drug prices for seniors, making coverage more secure, and offering affordable options to those without coverage, he’s anxious to see it and debate the merits of it,” the White House official said.

Legislators from both parties applauded the meeting, while holding to their positions on the health care legislation.

3455  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: February 08, 2010, 09:43:31 AM
"The palpable whiff given off by the White House inner circle is that they're the last people on the planet still besotted by Barack Obama"

Maybe.  But he still gets loads of cover from the MSM.

As pointed out on I think by Hannity about this corpseman stuff, "can anyone imagine if W had made the same mispronounciation?

The endless heckles, the gaffaws, the late night jokes, the parodies parading out of Hollywood.

I didn't notice anyone other than Fox pick up on this.  In fact it it weren't for Fox I doubt anyone other than the few at the speech who would even know our genius professor, the new messiah could not pronounce the word.
3456  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: February 04, 2010, 05:05:54 PM
I got a request recently for a prescription for a hospital bed.  Of course it would be billed to Medicare.
Pt. walks with a cane and does have medical problems but a hosp. bed?

Someone probably told her to request it as she is entitled to it.

There is simply no end.

OTOH I've read some pieces that come to the conclusion that technological advances on the horizon appear to be slowing and there might be some sloping down to the increases from more technology.

3457  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Sounds like this guy Borchetta is the BS artist con behind Swift on: February 04, 2010, 11:19:10 AM
Like I said, she is not a great singer.  Her voice on her albums can be and is touched up.  Live she is no better than a decent karaoke singer. 

As for the music label's CEO:
“The facts say she is the undisputed best communicator that we’ve got," Borchetta said.

I wonder how much he paid for the lyrics.  The middleman are out on the "streets" stealing the "material" and then they run back to their contacts in Nashville among other stops and I assume they pawn them off to the front people who "fit the song". Obviously fiftenn fits Swift.  It wouldn't be one to go to fat Toby Keith - another con artist- as I allege.

***The good news: At 20, Taylor Swift has become the youngest-ever recording artist to win Grammy’s biggest prize, Album of the Year. She is now the only Nashville performer to win that prize with a solo album.

“Nashville is my favorite place in the world and to see it recognized in such a beautiful way makes me so happy,” Swift said backstage late Sunday night after being told that her big win came on the same night that Kings of Leon notched Nashville rock’s first best record win.

In all, Swift won four trophies at Sunday’s 52nd Annual Grammy Awards. After Fearless also won for Best Country Album, the singer-songwriter said, “I’m standing here accepting an impossible dream right now and I thank you so much for that.”

Now the bad news: The responses to that duet with Fleetwood Mac’s Steve Nicks have been harsh.

The genre-blending duet — on Nicks’ “Rhiannon” with Swift’s “You Belong With Me” — drew sharp reviews from critics, both professional and in the social networking and blogging world.

Ann Powers of the Los Angeles Times wrote that “Swift gave a strikingly bad vocal performance at Staples Center on Sunday, sounding tinny and rhythmically flat-footed as she shared the microphone with the distinctive Stevie Nicks.”

Chris Richards of The Washington Post wrote a piece that started with “A night in the charmed life of Taylor Swift: Give an incredibly wretched vocal performance, go on to win the biggest Grammy of 2010, anyway.”

The Tennessean’s Dave Paulson chimed in on a live blog: “Maybe a smidge of Jamie Foxx’s autotune wouldn’t be such a bad idea for this duet.”

Respected music industry blogger Bob Lefsetz first wrote that Fearless deserved to win album of the year, but then proffered that Swift might have single-handledly imperiled her career with this one Grammy performance: “How awful was she? Dreadful.”

Scott Borchetta, president and CEO of Swift's record label Big Machine Records, had this response late Monday night.

“The facts say she is the undisputed best communicator that we’ve got," Borchetta said. "So when she says something or feels something it affects more people than anybody else. Maybe she’s not the best technical singer, but she is the best emotional singer. Everybody gets up there and is technically perfect people don’t seem to want more of it. There’s not an artist in any other format that people want more of than they want of Taylor. I think (the critics) are missing the whole voice of a generation that is happening right in front of them. Maybe they are jealous or can’t understand that. But obviously the people that she talks to are engaged with her. No one is perfect on any given day. Maybe in that moment we didn’t have the best night, but in the same breath, maybe we did.”

A midday release announcing Swift’s awards noted that immediately after the Sunday show, Swift and her band “left for LAX, headed to Australia and Japan, where she will perform several sold-out shows before returning to the States to launch her FEARLESS 2010 tour March 4th in Tampa.”

3458  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: February 04, 2010, 09:42:22 AM
Possibly Newt could call him on his lies like:

"I am not an idealogue".
3459  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / The cans have a ong way to go to take on the ONE on: February 03, 2010, 11:32:24 AM
Well the cans have time to get it on with the Chosen serial liar.
But if their idiotic perfornance with the One last week is any indication they still are too stupid to call him on his deception.
They need to study every word, every response and instead of LETTING him turn everything around on them just turn it right back on him.
Don't let him get away with "you are the party of no" and "I am reaching out to you" and "you need to stop the paritisanship" when in fact he comes with a total radical agenda and then states anyone who disagrees with him is keeping the country from moving forward. 

The cans still do not have a trained studied mouthpiece that can go up against him except on the radio waves.
They must learn to highlight his lies and deception.  Not let him get away with BS.
So far they can't do it.  Till the RNC studies BOs MO and finds way to verbally dance around, through and over this guy we look like children being lectured by the prof.
3460  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Tax Policy on: February 02, 2010, 01:23:10 PM
What is interesting Drudge headline notes this story was literally *pulled* from Reuters about four hours after it was aired.

How is this from the 'objective' MSM?
3461  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Swift on: February 02, 2010, 11:40:51 AM
What can I say?  She makes it *a point* to thank her producer for "letting her" sing the songs "she wrote".
Who else can recall anyone saying that.  Gee thanks for letting me write and my own hits!  Well that's modest.  The narcissism is totally lost to the adoring and cashing in media.

All I can do is sit and frown.  This little s..t whose songs were exactly like those stolen from Katherine.  At least two from her first album.  Like my Indian colleague said to me, "you mean they all sing and claim songs here [in the US] they didn't write?  In India everyone knows the singers don't write their songs.  It doesn't matter what they claim.  Only here no one knows!".

My wife sits stuck in our little house.  Her life in ruins.  People who moved in all over the street just to watch and try to rob us.  Not a thing I can do about it.  The moment Katherine forgot to double lock the door someone then snuck right into the house to steal some copyrights and financial papers (they are screwing her trades obvouisly in cahoots with an insider at Fidelity).
I got home right after they were in the house.  I pulled up and saw a little shit I've seen before sitting in the lot right next to our house grinning.  Right away it was a rega flag.  Then I go to the back door only to find it casually locked which I can open and enter.  Normally I wait for her to let me in because only with a bolt from the inside can we keep professional criminals out.  There is no lock they can't pick, or somehow get a copy of the key.  Just ask any lock smith.  So immediately I knew we be had - again.

And this little lying sack of s..t.......

What's worse is she is a mediocre singer.  A lousy dancer, and can't play guitar. And her songs I allege are stolen and not written by her as she plays innocently to claim.

If there is a God then maybe there will be justice some day.

""Over the last three and a half years, Ms. Swift has established herself as pop’s leading naďf. Not in her songwriting, which has been precocious, but in her persona. By now, she’s even patented a look she whips out at award shows, concerts and more, when her innocence is threatened by acclaim: eyes wide, mouth agape, hand held over it as if to keep in the breath she’d just gasped as if it were her last.

Most stars — and make no mistake, Ms. Swift is the most important new pop star of the past few years — have their images undone by failure. In Ms. Swift’s case, the opposite is true: success has necessitated a re-evaluation.

Her Sunday night at the Grammys will be remembered as the turning point. She won four awards, including album of the year for “Fearless” (Big Machine), her outstanding second record — the youngest artist ever to do so, and the first solo female country singer to earn that as well. It was the ultimate stamp of insider approval for someone who insists that she’s thrilled just to be invited to the party.

But the night also revealed her weaknesses. Her new single, “Today Was a Fairytale,” from the “Valentine’s Day” soundtrack, opened her performance, and it was limp, a parody of her best songs about teen love fantasy. That transitioned into a pitch-challenged duet of “Rhiannon” with Stevie Nicks, who then joined in — facing her own vocal challenges — on a banjolin-driven version of Ms. Swift’s “You Belong With Me.”

Ms. Swift is still young — she’s got teenage taste, some of it bad (Owl City, Boys Like Girls), some of it better (John Mayer) — and it’s refreshing to see someone so gifted make the occasional flub. Compare her with, say, Beyoncé, the night’s only bigger winner, who appears allergic to risk, or showing weakness.

But with every step Ms. Swift takes toward ubiquity, her facade must come undone a bit. The recent avalanche of disturbances dates back to the disruption of her acceptance speech by Kanye West at the MTV Video Music Awards in September. That was the first rupture: Ms. Swift held her composure, but the world assumed that she felt anger and frustration anyway and granted it to her, making her an unlikely David to Mr. West’s Goliath.

Suddenly Ms. Swift had texture. She was complex. In short, she became an adult. Not surprisingly, in the subsequent weeks, she was more of a tabloid presence than ever before. Her earlier entanglement with Joe Jonas had been handled gingerly and from a distance, but now Ms. Swift was fair game. She was part of a celebrity mega-feud and soon, reportedly, a celebrity mega-relationship, with the “Twilight” star Taylor Lautner. In November she won Entertainer of the Year, and three other prizes, at the Country Music Association Awards, confirming her breakthrough.

In this window came a more important milestone that passed with relatively little notice: Ms. Swift turned 20 in December. She’s no longer a teenager; soon, when she performs her anthems of young-love heartbreak, it’s going to appear as if she were carpetbagging.

And more important, she’ll almost certainly be 21 (or older) when she releases a new album that can’t now, by definition, have the same emotional guideposts as the previous ones. Success has altered how she’s perceived, but most of all, success breeds perspective, especially in someone as savvy and bright as Ms. Swift.

Ideally, what will emerge will be a new Ms. Swift, cut from whole cloth, with some gumption, some sass, some wisdom that the world has crueler foes than teenage boys. As a singer, the songs she’ll produce should be just as honest as the ones before them. And as a person, she should now be unafraid to share all the things she undoubtedly already knows but has been holding back. Her multitudes await.""
3462  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Miep Gies/Ann Frank on: January 30, 2010, 12:22:24 PM
   Miep Gies, who helped hide Anne Frank, dies at 100
AMSTERDAM, Netherlands -- Miep Gies, the office secretary who defied the Nazi occupiers to hide Anne Frank and her family for two years and saved the teenager's diary, has died, the Anne Frank Museum said Tuesday. She was 100.

Gies' Web site reported that she died Monday after a brief illness. The report was confirmed by museum spokeswoman Maatje Mostar, but she gave no details. The British Broadcasting Corp. said she died in a nursing home after suffering a fall last month.

Gies was the last of the few non-Jews who supplied food, books and good cheer to the secret annex behind the canal warehouse where Anne, her parents, sister and four other Jews hid for 25 months during World War II.

After the apartment was raided by the German police, Gies gathered up Anne's scattered notebooks and papers and locked them in a drawer for her return after the war. The diary, which Anne Frank was given on her 13th birthday, chronicles her life in hiding from June 12, 1942 until August 1, 1944.

Gies refused to read the papers, saying even a teenager's privacy was sacred. Later, she said if she had read them she would have had to burn them because they incriminated the "helpers."

Anne Frank died of typhus at age 15 in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945, just two weeks before the camp was liberated. Gies gave the diary to Anne's father Otto, the only survivor, who published it in 1947.

After the diary was published, Gies tirelessly promoted causes of tolerance. She brushed aside the accolades for helping hide the Frank family as more than she deserved -- as if, she said, she had tried to save all the Jews of occupied Holland.

"This is very unfair. So many others have done the same or even far more dangerous work," she wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press days before her 100th birthday last February.

"The Diary of Anne Frank" was the first popular book about the Holocaust, and has been read by millions of children and adults around the world in some 65 languages.

For her courage, Gies was bestowed with the "Righteous Gentile" title by the Israeli Holocaust museum Yad Vashem. She has also been honored by the German Government, Dutch monarchy and educational institutions.

Nevertheless, Gies resisted being made a character study of heroism for the young.

"I don't want to be considered a hero," she said in a 1997 online chat with schoolchildren.

"Imagine young people would grow up with the feeling that you have to be a hero to do your human duty. I am afraid nobody would ever help other people, because who is a hero? I was not. I was just an ordinary housewife and secretary."

Born Hermine Santrouschitz on Feb. 15, 1909 in Vienna, Gies moved to Amsterdam in 1922 to escape food shortages in Austria. She lived with a host family who gave her the nickname Miep.

In 1933, Gies took a job as an office assistant in the spice business of Otto Frank. After refusing to join a Nazi organization in 1941, she avoided deportation to Austria by marrying her Dutch boyfriend, Jan Gies.

As the Nazis ramped up their arrests and deportations of Dutch Jews, Otto Frank asked Gies in July 1942 to help hide his family in the annex above the company's canal-side warehouse on Prinsengracht 263 and to bring them food and supplies.

"I answered, 'Yes, of course.' It seemed perfectly natural to me. I could help these people. They were powerless, they didn't know where to turn," she said years later.

Jan and Miep Gies worked with four other employees in the firm to sustain the Franks and four other Jews sharing the annex. Jan secured extra food ration cards from the underground resistance. Miep cycled around the city, alternating grocers to ward off suspicions from this highly dangerous activity.

In her e-mail to the AP last February, Gies remembered her husband, who died in 1993, as one of Holland's unsung war heroes. "He was a resistance man who said nothing but did a lot. During the war he refused to say anything about his work, only that he might not come back one night. People like him existed in thousands but were never heard," she wrote.

Touched by Anne's precocious intelligence and loneliness, Miep also brought Anne books and newspapers while remembering everybody's birthdays and special days with gifts.

"It seems as if we are never far from Miep's thoughts," Anne wrote.

In her own book, "Anne Frank Remembered," Gies recalled being in the office when the German police, acting on a tip that historians have failed to trace, raided the hide-out in August 1944.

A policeman opened the door to the main office and pointed a revolver at the three employees, telling them to sit quietly. "Bep, we've had it," Gies whispered to Bep Voskuijl.

After the arrests, she went to the police station to offer a bribe for the Franks' release, but it was too late. On Aug. 8, they were sent to Westerbork, a concentration camp in eastern Holland from where they were later packed into cattle cars and deported to Auschwitz. A few months later, Anne and her sister Margot were transported to Bergen-Belsen.

Two of the helpers, Victor Kugler and Johannes Kleiman, were sent to labor camps, but survived the war.

Around 140,000 Jews lived in the Netherlands before the 1940-45 Nazi occupation. Of those, 107,000 were deported to Germany and only 5,200 survived. Some 24,000 Jews went into hiding, of which 8,000 were hunted down or turned in.

After the war, Otto Frank returned to Amsterdam and lived with the Gies family until he remarried in 1952. Miep worked for him as he compiled the diary, then devoted herself to talking about the diary and answering piles of letters with questions from around the world.

After Otto Frank's death in 1980, Gies continued to campaign against Holocaust-deniers and to refute allegations that the diary was a forgery.

She suffered a stroke in 1997 which slightly affected her speech, but she remained generally in good health as she approached her 100th birthday.

Her son Paul Gies said last year she was still receiving "a sizable amount of mail" which she handled with the help of a family friend. She spent her days at the apartment where she lived since 2000 reading two daily newspapers and following television news and talk shows.

Her husband died in 1993. She is survived by her son and three grandchildren.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
3463  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism: on: January 29, 2010, 11:10:34 AM
Please see my post under stock market.  I think this is why GS has had such a long history of outperformance.
They have the inside info all the time.  And they can act on it before others. 
3464  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Well speaking of GS.. on: January 29, 2010, 11:07:37 AM
This raises a point I have been wondering after we have had first row seats watching Goldman and the Fed, and the Treasury.
Why is it that Goldman seems to do so well?

Could it be that they have the inside skinny on all the government wheeling and dealing that the rest of us are not privy to?

Are they really all that brilliant or is it they keep getting their guys appointed to the top gov financial positions and always get the inside scoop before anyone else?

This certainly has the appearance of being the real answer.

This is a great topic for a real investigative reporter.

I can hear it from 100 miles away - "oh it may be a bit unethical but nothing illegal was ever done".  Or something to the effect "while it has the appearance of conflicts of interest and GS may have had some gains from this, in reality it was good for the country and 'main street' overall".

And all the other excuses and rationalizations we hear thrown out there....

3465  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 29, 2010, 10:10:25 AM
Agreed with the previous article.  And again I add, takes a very cheap shot at Supreme Court Justices in front of the world, and while they have no opportunity to defend themselves.
CNN can debate whether he is JC or not but one thing is for sure - he isn't Abe Lincoln.
Never did Lincoln stoop so low.
3466  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Humiliation of the Supreme Court Justices on: January 28, 2010, 02:44:09 PM
Bama stands there and talks about time to end partisanship during the same speech he stands atop the mountain looking down at Supreme Court Justices and literally insults/embarrasses them with Dems applauding in front of the entire nation.

Yeah right - he is bipartisan.

Even Toobin who is no conservative has to grimmace at the shameful moment: 

Jeffrey Toobin
 Alito's reaction to Obama was fairBy Jeffrey Toobin, CNN Senior Legal Analyst
January 28, 2010 2:38 p.m. EST

Jeffrey Toobin says a comment by President Obama led to an awkward moment
He says Justice Samuel Alito seemed to disagree on Obama's take on campaign finance ruling
Toobin says Obama was mostly right on the result of recent court decision
He says Alito also was right to express his view; justices are human beings
Editor's note: Jeffrey Toobin is a CNN senior legal analyst and a staff writer at The New Yorker. A former assistant U.S. attorney, Toobin is the author of several critically acclaimed best-sellers, including "The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court" and "Too Close to Call: The 36-Day Battle to Decide the 2000 Election."

New York (CNN) -- It was the most vivid, and unexpected, confrontation of Wednesday's State of the Union address.

It happened when President Obama said this: "Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests -- including foreign corporations -- to spend without limit in our elections."

In the audience, Justice Samuel Alito, President Bush's second appointee to the Supreme Court, could be seen shaking his head and saying, it appeared, "Not true, not true."

Who's right? As for what the court decided in Citizens United v. FEC, Obama seems to be right -- mostly. In a 5-4 decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and joined by Alito, the court held that corporations, labor unions and other organizations had the right under the First Amendment to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence the outcomes of elections.

Video: Dissenting justice?
Barack Obama
Samuel Alito
U.S. Supreme Court
If a corporation now wants to saturate the airwaves for or against any candidate for office, including on the eve of the election, it now has the Supreme Court's say-so to do it.

Obama was on shakier ground when he said foreign companies now had the same unlimited rights to participate in our elections. The court's opinion very carefully said it was not deciding the issue with regard to foreign entities. So the court may yet give the green light to these foreign companies -- but it hasn't done so yet.

On the larger question of whether Alito should have expressed himself in this restrained but unmistakable way, I'm with the justice. Attending the State of the Union has always been an awkward duty for the justices -- sitting through these political addresses and wondering when it's appropriate to applaud or react.

Gloves come off after Obama rips ruling

When the president is paying tribute to the armed forces, or making an otherwise uncontroversial point, the justices usually join in the clapping; when the point is more political -- like the one Obama made about Citizens United on Wednesday -- the tradition is for the justices not to react.

But it's wise to remember that the justices are human beings, with strong views on many subjects, including their own decisions. When Obama was criticizing the court's work (as was his right), Alito had the right to react the way anyone would who had taken a shot in a high-profile setting.

In my book, even a Supreme Court justice -- even at the State of the Union -- is entitled to grimace and mutter. (It is worth noting that Alito does seem to have an ax to grind with Obama. As a senator, Obama voted against Alito's confirmation, which the justice does not seem to have forgotten. When the President-elect Obama made a courtesy call on the justices shortly before his inauguration last year, Alito was the only member of the court not to attend.)

Still, it's worth remembering who is likely to have the last word in this confrontation. In his speech, Obama went on to say about the court's opinion, "Well, I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. They should be decided by the American people, and that's why I'm urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to right this wrong."

The president and the Congress can try -- but it is the court that will have the last word on evaluating whether any new law is constitutional. And Alito, who is 59 years old with life tenure, will likely be passing on the validity of laws long after Obama has left office.

As Justice Robert Jackson said of the court many years ago, "We are not final because we are infallible, but we are infallible only because we are final."

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jeffrey Toobin.
3467  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Can Pelosi Reid Bama pull it off? on: January 26, 2010, 01:48:30 PM
The triumvarite's efforts continue:

By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann 01.25.2010 Highly informed sources on Capitol Hill have revealed to me details of the Democratic plan to sneak Obamacare through Congress, despite collapsing public approval for healthcare “reform” and disintegrating congressional support in the wake of Republican Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts.

President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid all have agreed to the basic framework of the plan.

Their plan is clever but can be stopped if opponents of radical healthcare reform act quickly and focus on a core group of 23 Democratic Congressman. If just a few of these 23 Democrats are “flipped” and decide to oppose the bill, the whole Obama-Pelosi-Reid stratagem falls apart.

Here’s what I learned top Democrats are planning to implement.

Senate Democrats will go to the House with a two-part deal.

First, the House will pass the Senate’s Obamacare bill that passed the Senate in December. The House leadership will vote on the Senate bill, and Pelosi will allow no amendments or modifications to the Senate bill.

How will Pelosi’s deal fly with rambunctious liberal members of her majority who don’t like the Senate bill, especially its failure to include a public option, put heavy fines on those who don’t get insurance, and offering no income tax surcharge on the “rich”?

That’s where the second part of the Pelosi-deal comes in.

Behind closed doors, Reid and Pelosi have agreed in principle that changes to the Senate bill will be made to satisfy liberal House members — but only after the Senate bill is passed and signed into law by Obama.

This deal will be secured by a pledge from Reid and the Senate’s Democratic caucus that they will make “fixes” to the Senate bill after it becomes law with Obama’s John Hancock.

But you may ask what about the fact that, without Republican Scott Brown and independent Democrats such as Joe Lieberman, Reid simply doesn’t have the 60 votes in the Senate to overcome a Republican filibuster that typically can stop major legislation?

According to my source, Reid will provide to Pelosi a letter signed by 52 Democratic senators indicating they will pass the major changes, or “fixes,” the House Democrats are demanding. Again, these fixes will be approved by the Senate only after Obama signs the Senate bill into law.

Reid also has agreed to bypass Senate cloture and filibuster rules and claim that these modifications fall under “reconciliation” and don’t require 60 Senate votes.

To pass the fixes, he won’t need one Republican; he won’t even need Joe Lieberman or wavering Democrats such as Jim Webb of Virginia.

His 52 pledged senators give him a simple majority to pass any changes they want, which will later be rubberstamped by Pelosi’s House and signed by Obama.

This plan, of course, is a total subversion of the legislative process.

Typically, the Senate and House pass their own unique legislation and then both bills go to a conference committee. In conference, the leadership of both Democrat-dominated houses wheels and deals and irons out differences.

The final compromise bill is then sent back to the full Senate and full House for a vote and has to pass both to go to the president.

In the House, a simple majority passes the legislation. But under Senate rules, major legislation requires 60 votes to end a filibuster.

As it stands, the House bill and Senate bill have major discrepancies. Reid does not have 60 votes to pass a compromise bill that would no doubt include some of the radical provisions House members have been demanding.

But if the House passes the exact Senate bill that passed by a 60-39 Senate vote last month, there is no need for a conference on the bill. It will go directly to the president’s desk.

There is a rub to all of this.

This secret plan being hatched by Pelosi and Reid requires not only a pledge by 52 Democratic senators to vote later for the House modifications. House liberals must actually believe these Senators will live up to their pledge and pass the fixes at some future date.

A Senate source cautions: “Senators more than House members and both more than ordinary people, lie.”

Still, my Senate source and others in Washington believe that the liberals in the House, grasping at straws after the stunning Massachusetts defeat, will go along with the Reid-Pelosi plan to bypass a conference bill and ultimately will vote for the Senate version without changes.

Among the key “fixes” House liberals are demanding the Senate pass in reconciliation at some later date include a “carve out” for unions from the “Cadillac policy” insurance tax. The Senate plan funds their healthcare plan by heavy taxes on so-called “Cadillac” insurance plans that provide those insured with exceptionally good coverage including almost unlimited health access with little or no co-payments. The Senate’s view was that rich people have such plans and should be taxed for them to pay the less fortunate.

But many unions have Cadillac plans for their members, and they are furious their members will be hit with the Senate tax. The unions have told their minions in the House to oppose the Senate Cadillac plan tax.

House liberals also are requiring a fix that increases fines for those who flout the law and don’t buy health insurance (the Pelosi-passed plan includes criminal penalties, including possible jail time if a person doesn’t purchase insurance). Another fix will raise subsidies for low-income families seeking to buy insurance.

In the original House bill that passed, healthcare expansion costs would have been paid for by an income tax surcharge on the “rich.” House liberals are pushing for that fix as well.

So what is the counter-move? How do opponents of Obamacare stop this?

Opponents cannot rely on liberal Democrats in the House who might balk at passing the Senate bill with just a “pledge” from 52 senators. I have no doubt House liberals, despite their skepticism, will fade under pressure from Pelosi and Obama. They will do their duty and pass the Senate bill, whatever their current posturing.

Instead, the key to stopping the Pelosi-Reid plan lies with conservative or “moderate” Democrats who voted for the healthcare bill the first time.

There are 23 of these conservative-leaning Democratic House members who voted for Pelosi’s Obamacare back in November, which passed by just five votes, with 39 Democrats defecting to vote against the bill.

All 23 of these congressmen who did vote for the Pelosi bill are extremely vulnerable.

Opponents of Obamacare need to climb all over these 23 congressmen with TV ads and advocacy campaigns in their districts to get them to change their vote this time, to vote “no” to the Senate bill when it comes before the House.

Voters need to say, “You voted for Obamacare the first time. But your district opposes it by 2 to 1. Now it is coming up for a vote again. Listen to your constituents and vote no. We don’t want Medicare cuts or premium increases or rationing of medical care. Don’t monkey with our healthcare. Vote no this time.”

Since the House healthcare bill passed by five votes, much has happened and the political landscape has changed dramatically.

The Massachusetts election of a Republican to Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat has sent shock waves through Washington. Every one of these 23 Democrats knows they will face an angry backlash in their districts if they vote for the Senate bill and go along with Pelosi-Reid plan to ram through Obamacare.

I believe now is the time for opponents to act. The truth is that Obamacare is hanging by a thread.

Opponents, if they move now, can drive a stake through its heart.

Once these congressmen hear from their aroused constituents, they won’t be able to back Obamacare.

As I mentioned, the Pelosi health bill passed the House by only 220-215. Nancy Pelosi knows she has no margin for error.

If only a handful of these 23 congressmen change their vote under public pressure, the Pelosi-Reid plan is stopped and Obamacare is dead.

Click here to help fund ads in the districts of these swing Congressmen.

Jan 25 2010 | Category: Dick's Articles | 10 Comments
Copyright © 2010*****   
3468  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Fascism, liberal fascism, progressivism: on: January 25, 2010, 12:33:39 PM
Here is the website noted as the source.  There is also a link to "the evidence" of their claims though I don't have time to peruse that at the moment.

The flipside to the argument is if Bama/Pelosi/Reid care were to go through catastropic injuries might not be covered at all due to risk/benefit/cost ratios don't make it worthwhile.  Esp. if one is over a certain age.

In my experience ER care is usually covered and not denied but not always.  If the writer wants us to believe care is rationed now the answer is correct.  If the writer wants us to think it won't under the Dem plan he or she is incorrect.
3469  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 25, 2010, 10:36:18 AM
Well reading drudge this am leads me to believe Bama will not "triangulate" ala Clinton.
As noted the populist bent:  its the banks stupid.
                                        its the corporations stupid
                                        middle class tax "cuts" for child care and elderly care - if one believes this.
A "bipartisan commission to study the deficit - this certainly reminds me of Jimmy the Carter who was overwhelmed with the job and would ceaselessly study details without being able to move in the right direction.  Of course this could just be a smoke screen for inaction.  Like we'll "study" legal reform in the health industry when in reality he really has NO intention of doing any of it.

This guy is not as wise as Clinton.  Clinton thus remains the best manipulator of his generation - some call this the best politician though I still feel honesty is necessary.

The drudgereprots could be just trial balloons but if they are correct and this guy takes this course the Dems are really screwed.

What was the name of the captain of the Titanic?  Captain Bama?
3470  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 24, 2010, 03:33:55 PM
The good news is drudgereport already highlights OBama/Dem proposal to have "deficit reducing task force".
And Bama may put caps on spending.
The bad news is the same.  History has already proven a sudden reversal in course could completly let Bama off the hook ala Clinton.
It appears moderates are happy to forgive and forget baseed on what the politician says THAT day.
We will know on Jan 27th.

One SOTU speech was all it took to bring Clinton right back into the game.
Apparently enough of the voters can be fooled enough of the time for the rest of us to be duped again.
3471  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 23, 2010, 09:46:21 AM
Did anyone else see clips of Obama literally ranting and raving against the banks and the phrase for the ages, "we want our money back"?

I am no defender of banks who certainly do rip us off.  That said all I could think of during this ridiculous rant was, why YOU (Obama) were the idiot who gave them the money!  You were the one who gave the money with apparently little oversight!

If the fact that our future, our economy was not hanging on a cliff I would say his rant had me laughing out loud.  Here is the guy using banks to score political favor with voters - and he is the same clown who was the one who couldn't give them enough money.  It is still possible for him to turn things around like Clinton.  I remember agreeing with the incredulity of Rush who was amazed that Clinton could make a SINGLE state of the union address and literally overnight improve his poll ratings by double digits.
So it is certaily possible. But this guy will obviously throw anyone under the bus to save his own hide has no record of being Clinton.

Time will tell.   I am not optomistic about the future of this country.  I won't post it here but I do agree with a guy with the initials PB who wrote one recent article that the collapse or bankruptcy of the US *may* be inevitable.
3472  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: January 21, 2010, 05:30:18 PM
I felt like we were going to the gallows and at one minute before the switch was to be pulled the governor calls and grants a pardon.  I was even wondering what GS level I would start at. 
The only pity is we still have three years left for JC 2.
A culture of government doles won't get this country back on its feet.

*****Jewish World Review January 21, 2010

Democrats on the precipice of failure

By George Will |

"We are on the precipice of an achievement that's eluded Congresses and presidents for generations."

-- President Barack Obama, Dec. 15, on health-care legislation

Precipice, 1. a headlong fall or descent, esp. to a great depth -- Oxford English Dictionary

Trying to guarantee Americans the thrill of the precipice, the president dashed to Massachusetts on Sunday, thereby conceding that he had already lost Tuesday's Senate election, which had become a referendum on his signature program. By promising to cast the decisive 41st vote against the president's health-care legislation, the Republican candidate forced all congressional Democrats to contemplate this: Not even frenzied national mobilization of Democratic manpower and millions of dollars could rescue one of the safest Democratic seats in the national legislature from national dismay about the incontinent government expansion, of which that legislation is symptomatic.


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

Because the legislation is frightening and unpopular, Democrats have had to resort to serial bribery to advance it. Massachusetts voted immediately after the corruption of exempting, until 2018, union members from the tax on high-value health insurance plans. This tax was supposedly the crucial component of what supposedly was reform's primary goal: reducing costs.

The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) thought Bill Clinton's presidency was crippled by the 1993 decision to pursue health-care reform rather than welfare reform. So slight was public enthusiasm for the former that Clinton's program never even came to a vote in the House or Senate, both controlled by Democrats. There was such fervor for welfare reform that in 1996, after two Clinton vetoes, he finally signed the decade's most important legislation.

In their joyless, tawdry slog toward passage of their increasingly ludicrous bill, Democrats now cling grimly to Robert Frost's axiom that "the best way out is always through." Their sole remaining reason for completing the damn thing is that they started it. The Democrats seem to have convinced themselves that they lost control of Congress in 1994 because they did not pass an unpopular health bill in 1993. Actually, their 1994 debacle had more to do with the arrogance and malfeasance arising from 40 years of control of the House of Representatives (e.g., the House banking scandal), a provocative crime bill (gun control, federal subsidies for midnight basketball) and other matters.

With one piece of legislation, President Obama and his congressional allies have done in one year what it took President Lyndon Johnson and his allies two years to do in 1965 and 1966 -- revive conservatism. Today, conservatism is rising on the steppingstones of liberal excesses.

Between FDR's reprimand by voters in the 1938 midterm congressional elections (partly because of his anti-constitutional plan to enlarge and pack the Supreme Court) and LBJ's 1964 trouncing of Barry Goldwater, there was no liberal legislating majority in Congress: Republicans and conservative Democrats combined to temper liberalism's itch to overreach. In 1965 and 1966, however, liberalism was rampant. Today, Democrats worrying about a reprise of 1994 should worry more about a rerun of the 1966 midterm elections, which began a Republican resurgence that presaged victories in seven of the next 10 presidential elections.

The 2008 elections gave liberals the curse of opportunity, and they have used it to reveal themselves ruinously. The protracted health-care debacle has highlighted this fact: Some liberals consider the legislation's unpopularity a reason to redouble their efforts to inflict it on Americans who, such liberals think, are too benighted to understand that their betters know best. The essence of contemporary liberalism is the illiberal conviction that Americans, in their comprehensive incompetence, need minute supervision by government, which liberals believe exists to spare citizens the torture of thinking and choosing.

Last week, trying to buttress the bovine obedience of most House Democrats, Obama assured them that if the bill becomes law, "the American people will suddenly learn that this bill does things they like." Suddenly?

If the Democrats' congressional leaders are determined to continue their kamikaze flight to incineration, they will ignore Massachusetts's redundant evidence of public disgust. They will leaven their strategy of briberies with procedural cynicism -- delaying certification of Massachusetts's Senate choice, or misusing "reconciliation" to evade Senate rules, or forcing the House to swallow its last shred of pride in order to rush the Senate bill to the president's desk. Surely any such trickery would be one brick over a load for some hitherto servile members of the Democratic House and Senate caucuses, giving them an excuse to halt their party's Gadarene rush toward the precipice.*****
3473  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word on: January 21, 2010, 03:06:00 PM
"These have been difficult days for me to pray. Somehow, watching the images of the utter devastation and chaos has placed a trace of cynicism in my heart, a cynicism that pierces the words I say, shattering them into individual letters."

It has been a sight to behold those survivors being pulled from the wreckage explaining how they never gave up hope, they felt they would be saved all along - thanks to God.

One questions how can there be a God when we witness such evil.  Yet one understands the phrase, "the power of prayer" after seeing how many Haitains have dealt with their lot.
3474  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Left spin - is astonishing in its self delusion on: January 20, 2010, 10:28:12 AM
From Huffington.  The left spin.  It is not that Bama is too radical left or a counter revolutionary like the "fringe right" put forth, it is simply he has been willing to compromise too much, he is not left enough, he is not shoving his agenda through enough.  So goes the spin and self delusion of the left - the core crats.

You gotta love this one:
"Yet Obama has undoubtedly created a different climate in Washington -- one based on reasonable discussion and debate". (as long as you support his radical counter revolution)

One can only hope the Bama will not turn into Bill Clinton and will continue to deceive the voters like he has been doing while behind the scenes doing his real life's dream.  Only then IMHO will we eventually see his popularity go to Jimmy Carter levels where it belongs.
***Obama's First Year: High Hopes, Harsh Reality
      Tue Jan 19, 10:12 pm ET
President Barack Obama's victory walk down Pennsylvania Avenue after his swearing-in last January was probably the last time he's been able to breathe easy and just enjoy himself.

Since then, the 44th president of the United States has been on a roller coaster ride even more turbulent than the usual collision with reality experienced by his predecessors in their first years. Though Obama remains popular with a majority of Americans, he's been battered by obstructionist Republicans, vilified by Tea Party activists and condemned by disappointed progressives. And his biggest legislative agenda -- health care reform -- has been stripped of its essential elements on its way through Congress.

Obama's fate will largely be determined by the state of the economy, with rising unemployment and the bailout of the country's biggest banks fueling bipartisan outrage. By continuing Bush's unpopular TARP program to give trillions to financial institutions that helped cause the financial crisis and surrounding himself with economic advisers allied with Wall Street, the president has angered both conservatives and liberals. And since his stimulus and mortgage modification programs have failed to stem, respectively, the unemployment and foreclosure rates, a growing number of Americans feel that Obama's policies favor Wall Street over Main Street. The president's push for financial regulatory reform, including the creation of a consumer finance protection agency, is in danger of being substantially weakened in Congress.

The other major issue that looms over the administration -- and it's also one inherited from the previous administration -- is the increasingly unpopular war in Afghanistan and the president's decision to increase the amount of U.S. troops in that lethal conflict. As American and Afghan casualties mount, more voices in both parties are raising concerns about the necessity of the war and express the fear that the U.S. will be doomed to fighting in Afghanistan for many years to come.

In addition, in the wake of the national security system's failure to prevent the botched Christmas Day airline bombing by a Yemeni-trained jihadist, national security concerns are taking on a bigger role in the fate of the administration. Though Obama has succeeded in changing the tone on national security and outlining a new multilateral approach to foreign affairs, his administration's decision to continue many Bush-era policies -- from warrantless surveillance to refusing to release information on past detainee policies -- has raised eyebrows among those who voted for him. This Friday marks the date by which Obama promised last January to close Guantanamo, but the facility remains nowhere near being shut down.

Yet Obama has undoubtedly created a different climate in Washington -- one based on reasonable discussion and debate -- and expressed a desire to work with the international community, as he has eloquently articulated in his speeches abroad. On national security, the president has largely made decisions through thoughtful consideration of the different perspectives rather than the stubbornly instinctive decisions of his predecessor. On the environment, his administration represents a radical change from the Bush era and has resurrected important regulations that were dismantled by the previous president. Despite criticism that health care reform has been watered down by industry interests and political deal-making, the very fact that the issue is being taken seriously in the Oval Office after years of inertia and is on the cusp of insuring millions of low-income Americans is, in itself, a victory.

Will Obama fulfill the promise of his presidency, learn from his rookie mistakes and have the courage to make the tough decisions needed to move the country forward? Or will he favor compromise over leadership, squander his popularity and cave to the powerful interests gathered against him? It's all up to him -- and to Americans to push him to make the right decisions.

Related blogs: Jody Johnson: Obama One Year Later: Remembering the Images of History in the Making, Saul Friedman: Gray Matters: Grading Obama

Read More: Obama Administration, Obama Afghanistan, Obama Financial Crisis, Obama First Year, Obama Guantanamo, Obama Inauguration, Obama White House, President Obama


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3475  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: January 20, 2010, 10:16:10 AM
I still don't know why three quarters still like a man as dishonest about who he is, his real agenda, and his counter revolution.
It is amazing to watch the Dems circle the wagons around him.  No matter what the election in Mass, Virginia and NJ is about everything BUT the chosen one.  That 48 % still approve of his job is still too high for a man who is set on a course and lifes journey and making our country into a socialist or facsist state.  People still don't get it, or they agree with it, or they don't care as long as they get more and more government benefits.

I don't think his state of the union speech will have any surprises but be full of endless spin.  He will continue to paint himself as one of "us" though he is clearly a career long counter revolutionary as Levin/Beck point out. 

****Three-quarters said they liked Mr. Obama, who put his political capital on the line by campaigning for fellow Democrat Martha Coakley in Massachusetts. But just 22% said they were "optimistic and confident" about his presidency—a 10-point decline from a year ago. By comparison, 27% were "pessimistic and worried" about his presidency, compared with just 9% a year ago, when many hoped he would lead the nation into an economic recovery.

Overall, 48% said they approved of the job Mr. Obama is doing, while 43% disapproved—about the same as last month but down sharply from approval ratings in the 60% range in his early months in office.****

I could be wrong but I am less clear that there is evolving any mandate for strict conservativism as Hannity et al would like us to believe. Not that I am necessarily against it but just that I don't think that is a long term winning formula.

What exactly does the tea party stand for?  There is something I think about this that is where the future may lie.

3476  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: January 19, 2010, 09:42:10 AM
You can't be serious.  Does anyone think this would happen if these were potential Republican voters?  Now we are establishing a trend.  What about the next time there is an earthquake in Mexico City?  Does anyone in Florida have a say in this?  No coincidence it is a state that Dems need to get to blue.  I feel terrible looking at the cable dramas but this is my opinion is nuts but not surprising.  Never let a catastrophy go to waste -

***ORLANDO, Fla. -- The American Red Cross says a plan to bring 45,000 evacuees from Haiti to Florida, and 4,000 of those to Orange County, is not set in stone. The Red Cross clarified Friday who could be involved in a plan to move people out of Haiti.

The Red Cross is preparing for two things: the repatriation of Americans living in Haiti and the possibility of a mass migration of Haitian nationals.
The American Red Cross has seen massive migration into the U.S. from areas like Kosovo and Bosnia in the past, but no determination has been made yet in the case of Haiti. But the repatriation of Americans has already begun. Eyewitness News was told that it includes people like missionaries who may have already been working in Haiti before the quake.

The U.S. citizens are being brought into South Florida through Miami and Homestead, where their identities can be verified. Thursday night, five flights arrived with 190 Americans on board.

“I think that we will continue see U.S. citizens coming in over the weekend and through the beginning of next week. And that would be our first focus and first wave and, I think, as the conditions are assessed in Haiti and some decisions are made both with our federal government and the Haitian government about what’s best for their citizens,” Director of Emergency Services Becky Sebren said.

Americans continued to arrive in South Florida Friday afternoon and, as the United States plans its strategy to help Haiti, the state closest to the island nation is taking center stage with a plan to bring tens of thousands of refugees to Florida and approximately 4,000 to Orlando.

Orange County Mayor Rich Crotty says he has some concerns with the possible plan. If Haitians are brought to Central Florida, the county, city and possibly other area communities will have to scramble to figure out where to put the earthquake victims, and it will be a tough challenge.

"It would occur to me that there is a legal process associated with that and it would probably have to come through the State Department in terms of citizenship and visas, work visas [and] that sort of thing," Mayor Crotty said.

What that influx of people brings with it is a very large service demand, particularly in the area of social services in what is already a tough economy.

"We're very stressed financially right now and this is going to add to that stress," Mayor Crotty said. "So this is a balance we're going to have to work on strengthening."

Governor Charlie Crist told Eyewitness News Friday that, while he's talked to the Secretary of Homeland Security about bringing Haitians to Florida, nothing has been decided at this point.

Governor Crist was at a jobs summit in Orlando Friday morning. Crist wouldn't confirm whether Haitian refugees would be coming to Central Florida; he did say that Florida has pledged to do everything it can to help those in need after the earthquake.

"We want to be in touch with the State Department, making sure we're doing what is necessary for these people to get the help they need and deserve," Crist said.

Governor Crist said, because of mild hurricane seasons for the past several years, there are a lot of relief supplies available in Florida. He said some of those supplies will be used to help Haitians in need.

Additionally, the State of Florida has opened a new emergency information hotline about the Haiti quake. It's meant to give Floridians a link to informational resources on the international response and recovery efforts.***
3477  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "the People’s Republic of Massachusetts" on: January 18, 2010, 07:11:43 PM
It is hard not to agree that should Brown win tomorrow it would be in my opinion the most stunning political upset in memory.
It is also encouraging in that it shows me at least it is not too late to stop the liberal agenda before it is too late.

Morris does seem to suggest Reconciliation is to be used for "budget reasons" and appears to be more of a bluff then anything else.

By Dick Morris And Eileen McGann 01.18.2010 Beyond a pleasing sight for the heart, what would Ted Kennedy’s seat going Republican really mean?

A lot.

First, there would be the psychological effect. On Democratic donors — it would discourage them from opening their checkbooks. On Republican donors — the impact would be electric in kindling their interest and generosity. On Democratic incumbents seeking re-election — it would make the beaches and golf courses that await them in their Florida retirement homes (and the lucrative lobbying jobs in Washington) infinitely more attractive. On Republicans considering running for the House and the Senate — it will help them see the truth: That their time is at hand! (It might even help our esteemed Party Chairman Michael Steele, realize that we can capture both houses this year!)

But in the Senate itself, it would really signal the end of Obama’s legislative dominance. He’ll probably be able to pass health care either by Democratic dithering in certifying Brown’s election or by ramming through the bill while he’s en route to Washington on the shuttle.

But, beyond that, the prospects of getting 60 votes on the remaining items in Obama’s legislative agenda: cap and trade, union card check, and immigration reform would slip away with the Massachusetts result.

He cannot govern through reconciliation (passing bills with 51 votes by pretending they are just budget bills). If it were that easy, why would Harry Reid have worked so hard - and so successfully - to bribe Senators Landrieu (D-La), Lincoln (D-Ark) and Nelson (D-Neb)? Why would he have caved in to the demands of Connecticut’s Joseph Lieberman and discarded the public option much to the chagrin of his House colleagues?

A victory for Scott Brown would represent the Gettysburg of the Obama Administration - its high water mark, its tipping point.

But even more corrosive for Obama and the Democrats is the knowledge that nobody is safe from Republican assault. If the GOP can win a Senate seat in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, it can win anywhere, anytime, against anyone. Long term Democratic incumbents from largely Republican districts would have to rethink their loyalty to Reid and Pelosi. Particularly in the House, it will be ever more difficult to round up majorities for Administration bills. Politicians will start running for cover and hiding in the cloakrooms.

Democrats will try to spin their defeat by blaming their candidate, Martha Coakley, for not campaigning hard enough. They will say that they lost because their base did not turn out and that the solution is to pass ever more radical legislation in the hopes of rekindling their fervor. But losing Massachusetts, on top of Virginia and New Jersey, will convince even the most loyal Democrat that the handwriting is, indeed, on the wall.

For all of these reasons, please make an effort today to telephone or e-mail any friends, family or colleagues you know in Massachusetts to urge them to come out and vote for Scott Brown. There is so very much at stake!

3478  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: January 17, 2010, 02:51:47 PM
"On Tuesday, we'll have a reading on whether that complacency is justified. It may not be definitive; barely two in 10 voters voted in the primaries, and turnout, especially if it is short on independents, could render the outcome a road test for each party's get-out-the-vote machinery."

Doesn't this make one think we will be seeing another close call with endless legal challenges and murky counts and who knows what other shenanigans?

This article points out union's ability to get out their voters. 

I don't know how many "union" votes there are in Mass. but then one could thus ask about the timing of the recent sweetheart deal the legislatures just gave to the unions for the Federal health care bill.

It may not have been a coincidence.

3479  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Resolution process on: January 16, 2010, 01:29:51 PM
We keep hearing the Dems threaten to use resolution process to ram through the health care bonanza with 51 Senate votes instead of the usual 60 needed for normal bills.

So what is this process?  If I read this correctly the process used multiple times since around 1980 (passed in 1974) is meant to *control* budgets not *explode* them with a takeover of one seventh of the economy.
3480  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: January 15, 2010, 12:23:48 PM
I don't know.  Is taking advantage of an endless stream of beautiful women offerring up everything to a healthy male an addiction, poor judgement or simply inability to say no to raging hormonal juices?

I guess if the psycho-babalists (who are happy to sell books, give therapy for this "ailment" in return for cash) can make a case that this behavior is some sort of disease for a healthy male to want to have sex with beautiful women than I guess it gives tiger an out too.

Frankly, if all men had this situation I think "sex addiction" would be as prevalent as obesity.

You know what a few have admitted about the fooling around that goes on in baseball.  Reports over the years have suggested very few baseball players don't have their girlfriends in the various cities.
3481  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: January 15, 2010, 10:41:31 AM
Well I guess the latest deal made between "law" makers and the unions involving their so called "cadillac plans" shows that donations to the Democrats pays off in great dividends and makes good business sense.

"Wall Street is a glutton for punishment".  There are the Soros of the world - the true believers etc but the rest is simply an investment in the party that holds power.  The NYC insiders know that DC has to do its political grandstading.  But the real deals are made in secret behind closed doors.   Their bribes work obviously.

There is no end to the outrage.  There never will be.
3482  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: January 15, 2010, 09:39:27 AM
This sound like....
Classic Clayton Christensian.
The 6'10" pituitary giant from Harvard and his "innovative disruption" that Gilder was so fond of.

There is no question the conservative talking heads are scared to death that the tea party will evolve/morph into a separate movement apart from the GOP.  The Hannities the Limbaughs the Levins are incensed at the idea the party will draw away from their power base.

I am not so sure I would mind if it did but more likely than not it would simply be shooting ourselves in the foot by *dividing* a group that would vote against Democrats.
3483  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word on: January 13, 2010, 10:25:59 AM
I am glad I didn't offend you.  I didn't intend to although I could see how my angry post could have.
It says a lot about your character that you took it in stride.
Hopefully without being intrusive I do admit I am interested in your political views.
I may or may not agree.
But if I disagree I am still interested because I don't understand liberals, Jewish or not.
Perhaps if you are one you could help me understand the values.
I don't mean to burden you with this and you could just refuse.
On the other hand I think it is good for the message board if we have diversity of thought.
If we all simply agree than we cannot learn.
3484  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Humor/WTF on: January 12, 2010, 03:33:30 PM
While in the hospital discussing new regulations I joked I would go to the bathroom here so I don't have to waste a toilet flush at home and get taxed for a flush.
Someone countered it would be called the "crap tax".

Now I would call all taxes crappy but this is a first.
3485  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: January 12, 2010, 12:58:17 PM
"Public-sector unions have a growing influence in state and federal governments, and in the overall labor movement, but they are a relatively recent phenomenon"

I am glad someone else has posted this topic which I have noted before on this board.

I've asked a few times before why it makes sense that people who work for the government can turn around and unionize and tell elected officials how much they should make and benefits they should get.

Instead of serving us we are serving them.

I also posted about a patient of mine who retired last year from the NJ TPK "Authority" and then shows up in my office recently with a disability form.  I asked in honest amazement what he was talking about.  He was not disabled and indeed had been working till he voluntarily retired just before.  His answer was that a friend told him he could get more money this way than from retirement.

I asked was he claiming disability for his seizure disorder and he said yes.  I noted he hadn't had a seizure for many years and it never prevented him from working before.

I came right and told him flatly no I will not sign the form and this is why this country goes broke, this is why everyone hires illegals, or sends jobs overseas.  He agreed with me.

The concept that retirement is an entitlement the same as free speech, legal rights has got to go.

Double dipping is rampant.

Everyone knows that civil servant retirees who retire in their 50s go and get second jobs.  Some of these second jobs the proverbial double and triple dipping is rampant.

My Federal employee relatives love to speak of being able to retire soon.

Of course on the backs of those of us who work in the private sector.

Yet they are happily for health care for all, and all the rest of the liberal crap.  As always as long as they don't suffer for it.
If I hear them speak one more time about "green" this or that.....

3486  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: January 12, 2010, 10:24:23 AM
I found it fascinating to see Blacks on the cable shows vehemently disagreeing on Reid's comments.


I don't think I ever recall Blacks publically showing so much disagreement.

This proves they are not one block.

This proves they are willing to come out and publicaly disagree even when it is a Democrat they are speaking of.

Probably there are many who felt this way all along.  Perhaps it is only now we hear from so many more African Americans rather the darm MSM running and getting opinions from sharptons and Jacksons etc as though THEY speak for all Blacks.

If only Republicans can reach out to Blacks and LEGAL Latinos and convince them what I see as a truth that they are mistakenly letting the Democrat party hijack THEIR rights, their futures by giving it away to illegals and having  Pres who seems fit to down our country overseas and give away our soverienty to the UN, other nations, and his own delusions of megalomania.

The United States is their country too.  Not the governments.  Not the Democratic party.  Not Obama's.
It is not Obamas right to give us away.

If the Republicans can work on this type of approach then I believe we can win back Blacks to the party of Lincoln.

Why in the world are Blacks standing by and letting the Dems give away their country to illegals predominantly Latinos?

Wake up.
3487  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Mark McGuire on: January 11, 2010, 03:43:56 PM
Well at least he is honest.    He seems like a geniunely good person.  I remember someone telling me he was quite gracious signing an autograph for a young relative even while being asked/distrubed during dinner at a restaurant with his family (he reportedly has a brother bigger than him). 

The "steroid era" as he puts it, not only admits his but basically says steroid use was rampant among all/most players.

It may still be.  I don't know.

I used to be a big buff on baseball stats.  Should he be in the Hall.  I don't know.  He would have been a great home run hitter anyway (I think) though he certainly wouldn't have hit 70 any more than Sosa would have broken 60 or Bonds would have hit 73.

Now if only I could get the music industry admit to all the lies &they all sing stolen lyrics and they are all a bunch of lying low lives....Sorry, I am bitter...

****In a statement released by the St. Louis Cardinals, McGwire said that he began using steroids in the late 1980’s and used them “on occasion throughout the 1990’s,” including the 1998 season, when McGwire captivated the nation by hitting 70 home runs to break the all-time single season record of 61 held by Roger Maris.

McGwire’s statement comes as he prepares to return to baseball as the hitting coach for the Cardinals, the team he played for when he set the home run record.

“Now that I have become the hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals,” McGwire said, “I have the chance to do something that I wish I was able to do five years ago. I never knew when, but I always knew this day would come. It’s time for me to talk about the past and to confirm what people have suspected. I used steroids during my playing career and I apologize.”

McGwire said that he briefly used steroids in the off-season before the 1990 season and then resumed using them after he was injured in 1993. McGwire retired after an injury-marred 2001 season, in which he played in only 97 games and hit .187.

“I wish I had never touched steroids,” he said in the statement. “It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.”

McGwire is one of dozens of players from the past two decades who have been tied to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Last year it was revealed that Sammy Sosa, who dueled with McGwire for the home run record in 1998, tested positive for performance-enhancig drugs in 2003.

“I’m sure people will wonder if I could have hit all those home runs had I never taken steroids,” McGwire’s statement read. “I had good years when I didn’t take any and I had bad years when I didn’t take any. I had good years when I took steroids and I had bad years when I took steroids. But no matter what, I shouldn’t have done it and for that I’m truly sorry.”

McGwire’s statement confirmed what had widely assumed within baseball and what has damaged McGwire’s chances in the last four years of balloting for the Hall of Fame; in none of them, did he come anywhere near the number of votes he needed for induction.****
3488  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: January 11, 2010, 02:34:13 PM
Dylan Ratigan from MSNBC has been railing against Geitner like crazy.  Calling for his head on a platter.
I heard him on the radio yesterday.
Go to this site and click on AIG spot and listen:
3489  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hillary in 2016 she would be same age as RR on: January 11, 2010, 01:17:13 PM
"Two months ago, Mrs Clinton answered, straight-faced, with a flat "no" when asked if she would ever run for president again, even adding that "it never crosses my mind".

Well if we learned anything from the Clintons there is nothing they say that can be believed.

*****Home News World News North America USASmart money is on Hillary Clinton for 2016
Hillary Clinton was written off as a failed presidential candidate who would never have another run at the White House. Not any more, writes Toby Harnden in Washington.
Toby Harnden's American Way
Published: 6:33PM GMT 19 Dec 2009
 US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Photo: EPA
Driving past the White House the other day, my eye was caught by the bumper sticker on the shiny black Toyota Prius in front of me. It read: "We love you Hillary - Clinton for President, 2016".

A year ago, I'd have snorted at the slogan and kept my distance from the vehicle - judging the driver to be a delusional Clintonite diehard still desperately fighting the reality that the former First Lady's presidential aspirations were history.

Barack Obama makes world believe in politics again, claims top DemocratNow, the person behind that wheel seems to be on the money. Having elected Barack Obama amid near national euphoria, America is experiencing something akin to buyer's remorse.

Obama's popularity is the lowest of any American president at the end of his first year in office since polling began. Yet as his approval ratings have nose-dived, those of his Secretary of State have curved elegantly upwards.

A recent poll by the Clarus Research Group found that Hillary Clinton had a 75 per cent approval rating compared to 51 per cent for the man who defeated her in their epic battle for the Democratic nomination.

These are very early days to handicap 2016 but it's already clear that she has gone from being the supposedly inevitable 2008 nominee who had blown her one big chance as odds-on favourite to be the next Democratic president.

When Mrs Clinton accepted the job of Secretary of State many of her supporters feared she was falling into a trap. Fearing that she could be a rival source of power from Capitol Hill, Obama calculated she would be less of a threat if he brought her inside his tent.

The downsides for the former First Lady were obvious. She would give up her cherished seat as Senator for New York, which gave her an independent power base. Her voice on domestic policy would be silenced.

And her fortunes would inevitably be linked to the man whom she fervently believed was not up to the top job.

It is a sign of Mrs Clinton's astuteness that she said yes and now finds herself ideally placed to succeed Mr Obama or, in the increasingly plausible scenario that he becomes a one-term president, the Republican who ousts him in 2012.

During the past year, Mrs Clinton has done just what she did when she entered the Senate in 2001 - knuckled down to the hard grind of policy while building relationships with wary sceptics.

The woman who was one of the most polarising figures in American politics now has a glowing 65 per cent approval rating among Independents and healthy 57 per cent among Republicans.

Even sworn enemies on the Right marvelled at her toughness in refusing to concede to Obama until the bitter end in the summer of 2008 and now view her as more hawkish than the president.

Mrs Clinton, moreover, has lived in Arkansas and won over conservatives in upstate New York as well as trouncing Obama in states like West Virginia and Pennsylvania - establishing a connection with Middle America that has eluded the president.

Though Obama trumpeted the notion that he was appointing a "team of rivals" to his Cabinet, Mrs Clinton has been instrumental in making his foreign policy team one of the most harmonious in memory by striking up a firm friendship with Robert Gates, the canny Defence Secretary chief held over from the Bush administration.

In the eight administrations Gates has served in, no two Pentagon and State Department heads have been as close. After the poisonous relations between advisers to Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell, it is a startling turnaround.

The alliance between Clinton and Gates - who both argued for a robust troop increase from the outset - helped to stiffen Obama's spine over Afghanistan.

Mrs Clinton can afford to be assiduously loyal because her critique of Obama - "a lot of talk, no action" is how she acidly described him in March last year - is already out there and increasingly resonant. She now has unassailable credentials in the one area where she appeared weak in 2008 - foreign policy.

She has been able to stay out of the contentious debates over health care, Wall Street bailouts and the spiraling deficit while her husband, confounding many, has been a low-key apparent model of propriety since she took over at Foggy Bottom.

Two months ago, Mrs Clinton answered, straight-faced, with a flat "no" when asked if she would ever run for president again, even adding that "it never crosses my mind".

Perhaps that patently implausible denial was the surest indication of all that Mrs Clinton is better placed than ever to become America's first female president - and she knows it.*****
3490  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / yet the population is exploding on: January 11, 2010, 12:09:50 PM
""some 3.4 million more Americans moved from California to one of the other 49 states than moved to California from another state."

Well if this is true we must put this in context to the overall population of California.  NO ONE who has a brain would suggest the pop of California has gone down between 1990 and 2007.

Looking at the Census of 1990 the population was 29,760,021.  In 2000 it was 33,871,648.
A Census estimate for 2008 is 36,756,666.  Thus DESPITE NET 3.4 million people moving from California to another state than moving to California from another state the population has gone up roughly 7 million people.

So the conclusion is there are 3.4 million plus 7 million new people or 10.4 million NEW people in this state who must have:
1) been born there
2) come to California from another country

No one disputes the state is in complete financial trouble and on the verge of ruin. 

Yet we have the liberal and politically correct crowd who tell us there is a net economic gain (somehow) of immigration (legal and illegal).

How can any rational person reconcile the claims and the facts?

The vast majority of the increase in population in California MUST be from illegals and their offspring.  Based on Census own numbers there is no other explanation.  I doubt much of the increase is from legal immigration from other countries.

And it is highly unlikely the birth rate of citizens (not including automatic "citizens of those who come here illegally) is high enough to add anything much to the increase in population numbers.

Thus here is evidence that illegals are *contributing* to bankrupting California.
They are not the sole cause but in addition to the liberal government programs that exist and are expanded on State and National levels we have a state that appears to be ready to implode and declare bankruptcy.

I have no problem confiscating 90% if all the wealth of all liberals in show business to pay down the debt.
3491  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: January 11, 2010, 09:51:16 AM
"PS:  I think the fact that white American voted for BO had a very powerful effect on black America's perception of white America that has the potential for a deep paradigm shift."

Could you explain a little more detail what you mean?  I think I read you but could you clarify?

There is nothing more I, and I believe, all Republicans would like, than to have more Blacks come on board with us.
If only they would look at what I believe is the larger context rather than the quick "we'll give you quick cash and benes now" with the underlying but *unspoken* truth that you will become and thus remain OUR servants - meaning the Dem party and the government.

Why can't Blacks see themselves as field hands for governement?

Are there any Blacks on this board?

I hope I don't offend anyone but this seems to me a letigimate question.

3492  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: January 10, 2010, 06:10:09 PM
Answers to questions
That is why I am not for a strictly conservative platform.  I don't think it can win.  That is why I think strict conservatism/Reaganism is dead.  Some feel it was the cans trying to be democrats during the W years that did it.  Not strict conservative.
Perhaps they are right.  I really can't figure it all out.

It does give me some hope when i see some Blacks on Glenn Beck speaking about conservative values - how refreshing.
If only we could convince more of this group that they would be better off in the long run if they embrace this rather than let crats literally give their country away like they are doing.  I can only wonder that many Blacks are so engrained to "even" the score for past injustices that they are now (IMO) shooting themselves in the feet while they are trying to get even with Whites.

But I digress, and back to your points,

Yes Democrats are winning the war on demographics by confiscation and bribery.

It seems most of the world has been moving towards freedom and capitalism so I meant in those terms crats are on the wrong side.

But you are right, I may have miscontrued his point -
We in this country are now moving away from freedom and capitalism and  yes what Charles Blow claims appears to be true.  It appears the Cans are on the wrong side of the trends you point out.

Actually if Bama had his way he would abolishment the concept of *country* altogether and there would be one world government that would control everything and everybody.  And in his mind, ideally, he would be the ONE running it.

To me this is plainly obvious.  I don't know how many others either don't seem to get it or frankly simply agree with the "plan" and therefore he still maintains some degree of popularity.

3493  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Well the author is from the NYT on: January 09, 2010, 12:14:06 PM
I think the liberals are on the wrong side of history.  Have they ever heard of capatilism?  Democracy?  Freedom?

What makes this guy decide that socialism, gigantic control of every aspect of our lives by government, endless expansion of entitlements, giving up American soveriegnty is on the side of history?

These things were already tried and mostly failed.
3494  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word on: January 09, 2010, 10:47:43 AM
My anger was meant for the writer not Rachel.
And yes - I made a logical conclusion the writer is a liberal.
I would be totally shocked if she wasn't.
I have had to hear this stuff from liberals all the time.

I believe it is this kind of rationalization that causes many of my fellow Jews to think it OK to believe in socialism.
And if they choose to do so then go ahead.

But I don't don't want it forced on me or this country.

I have liberal relatives that drive me crazy with their socialistic views.  It is no coincidence a couple of them are Federal government employees BTW.

I mean no offense to Rachel and I hope my "cyberage" if you want to call it that does not keep her from posting as I enjoy her posts.

That said I still believe in what I posted.  Now if the writer turns out to not be a liberal with a socialist bent I will apologize.  But till then.  And I would be shocked.
3495  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The Power of Word on: January 08, 2010, 02:03:58 PM
Thanks for your post.  This gives me the perfect opportunity to voice my fatigue with Jewish "do gooders".  I am sorry, but below IS how I feel. 

"She had found satisfaction in helping others Originally, she had hoped to have her paintings hanging in the Met, or her novels becoming bestsellers, but had ended up writing cookbooks read by thousands. But it wasn't the fame or fortune that brought her happiness. At the end of her introduction/personal history, she summed up a thought that rings true for humanity. She concluded that "to be of use, to have the opportunity to impart information and skills that serve to enrich people's daily lives – this is what matters most to me." Simply put, she had found satisfaction in helping others."

That's fine.  She dreamed and pursued her own fame and fortune and later decided this was not rewarding and than sought personal gratification helping others - I presume now that she is personally financially secure.

But why do liberal Jews think it wonderful to tax, confiscate and spend other people's monies to, in their deluded thinking, help the "poor" with ever increasing entitlements.

If one wants to get rich and later give it a way as a mitzvos that is "nice" and their right and privilege.  But when we start talking modern day versions of Karl Marx than as I've said before I part ways. 

I already work several months a year, toiling like a slave to have money confiscated and given away by liberals who use tax money to buy themselves votes.  I've had enough.  I am tired.

As for me they can shove their make love, and lets all be freinds and lovers, up their you know whats.

Many of these same people are pure hypocrits.  Others don't seem to mind they are hurting the lives of many for their perceived good deeds.

We part ways.

I can be a good person but I don't need to forced to be a F.. saint or a masochist.

Enough is enough.

Frankly such liberals have lost me.  Mitvohs my ass.

It's time to speak up and stick it back in the liberals faces before they destroy this country - if not too late.
3496  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: January 08, 2010, 11:45:40 AM
I don't know the name of the guy they have on Fox who is going around the country asking people if they are for the health care bill.
Most, if not all the people it seems who are for it appear to be students (who aren't yet in the real world toiling to pay for all these entitlements) or people who seem to think it will be free for them.
Yes "the govenernment" should provide health care to everyone.
"No one should be without this right".
"Well who else is going to pay for it if not the rich".

This is the mentality of what Republicans are up against.
This gigantic expectation of entitlements.  This gigantic sense that someone else should pay for it and these people will sit back and reap the benefits.

I don't know if there is a good answer to this.  Until there is the country will forever be divided between those who want all these things and others to pay for it, and those who do pay for it.

I couldn't believe Lou Dobbs was on OReilly saying we should grant some sort of amnesty to the illegals here since they and their children are already here.  Pay a fine, learn English, get on some path to citizenship.  I guess we are screwed. 
The thought of another 12 to 20 million mostly democrats who will continue the viscious cycle of entitlements.  And they were both saying we should cap the number of first degree relatives they will bring in with them at perhaps one or two -  OMG - now we are talkinga bout 24 to 60 million new people almost all crats!!  And we all know the crats are for big gov, big entitlements, and socialism in general.

It may already be too late.  I don't know.
3497  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Caution: phD on: January 08, 2010, 10:48:04 AM
When listening to medical advise from PhDs be careful.

Sometimes what they see in the labe does not jive with reality.
They are not the ones treating people.

Case in point:

"""Typical dose: One to two daily supplements (each containing 30 billion organisms), taken at the onset of diarrhea. Continue for one week after symptoms stop. To prevent antibiotic-related diarrhea, take the supplements during antibiotic therapy and for at least one week afterward.

Important: To ensure optimal effectiveness of the antibiotic, do not take it at the same time of day you are taking the probiotic.""""

So which is it?

It is amazing how the legaleze experts spend their careers going after pharm companies for a one in a million rare drug reaction yet we have all these know it alls all over the airwaves hawking their "natural" products with complete freedom to make all kinds of medical claims for cures to cancer, Alzheimers, prostate health, colon health, heart health, brain health, weight loss, sex health, joint health.  Most of it pure nonsense quakery and fraud to make a buck.

Yet that is ok .  But let a FDA approved drug turn out to cause a rare reaction and the response to that is outrage.

To me this is amazing.  Yet not a peep.

Hey the media makes billions from the advertising from these quacks.  So what do they care?

I am off my soap box.
3498  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Dogs are Gods gift for humanity. on: January 07, 2010, 02:13:35 PM
True story:
Both my wife Katherine and one of our three dogs have diabetes and are on insulin.

Yesterday my dog Buckwheat started shaking and having a hypoglycemic reaction.
Katherine fed her these dried chicken chips from the pet store and the dog soon seemed better.

Than Katherine started getting shakey and having a low blood sugar reaction.
Buckwheat ran and came back with a chicken chip and dropped it in Katherine's lap.

I love dogs.
3499  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Government Programs, spending, budget process on: January 05, 2010, 10:38:42 AM
I have had a few people say they are being told more and more that people who supported Bama are now admitting they were wrong about him.

This is purely anecdotal but I hope the tide has turned.
3500  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: January 05, 2010, 10:36:01 AM
I must admit I have called Rush a blow hard and sometimes he is just that.

But I was worried when he was reportedly in the hospital.
The thought of losing him is the thought of losing this country to liberals.

I don't always agree with him but I feel that we need voices like him to preserve this country or we are lost.
As yet there are no politicians who can do what he does.  There is no one on the horizon who can help us get us back to where we are track to stay the greatest place on the planet.

Liberals are dead set on giving it all away - for votes. for power, for their own enrichment.
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