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3501  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: March 26, 2009, 02:52:08 PM
This is outrageous.

"gave thousands in Madoff donations to charity"

Why aren't they giving it back to a fund for those robbed?
3502  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Chinese intelligence defector on: March 25, 2009, 05:57:14 PM
From Bill Gertz.  A Chinese intelligence officer defects to the US and is seeking asylum tell all (was it water boarding, cash, or idealism, or seeking a better life that did it?):

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/mar/19/exclusive-chinese-spy-who-defected-tells-all/
3503  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Noonan on BO (lite) on: March 24, 2009, 10:11:23 AM
Watching for a few minutes (all I can stand) BO on 60 minutes leaves me with the impression this is guy maked Clinton't narcissm look mild.  But Clinton didn't come off as pompous and arrogant as this guy.  Plus Clinton was more of a realist while this guy is a true idealogue.  One can see the more power this guy gets, seizes, the more euphoric he appears.  He is in my opinion far more dangerous to this country and the world than Jimmy Carter:

OPINION: DECLARATIONS MARCH 20, 2009 Neither a Hedgehog Nor a Fox The unbearable lightness of Obama's administration.By PEGGY NOONAN
He is willowy when people yearn for solid, reed-like where they hope for substantial, a bright older brother when they want Papa, cool where they probably prefer warmth. All of which may or may not hurt Barack Obama in time. Lincoln was rawboned, prone to the blues and freakishly tall, with a new-grown beard that refused to become an assertion and remained, for four years, a mere and constant follicular attempt. And he did OK.

Such impressions—coolness, slightness—can come to matter only if they capture or express some larger or more meaningful truth. At the moment they connect, for me, to something insubstantial and weightless in the administration's economic pronouncements and policies. The president seems everywhere and nowhere, not fully focused on the matters at hand. He's trying to keep up with the news cycle with less and less to say. "I am angry" about AIG's bonuses. The administration seems buffeted, ad hoc. Policy seems makeshift, provisional. James K. Galbraith captures some of this in The Washington Monthly: "The president has an economic program. But there is, so far, no clear statement of the thinking behind the program."

 
Associated PressThis in part is why the teleprompter trope is taking off. Mr. Obama uses it more than previous presidents. No one would care about this or much notice it as long as he showed competence, and the promise of success. Reagan, if memory serves, once took his cards out of his suit and began to read them at a welcoming ceremony, only to realize a minute or so in that they were last week's cards from last week's ceremony. He caught himself and made a joke of it. One was reminded of this the other day when Mr. Obama's speech got mixed up with the Irish prime minister's. Things happen. But the teleprompter trope has taken off: Why does he always have to depend on that thing?

There is a new Web site where the teleprompter shares its thoughts in a breathless White House diary. It's bummed that it has to work a news conference next week instead of watching "American Idol," it resents being dragged to L.A. in Air Force One's cargo hold "with the more common electronic equipment." It also Twitters: "We are in California! One of the interns gave my panels a quick scrub and I'm ready to prompt for the day." And: "Waiting for my boss's jokes to get loaded for Leno!"

More Peggy Noonan
Read Peggy Noonan's previous columns.

And click here to order her new book, Patriotic Grace.The fact is that Mr. Obama only has two jobs, but they're huge. The first is to pull us out of an economic death spiral—to save the banks, get them lending, fix the mortgage mess, address unemployment, forestall inflation. TARP, TALF, financial oversight and regulation of Wall Street—all of this is enormously complex, involving questions of scale, emphasis and direction. All else—windmills, green technology, remaking health care—is secondary. The economy is the domestic issue now, and for the next three years at least.

So one wonders why, say, the president does not step in and insist on staffing the top level of his Treasury Department, where besieged Secretary Tim Geithner struggles without deputies through his 15-hour days. Might AIG and the bonus scandals have been stopped or discovered sooner if Treasury had someone to answer the phones? Leadership is needed here. Not talkership, leadership.

Mr. Obama's second job is America's safety at home and in the world. Dick Cheney this week warned again of future terrorism and said Mr. Obama's actions have left us "less safe." White House press secretary Robert Gibbs reacted with disdain. Mr. Cheney is part of a "Republican cabal." "I guess Rush Limbaugh was busy." This was cheap.

A journalist, watching, said, "They are like two people fighting over a torn bag of flour." It may be hard cleaning it up.

Mr. Cheney's remarks, presented in a cable interview, looked political and were received as partisan. The fact is he was wrong and right, wrong in that a subject so grave demands a well documented and thoughtful address. It's hard to see how it helps to present crucial arguments in a cable interview and in a way that can be discounted as partisan. Nor does it help to appear to be laying the groundwork for a deadly argument: Bush kept us safe, Obama won't. It is fair— and necessary—to say what the new administration is doing wrong, and to attempt to correct it, through data and argument. The Bush administration made a great point of saying, when they were explaining what U.S. intelligence is up against, that the challenges are constant and we only have to be wrong once, fail once, for the consequences to be deeply painful. What the Bush administration was doing, in part, was admitting that they might be in charge when something happened. The key was to remain focused and vigilant. This is still true.

But Mr. Cheney was, is, right in the most important, and dreadful, way. We live in the age of weapons of mass destruction, and each day more people and groups come closer to getting and deploying them. "Man has never developed a weapon he didn't eventually use," said Reagan, without cards, worrying aloud in the Oval Office.

What can be used will be used. We are a target. Something bad is going to happen—don't we all know this? Are we having another failure of imagination?

A month ago FBI Director Robert Mueller, in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, warned of Mumbai-type terrorist activity, saying a similar attack could happen in a U.S. city. He spoke of the threat of homegrown terrorists who are "radicalized," "indoctrinated" and recruited for jihad. Mumbai should "reinvigorate" U.S. intelligence efforts. The threat is not only from al Qaeda but "less well known groups." This had the hard sound of truth.

Contrast it with the new secretary of homeland security, Janet Napolitano, who, in her first speech and testimony to Congress, the same week as Mr. Mueller's remarks, did not mention the word terrorism once. This week in an interview with Der Spiegel, she was pressed: "Does Islamist terrorism suddenly no longer pose a threat to your country?" Her reply: "I presume there is always a threat from terrorism." It's true she didn't use the word terrorism in her speech, but she did refer to "man-caused" disasters. "This is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear."

Ah. Well this is only a nuance, but her use of language is a man-caused disaster.

Our enemies are criminals, and criminals calculate. It is possible they are calculating thusly: America is in deep economic crisis and has a new, untested president. Why not move now?

Mr. Obama likes to say presidents can do more than one thing at a time, but in fact modern presidents are lucky to do one thing at a time, never mind two. Great forces are arrayed against them.

These are the two great issues, the economic crisis and our safety. In the face of them, what strikes one is the weightlessness of the Obama administration, the jumping from issue to issue and venue to venue from day to day. Isaiah Berlin famously suggested a leader is a fox or a hedgehog. The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing. In political leadership the hedgehog has certain significant advantages, focus and clarity of vision among them. Most presidents are one or the other. So far Mr. Obama seems neither.

3504  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War? on: March 23, 2009, 09:53:30 AM
***The Obama administration should take the growing threat of nuclear proliferation seriously. It should try to provide leadership in forging a united response by the major powers to what could become the world's No. 1 security concern within the next few years.***

Blah blah blah. angry

Why do we keep denying the obvious? we must use military force to damage their program, or in the less likely pray for some sort of regime change.
Simple talking is NOT going to work.  Hasn't ten years of Iran proceeding with their program made this obvious?
God, are we weak.
3505  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Euthanasia - humane? or just simply a way to cut costs? on: March 22, 2009, 09:16:45 PM
this is a very difficult topic. Euthanasia.  I feel very uncomfortable about it.  I have "pulled the plug" with family permission only on patients that were brain dead but the idea of helping someone die even if they are terminal and suffering would be very hard for me to do.  Yet this debate is only going to get bigger.  The worst part is the reason won't be for the goodness of humanity.  But for dollars and cents.  I worked for 30 days with other physicians to keep alive an 85 year old lady.  She made it and went off to the nursing home.  I recently got word she died after two weeks there anyway.

Not only was I saddened by her passing - she was a sweet little old lady - but saddened by the fact she really suffered for a month struggling to survive and pull through - only to die anyway.  that said the issue to society that is going to cause this to be something we will hear about a lot in the near future is the cost>
suppose she died 6 weeks earlier.  100k Would not have been spent.  Something like a quarter of all health care expenditures are for the last 6 months of life.  With a broken system that is going bankrupt and driving us all into the gutter people are going to start to raise the taboo questions we all try to avoid:

http://medicaleconomics.modernmedicine.com/memag/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=587095&sk=a76544f67ebabb8029168ea3bd20baae
3506  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: March 22, 2009, 09:05:24 PM
GM, that piece is very thought provoking to me.  After the worst ten years of my life watching everyone around us willing to take bribes to rob us of Katherine's music lyrics I no longer have much appreciation for humanity in general.  When it comes to money people are truly a disappointment to say the least.  The phrase, "everyone has a price" is if not completely true than nearly so from what I have seen.  Like one of the victims of the ponzi scheme of the guy who crashed his plane in Florida said, "I have never witnessed this level of dishonesty in my whole life, I at the age of 51 (now) can certainly relate.  Only my expereince was and still is 100 times worse.  Friends, family, neighbors, young, old white, black, Latino, mothers, fathers, it made no difference.  When it came to money, or getting back stage passes, or getting in on the easy action any concern for me or my wife with any common decency, respect, fairness, or the usual politeness went right out the window.

All I can say when one experiences such inhumanity one starts to ask questions that have probably been asked for thousands of years by millions throughout the history of mankind.

I have often been questioning myself and wondering if it is "this generation" or just that we know more about ouselves, and more about the human race than we ever did that seems so depressing?

I am not sure.  Surely there were terrible people before.  Just look at the slavery, the butchery, the inhumanity throughout history.
Did anyone else catch the show on Nat Geo - Washington unbuckled - George W. - no not this one - the original one - George Washington had a child from a slave.  As did (we all know now, Thomas Jefferson).  Woodrow Wilson's second wife fooled the entire country for months about the real condition of the Pres after he had a devastating stroke so that he and she would not have to relinquish power to the VP.  Calvin Coolidge was supposedly caught in the closet with a teenage girl.  Franklin Roosevelt we now know had his girlfriend(s), while so did Eleanor have hers and maybe a male military officer to boot ("bi" - i guess?).  John Kennedy not only had steady streams of hookers but one who was probably an East German spy.  Herbert Hoover who appeared to have a file on every politician in Washington got Kennedy off the hook in return for continuing on as FBI chief.  Similar extortion scams with dirt on every important person within the beltway kept him as the head of the FBI for 47 years.

So in context, what Clinton did was really not such a big deal.  Yet, it is a big deal. It is a big deal when our leaders and the system they work in are and is so corrupt.   Maybe it just isn't new.  It's just that it is in our faces all day long now.  Maybe it's not that *this* generation is any worse then those previous.  I don't know really.  I am just trying to figure it all out.  Like victoms of the Jewish, Turkish, Cambodian, Rwanda, Ukranian, holocausts, the 60 or 70 million that died in the two World Wars, the millions of Balcks who were slaves, for 300 years and second class citizens for another 100.  Of course I can go on but you see the point.

The greatest generation also was segregated.  The generation before them drove the Indians off the map.  The generation before them treated those of another race as animals

McCain was right about campaign finance reform.  Republicans ciritized him and mocked him.  Why because they had the edge in fundraising.  Not because of any idealistic beliefs.

The truth is all our leaders appear to be spending too much time fundraising.  And having to do so because campaigns are expensive.  Advertising rips them off.  And thus they almost have to accept money.  How could they not become corrupt.

Surely this is not new.  Surely those before us were not all saints (except my father).

That said - I just can't decide if it is this generation - or - humanity in general.

I guess I digress.

 

3507  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Health Thread (nutrition, medical, longevity, etc) on: March 21, 2009, 09:15:14 AM
My opinion:

****"It's one of the classic presentations of head injuries, `talking and dying,' where they may lose consciousness for a minute, but then feel fine," said Razek.****

Yes but banging your head and talking and *not* dying is a thousand times more common.
The classic blame game.  She wasn't instantaneously brought to an operating room right off the slopes in some remote area of Quebec with neurosurgeon (Sanjay Gupta) waiting to do the perfect operation. 

Which one of these good doctors will be the lucky chosen one to be expert witness for the plaintiff's team.
To me this was a tragic accident.  We can always in every single negatvie human outcome ask, "what if"?   Why this has to turn into a lawsuit is beyond me.  And now we will have a billion dollars more in head cat scans as a result.
 
****Doctor: Lack of medical helicopter cost actress
Death: Freak Accident ABC News NEW YORK – As a steady stream of celebrities pay their last respects to Natasha Richardson, questions are arising over whether a medical helicopter might have been able to save the ailing actress.

The province of Quebec lacks a medical helicopter system, common in the United States and other parts of Canada, to airlift stricken patients to major trauma centers. Montreal's top head trauma doctor said Friday that may have played a role in Richardson's death.

"It's impossible for me to comment specifically about her case, but what I could say is ... driving to Mont Tremblant from the city (Montreal) is a 2 1/2-hour trip, and the closest trauma center is in the city. Our system isn't set up for traumas and doesn't match what's available in other Canadian cities, let alone in the States," said Tarek Razek, director of trauma services for the McGill University Health Centre, which represents six of Montreal's hospitals.

While Richardson's initial refusal of medical treatment cost her two hours, she also had to be driven to two hospitals. She didn't arrive at a specialized hospital in Montreal until about four hours after the second 911 call from her hotel room at the Mont Tremblant resort, according to a timeline published by Canada's The Globe and Mail newspaper.

Not being airlifted directly to a trauma center could have cost Richardson crucial moments, Razek said.

"A helicopter is obviously the fastest way to get from Point A to Point B," he said.

After Richardson fell and hit her head on a beginner ski slope at the Mont Tremblant resort in Quebec, the first ambulance crew left upon spotting a sled taking the still-conscious actress away to the resort's on-site clinic.

A second 911 call was made two hours later from Richardson's luxury hotel room as the actress deteriorated. Medics tended to her for a half-hour before taking her to a hospital about a 40-minute drive away.

Centre Hospitalier Laurentien in Ste-Agathe does not specialize in head traumas, so her speedy transfer to Sacre Coeur Hospital in Montreal was critical, said Razek.

"It's one of the classic presentations of head injuries, `talking and dying,' where they may lose consciousness for a minute, but then feel fine," said Razek.

Richardson, 45, died Wednesday at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. The New York City medical examiner's office ruled her death was an accident.****
3508  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: March 21, 2009, 08:35:55 AM
Just kind of reiterates what is already obvious.
BO has already made it completely clear he will not stop Iran's nuclear program.
He has already made the determination it would be too costly to do so.
When Iran gets a working bomb (and Missles) he has already telegraphed the message more or less we can't or really won't stop you but if you ever use a nuc we will respond with a devastating blow (more or less).
Israel will have to go it alone.  But the world is already poised against them.  Perhaps the US can stop them too.  I don't know.
But there is certainly no evidence BO will allow them to take military action against Iran like perhaps W would have.
3509  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: March 20, 2009, 09:21:58 AM
American culture or whatever you want to call it is not something to be proud of anymore IMHO.
When the mainstream media is constantly calling BOs showing up on Jany Leno as a "historical event"  rolleyes all I can think is we have sunk to ever new lows:

"Obama tells Leno he was stunned by AIG bonuses"  rolleyes
3510  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Humor/WTF on: March 19, 2009, 05:55:38 PM
I don't know where to post this kind of stuff except in the "humor" department.   The guy who is expanding the role of government to unprecedented proportions with debt of the same astronomical levels has this to say.  And of course the crowds love him.  Obviously these people do not think they are the ones paying for all this:

****Facing largely adoring crowds far from Washington, President Barack Obama on Thursday asked Americans to back his far-reaching economic and health policies, but warned them not to expect too much from him or the federal government****
3511  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Humor/WTF on: March 19, 2009, 04:52:02 PM
Not only can the chosen one chew gum and play basketball at the same time but he can among other things fix the world economy, global climate change, the national health care problems, watch college basketball, revamp the world energy supply, fix the middle east, Afganistan, Iraq, reset the Russian American relationship, visit Muslims around the world and what the heck, show up on Jay Leno.  Well I guess he does use a telepromter so Emanuel and crew and tell him how to fool us some more:

LOS ANGELES - President Barack Obama is defending his appearance on Jay Leno’s late-night talk show.

He said his Thursday appearance on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” is not keeping him from pressing matters. Some critics have questioned whether the television stint distracts from his work to fix the economy.

Obama said he can do more than one thing at a time and is working on a host of issues, including climate change and health care reform.

3512  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nuclear Power on: March 19, 2009, 03:18:46 PM
http://www.nei.org/keyissues/nuclearwastedisposal/

***NEI: Nuclear Energy Institute Home Member Login Contact Us Search 
 l
Most used fuel from nuclear power plants is stored in steel-lined concrete pools filled with water, like this one above, or in airtight steel or concrete-and-steel containers.
Used Nuclear Fuel and Low-Level Waste
Used nuclear fuel is a solid material safely stored at nuclear plant sites. This storage is only temporary—one component of an integrated used fuel management system that addresses all facets of storing, recycling and disposal.
Integrated Used Fuel Management
Under an integrated management approach, used nuclear fuel will remain stored at nuclear power plants in the near term. Eventually, the government will recycle it and place the unusable end product in a repository at Yucca Mountain, Nev.

Storage of Used Nuclear Fuel
Currently, used nuclear fuel is stored at the nation's nuclear power plants in steel-lined, concrete vaults filled with water or in massive, airtight steel or concrete-and-steel canisters.

Recycling Used Nuclear Fuel
The federal government plans to develop advanced recycling technologies to take full advantage of the vast amount of energy in the used fuel and reduce the amount and toxicity of byproducts requiring disposal.

Yucca Mountain
In 2002, Congress approved Yucca Mountain, Nev., a remote desert location, as the site for a centralized deep geologic repository for used nuclear fuel and other high-level radioactive waste.

Transportation
The U.S. Department of Energy will transport used nuclear fuel to the repository by rail and road, inside massive, sealed containers that have undergone safety and durability testing.

Low-Level Radioactive Waste
Low-level waste is a byproduct of the beneficial uses of a wide range of radioactive materials. These include electricity generation, medical diagnosis and treatment, and various other medical processes.


3513  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Nuclear Power on: March 19, 2009, 03:15:01 PM
There was a recent segment on cable about the disposal of nuclear waste in salt caverns and how the salt is nearly a perfect way to encircle and keep  isolated the waste.
The deep underground caverns (~2,000 feet I think) eventuall get literally encased in the salt which protects against water.
However, it would take 250,000 years for the stuff to decay and no one could say what the risk to future and interim generations would be so far in advance (if the human race is still around by then anyway).

As far as transporting the stuff to these natural salt "containers" that is another homeland defense story.
As for what is going to happen thousands of years from now I won't lose sleep over that.
3514  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Epi dural bleed on: March 19, 2009, 02:16:37 PM
As far as I know epidural hematomas are not at all common.  I have never seen or heard of another case in 20 years though I would not usually see any like say a neurosurgeon or ER physician would.  Usually they are from trauma or fracture over the skull near the temple are with rupture to the middle meningeal artery that runs through that vicinity.  Contrast these to  the common subdural or subarachnoid hematomas.

If say someone got a skull fracture over the temple with a club this could be the result.  Any serious blow to this area has to be evaulated with extreme care.

As for the actress it is all too sad.  She, as far as I know, is now much more famous for her death then her life.  I never heard of her before this.

****Autopsy: Richardson died of impact to the head
         NEW YORK – The New York City medical examiner's office says actress Natasha Richardson died of blunt impact to the head. Medical examiner spokeswoman Ellen Borakove said the death was ruled an accident. The cause of death was "epidural hematoma due to blunt impact to the head."

The 45-year-old actress reportedly suffered a head injury after a fall during a private lesson Monday at a resort in Quebec. Richardson was seemingly fine after she fell, but about an hour later, she complained that she didn't feel well. She was hospitalized Tuesday in Montreal and later flown to a hospital in New York, where she died.

Alan Nierob, the Los Angeles-based publicist for Richardson's husband, Liam Neeson, confirmed her death Wednesday without giving details on the cause. There were no details on funeral arrangements.

Funeral arrangements for the 45-year-old actress will be handled by the Greenwich Village Funeral Home.

Broadway theaters will dim their lights Thursday in honor of Richardson. Theater marquees will be dimmed for one minute at 8 p.m. EDT, the traditional starting time for evening performances of Broadway shows.

"The Broadway community is shocked and deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of our finest young actresses, Natasha Richardson. Her theatrical lineage is legendary, but her own singular talent shined memorably on any stage she appeared," said Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, the trade organization for Broadway theaters and producers.

Sam Mendes, who directed the Broadway musical "Cabaret" for which Richardson won a Tony, said, "It defies belief that this gifted, brave, tenacious, wonderful woman is gone."

Actress Judi Dench told the BBC that Richardson was "a really great actress" who had "an incredibly luminous quality, that you seldom see, and a great sense of humor."

"It's just so shocking, really shocking, and I hope that everybody leaves the family quietly to somehow pick up the pieces," Dench said.

"She was a wonderful woman and actress and treated me like I was her own," said Lindsay Lohan, who as a preteen starred with Richardson in a remake of "The Parent Trap" in 1998. "My heart goes out to her family. This is a tragic loss."

Neeson and Richardson's sister, actress Joely Richardson, were seen leaving Lenox Hill hospital Wednesday. Actress Lauren Bacall also visited the hospital.

Yves Coderre, director of operations at the emergency services company that sent paramedics to the Mont Tremblant resort where Richardson suffered her fall, told The Globe and Mail newspaper Wednesday the paramedics who responded were told they were not needed.

"They never saw the patient," Coderre told The Globe and Mail. "So they turned around."

Coderre said another ambulance was called later to Richardson's luxury hotel. By that point, her condition had gotten worse and she was rushed to a hospital.

Richardson's career highlights included the film "Patty Hearst" and a Tony-winning performance in a stage revival of "Cabaret."

She was a proper Londoner who came to love the noise of New York, an elegant blonde with large, lively eyes, a bright smile and a hearty laugh.

Jane Fonda on Wednesday recalled meeting a young Richardson on the set of "Julia," the 1977 film Fonda starred in opposite Richardson's mother, Vanessa Redgrave.

"She was a little girl but already beautiful and graceful. It didn't surprise me that she became such a talented actor," Fonda recalled on her blog. "It is hard to even imagine what it must be like for her family. My heart is heavy."

As an actress, Richardson was equally adept at passion and restraint, able to portray besieged women both confessional (Tennessee Williams' Blanche DuBois) and confined (the concubine in the futuristic horror of "The Handmaid's Tale").

Like other family members, she divided her time between stage and screen. On Broadway, she portrayed Sally Bowles in the 1998 revival of "Cabaret." She also appeared in New York in a production of Patrick Marber's "Closer" (1999) as well as the 2005 revival of Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire," in which she played Blanche opposite John C. Reilly's Stanley Kowalski.

She met Neeson when they made their Broadway debuts in 1993, co-starring in "Anna Christie," Eugene O'Neill's drama about a former prostitute and the sailor who falls in love with her.

The New York Times critic Frank Rich called her "astonishing" and said she "gives what may prove to be the performance of the season."

Her most notable film roles came earlier in her career. Richardson played the title character in Paul Schrader's "Patty Hearst," a 1988 biopic about the kidnapped heiress for which the actress became so immersed that even between scenes she wore a blindfold, the better to identify with her real-life counterpart.

Richardson was directed again by Schrader in a 1990 adaptation of Ian McEwan's "The Comfort of Strangers" and, also in 1990, starred in the screen version of Margaret Atwood's "The Handmaid's Tale."

She later co-starred with Neeson in "Nell" and with Mia Farrow in "Widows' Peak." More recent movies, none of them widely seen, included "Wild Child," "Evening" and "Asylum."

Richardson was born in London in 1963, the performing gene inherited not just from her parents (Redgrave and director Tony Richardson), but from her maternal grandparents (Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson), an aunt (Lynn Redgrave) and an uncle (Corin Redgrave). Her younger sister, Joely Richardson, also joined the family business.

She also is survived by two sons, Micheal, 13, and Daniel, 12.

Friends and family members remembered Natasha as an unusually poised child, perhaps forced to grow up early when her father left her mother in the late '60s for Jeanne Moreau. (Tony Richardson died in 1991).

Interviewed by The Associated Press in 2001, Natasha Richardson said she related well to her family if only because, "We've all been through it in one way or another and so we've had to be strong. Also we embrace life. We are not cynical about life."

Her screen debut came at 4, when she appeared as a flower girl in "The Charge of the Light Brigade," directed by her father, whose movies included "Tom Jones" and "The Entertainer." The show business wand had already tapped her the year before, when she saw her mother in the 1967 film version of the Broadway show "Camelot."

"She was so beautiful. I still look at that movie and I can't believe it. It still makes me cry, the beauty of it," Richardson said.

She studied at London's Central School of Speech and Drama and was an experienced stage actress by her early 20s, appearing in "On the Razzle," "Charley's Aunt" and "The Seagull," for which the London Drama Critics awarded her most promising newcomer.

She and her mother acted together, most recently on Broadway to play the roles of mother and daughter in a one-night benefit concert version of "A Little Night Music," the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler musical.

Before meeting up with Neeson, Richardson was married to producer Robert Fox, whose credits include the 1985 staging of "The Seagull" in which his future wife appeared.

She sometimes remarked on the differences between her and her second husband — she from a theatrical dynasty and he from a working-class background in Northern Ireland.

"He's more laid back, happy to see what happens, whereas I'm a doer and I plan ahead," Richardson told The Independent on Sunday newspaper in 2003. "The differences sometimes get in the way but they can be the very things that feed a marriage, too."

She once said that Neeson's serious injury in a 2000 motorcycle accident — he suffered a crushed pelvis after colliding with a deer in upstate New York — had made her really appreciate life.

"I wake up every morning feeling lucky — which is driven by fear, no doubt, since I know it could all go away," she told The Daily Telegraph newspaper in 2003.****
3515  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / teflon Bam on: March 19, 2009, 02:04:06 PM
Now Dodd blaming BO.  We all know that is the end of Dodd.  In few days watch for him tol come out apologizing or correcting what he just said as though it was "taken out of context" after the BO thugs and MSM go after him (and maybe his family).  BO ain't going down for him that's for sure.
I bet this whole thing doesn't hurt BO a bit.  He is what the crats used to whine about Reagan - the "teflon" Prez.

****Dodd Blames Obama Administration for Bonus Amendment (Update2)

By Ryan J. Donmoyer

 March 19 (Bloomberg) -- Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd said the Obama administration asked him to insert a provision in last month’s $787 billion economic- stimulus legislation that had the effect of authorizing American International Group Inc.’s bonuses.

Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, said yesterday he agreed to modify restrictions on executive pay at companies receiving taxpayer assistance to exempt bonuses already agreed upon in contracts. He said he did so without realizing the change would benefit AIG, whose recent $165 million payment to employees has sparked a public furor.

Dodd said he had wanted to limit executive compensation at companies that got money from the government’s financial-rescue fund. AIG has received $173 billion in bailout money. His provision was changed as the stimulus legislation was negotiated between the House and Senate.

“I did not want to make any changes to my original Senate-passed amendment” to the stimulus bill, “but I did so at the request of administration officials, who gave us no indication that this was in any way related to AIG,” Dodd said in a statement released last night. “Let me be clear -- I was completely unaware of these AIG bonuses until I learned of them last week.” He didn’t name the administration officials who made the request.

No Insistence

An administration official said last night that representatives of President Barack Obama didn’t insist on the change, though they did contend that the language in Dodd’s amendment could be legally challenged because it would apply retroactively to bonus agreements. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity.

That provision in the stimulus bill may undercut complaints by congressional Democrats about the AIG bonuses because most of them voted for the legislation. No Republicans in the House and only three in the Senate supported the stimulus measure

“Taxpayers deserve better than this from their government, and this is just the latest reason why legislation must be transparent for all Americans to see before it is recklessly signed into law,” said Eric Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House.

The new law, approved by Congress Feb. 13 and signed into law by Obama the next week, effectively authorized bonus arrangements at companies receiving taxpayer bailouts as long as they were in place before Feb. 11. The AIG bonuses qualified under that provision.

Obama and many lawmakers who voted for the legislation, such as Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, are demanding AIG employees surrender their bonuses.

Schumer Letter

Schumer yesterday sent a letter to AIG Chief Executive Officer Edward Liddy warning him to return bonuses or face confiscatory taxes on them. The letter was signed by Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, and seven other senators.

Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Schumer, said the senator “supported a provision on the Senate floor that would have prevented these types of bonuses, but he was not on the conference committee that negotiated the final language.”

A House vote is planned for today on a bill to impose a 90 percent tax on executive bonuses paid by AIG and other companies getting more than $5 billion in federal bailout funds.

“I expect it to pass in overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, told reporters yesterday in Washington.

Republican Attacks

Republicans seized on the provision in the stimulus bill to paint Democrats as hypocrites.

“The fact is that the bill the president signed, which protected the AIG bonuses and others, was written behind closed doors by Democratic leaders of the House and Senate,” Iowa Senator Charles Grassley said in a statement.

AIG donated a total of $854,905 to political campaigns in 2008, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group. AIG employees as a group represent Dodd’s fourth-biggest donor during his career, the group’s research shows. The company’s political action committee, employees and immediate family members have given Dodd more than $280,000, the group said.

Dodd said the provision was written to give the Treasury Department enough discretion to reclaim bonuses as necessary.

“Fortunately, we wrote this amendment in a way that allows the Treasury Department to go back and review these bonus contracts and seek to recover the money for taxpayers,” he said.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told lawmakers in a letter this week that department lawyers believe it would be “legally difficult” to prevent AIG from paying bonuses.

Other Democrats who voted for the stimulus bill have ramped up criticism of AIG’s bonuses, including Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, who told reporters, “I think the time has come to exercise our ownership rights.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan J. Donmoyer in Washington at rdonmoyer@bloomberg.net****
3516  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: March 19, 2009, 10:17:22 AM
Yes I saw this.
The article suggests that if only Israel would agree to a two state solution the problems would all go away.
OVer decades Israel has agreed to this in principal and only asked for a guarantee of its existence in return.
They have never been able to secure one from the Palestinians.

Did you FareeK Zakaria last weekend?  With his guest discussing the Israeli lobby, conspiracy, the radical right Jews who are controlling the US foreign policy?
Ot his later guests, one Indian who worked in the past for the UN, one from Pakistan and another Muslim and the one Jew from the NYT?  They all smuggly downed past US policy as creating all the ills in the Muslim world and agreed that wwe must work with Iran which is positioning itself the regional power in the Middle East.  While the Jewish guy from the times was all for blaming W for everything wrong in the middle east he at the end did wrap up the talk with we should not give in to Iran who is a thirld world country is not any kind of power in the Middle East.  The smug grins all disappeared off Fareed and his other Israel hating guests.
3517  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: March 18, 2009, 04:35:10 PM
An interesting outcome of the electronic world we live in.  While everything I do or my wife or I speak in our house is monitored, I am sure my vehicle has a GPS system hidden somewhere, including no doubt eveything I post on this website, I have learned there really is nothing I can do about it.

One cannot even get any electronic device today withour remote access.  There are cameras everywhere, our cell phones document who we call and when and where.  Our financial records, and increasingly our health records are on line.  OUr children put all their personal infornation on line.  Some even think it cute to put up naked pictures of themselves.   There are not even laws that address most of these issues.  Even those that one would think would be simple common sense.
Bama's friends even want to monitor our bathroom habits!

Nothing is sacred anymore - nothing.

As for the jury thing I have a story - kind of a confession.  I was on jury duty once.  While we took our break I stood outside the courtroom and happened to look up to read a bulletin board that was right there.  On it it mentioned the cases of the day.  It mentioned the one I was on the jury duty for.  It mentioned it was for the third DUI offense of the defendant.  She would lose her license permanantly if she lost the case.

Thing of it is - the fact that it was her THIRD DUI was never mentioned during the trial.

I am guessing this information was kept out perhaps because it would "prejudice the jury".  Perhaps it could have only been brought up if the character of the defendent was brought up by the defense team - which never was the issue.

The evidence against her was overwhelming anyway.  She was clearly staggering on the police video.   She was literally driving the wrong way down a large thorough fair at 2AM after being seen leaving a bar/grill.

Her BAC was over the legal limit.  Yet some saps on the jury still felt bad, "well haven't you ever driven after drinking too much?" went the line.

Would they have felt this way if they knew it was her third arrest for this?  She was clearly a menace on the road.
Anyway, there were no blackberries or Iphones.  Just me standing outside the courtroom reading what the bailiff posted on the board.


3518  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: March 17, 2009, 03:55:05 PM
Doug,
Thanks for the links.  Very interesting. I wonder where drugs would be on the list of imports from Mexico if records were kept.
Natural gas seems to be the biggest US export if I read the table correctly.
I don't know how the oil market works.  One wonders how we export so much oil rather than use it all here?  It must not be that simple.
3519  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security on: March 17, 2009, 11:10:29 AM
As Mark Levin would answer (I think).  It isn't about polls.  It is about ideology.
It is more about moving the USA (and hence the world) towards a more socialistic society.

It isn't about making/keeping America great it is about transforming us into a different country that fits BO's idealized concept of the world.
3520  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 16, 2009, 02:19:56 PM
Do I hear

Jimmy C?
3521  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: March 16, 2009, 12:59:43 PM
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The message is clear.  Go after the chosen one and we will come after you.  Ironically this sahkedown group is funded by one of the Wall Street big shots Soros who spent his life making fortunes on Wall St:

  NEW YORK (AP) - Some critics are seizing on comedian Jon Stewart's attacks of CNBC to launch an online petition drive urging the network to be tougher on Wall Street leaders.
The liberal media watchdog Media Matters for America and some economists are behind the effort, launched Monday. They're asking CNBC to hire economic voices with a track record of being right about the current crisis and do more to hold business leaders accountable.


CNBC has been in the firing line since Stewart pointed out network personalities who, in retrospect, offered bad financial advice.

CNBC had no immediate comment. CNBC spokesman Brian Steel said last week that the network was proud of its record of offering diverse opinions on the economy.


Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
3522  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Zogby poll on direction of country on: March 14, 2009, 12:30:44 PM
I know Bo doesn't care about polls or the direction of the stock market rolleyes but FWIW the recent Zogby on the "direction" of the country:


****Released: March 06, 2009
Zogby Poll: 40% Now Believe the U.S. is Headed in the Right Direction

Survey finds 56% view President Obama favorably while his positive job approval ratings hold steady at 52%

UTICA, New York - Forty percent of likely voters now have positive feelings about the direction the U.S. is headed, a slight gain over the 36% who said the same in late January and a significant increase over the 14% who said the country was on the right track at the beginning of the year, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows.

Even as slightly more believe the country is headed in the right direction, there has also been a slight increase in those who believe the county is on the wrong track - 48% this month compared to 45% in late January, though significantly fewer than the 70% who had negative feelings about the country's direction at the start of the year.

The survey shows a stark contrast along political lines, with Democrats significantly more optimistic (71%) about the country's direction under President Barack Obama's administration than are political independents (35%) or Republicans (6%). Democrats and independents are more positive about the country's direction than in late January, while Republicans are now more likely to believe the U.S. is on the wrong track - 86% of Republicans feel this way, compared to 76% who said the same in late January. Just over half of independents (52%) feel the same, compared to only 14% of Democrats. The Zogby Interactive survey of 3,365 likely voters nationwide was conducted March 2-5, 2009, and carries a margin of error of +/- 1.7 percentage points.

Congressional job performance ratings slowly climb as President Obama's job approval numbers hold steady

Obama enjoys strong personal popularity, with 56% who have a favorable opinion of the President - most notably among fellow Democrats, with 93% who view the President positively. More than half of political independents feel the same (52%), compared to only 14% of Republicans.

Obama maintains a 52% "excellent" or "good" job performance rating in this latest survey, unchanged from our polling in late January, while 46% rate his job performance as "fair" or "poor." There is a dramatic partisan split when it comes to Obama's job performance, with 90% of Democrats who give the President positive ratings, compared to just 11% of Republicans - political independents fall in the middle with 47%.

Congressional job performance ratings have climbed to 24%, up from 20% in late January and a vast improvement over the 4% of likely voters who gave Congress a job performance rating of "excellent" or "good" at the beginning of the year. Positive Congressional job performance marks from Democrats continue to climb - 46% this month compared to 39% in late January, while ratings from political independents (17%) and Republicans (2%) have changed little.

Perception of U.S. economic policy still overwhelmingly negative, but continues to show improvement

The vast majority of likely voters - 77% - give negative ratings to U.S. economic policy, a decline from the 85% who said the same in late January and an even larger drop from the 95% who viewed U.S. economic policy negatively in the weeks just before President Obama's inauguration. This latest poll shows 18% now give the nation's economic policy a positive rating, up from 8% who said the same in late January. When it comes to their personal financial situation, just 35% give it a positive rating, compared to 65% who paint their personal financial picture as "fair" or "poor" - only a slight change from polling early in the year. One in five (22%) express insecurity about their current job, which is largely unchanged from Zogby International polling at the beginning of the year.

For a detailed methodological statement on this survey, please visit:

http://www.zogby.com/methodology/readmeth.cfm?ID=1391

(3/6/2009)

 ZOGBY INTERNATIONAL
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1600 K Street, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20006 USA
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NY phone 315.624.0200
Toll Free in the U.S. and Canada 1-877-GO-2-POLL | 1-877-462-7655
fax 315.624.0210
Contact sales and marketing
Contact our web manager with any comments regarding this web site.

Copyright 2009 by Zogby International.****





 
 
3523  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed on: March 14, 2009, 10:04:18 AM
As Chad points out:  "I just don't see anyone that will be able to hurdle the media double standard put on Repubs"

And as we are seeing it doesn't have to be a Rep they go after.  Perhaps that is why Dems who are criticizing BO are doing it indirectly like criticize Hillary for speaking out against Israel when her policy is obviously based on BO's design.  Or Finemans somewhat negative citique of BO but then he pulls up short with oh "but Obama is definitley not a socialist".  Maybe they are actually afraid to go after the chosen one?

The liberal media is going after anyone who criticizes the chosen one.  Of course Stewart goes after Cramer only now because Cramer came out against the latest liberal icon:

****Cramer vs. Stewart: Post-Fight Analysis
Posted Mar 13, 2009 05:07pm EDT by Aaron Task in Newsmakers, Banking
Related: TSCM, VIA, JPM, BAC, WB, ^DJI, ^GSPC
A week-long verbal battle between cable TV personalities Jon Stewart and Jim Cramer came to a head on The Daily Show Thursday night. By nearly all accounts, Stewart won in a unanimous decision, if not a knockout:

"Cramer was playing rope-a-dope while Stewart swung away," writes Washington Post columnist Howard Kurtz. "Jim seemed more concerned with being liked than justifying what he does for a living. It was a mismatch."

Some other items of note:

While eager to admit some mistakes, Cramer defended himself (in part) by saying Wall Street CEOs such as Dick Fuld lied to him and (by extension) other CNBC personalities. "I had a lot of CEOs lie to me on the show," he said, suggesting former Bear Stearns and Wachovia executives also misled him.
Stewart's populist rants often got in the way of any real conversation, and Cramer rarely has been at such a loss for words. Stewart tapped into the anger many Americans are feeling toward Wall Street and the financial media, given the ongoing bailout bonanza and the decimation to our collective portfolios: Americans' total wealth fell 18% in 2008, according to the Fed, the biggest annual loss since they started tracking the data after WW2.
Stewart said repeatedly his issue was with CNBC generally, not Cramer personally. But it sure seemed like Stewart's attack was directed at Cramer. (Of course, Cramer was sitting there and further invited attack by sarcastically dismissing Stewart earlier in the week.)
Speaking of the personal, I made a cameo appearance on 'The Daily Show' last night when Stewart showed clips of a segment I filmed with Cramer for TheStreet.com back in 2006. (Full disclosure: I worked for TheStreet.com, which Cramer co-founded, from 1998 to 2007. The company and Cramer were good to me and I still own some shares, much to my dismay.)

In the clip, "Cramer explained how traders gamed the system and seemed to say he had used such techniques in his Wall Street days," as Kurtz writes. There was a minor flap about the segment back in early 2007 and it's certainly received a lot of attention this week.

On The Daily Show, Cramer said he was speaking hyperbolically and denied having done those things personally. "I didn't do it," he said.

While I have no doubt Cramer pushed the envelope before he got out of the hedge fund business in 2000, I had assumed the same during the "infamous" video. I believed he was speaking hypothetically and trying to call attention to what hedge fund managers were doing then versus what he had done five-plus years prior.****
3524  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: March 14, 2009, 08:51:04 AM
I am trying to find out what our biggest exports are; autos? gas? oil? technology?

The biggest exporter is Germany:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_exports
3525  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Even death is a bad business on: March 13, 2009, 03:43:58 PM
I read with a smile this article. But I have news for these folks thinking the funeral business is stable.  It isn't.  I have a patient who is in this business who is very anxious because business is bad.  I asked him how business could be bad in this field.  He said no one is splurging for anything other then the bare minimum.  The cheapest caskets the cheapest funerals.  The least expensive everything.  Business is very bad.

So why are people dying to go into this field?  It sounds like a phoney sales pitch from the schools to me:

***If nothing is certain but death and taxes, then funeral service may be the closest thing to a recession-proof career in these uncertain times.

Nowhere is that more evident than mortuary science programs like the one at Nassau Community College, where interest and applications have mounted as the economy contracts.

At Nassau, which offers the only such public program in the metropolitan area, inquiries about mortuary science are up 15 percent in recent months, and enrollment for last fall's class was nearly double the year before.

At the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Education, a private program in Manhattan, enrollment has jumped to 270 students for the spring semester, compared with 200 a year ago. The school attributes the rise to the economic downturn and the addition of an online program.
   Worried about your money? Stay on top of Wall Street and local LI business stories "They're looking for something stable, a career that will last them," said Michael Mastellone, chairman of the Nassau program. "And there will always be work out there."

Among the recent inquiries Mastellone fielded was one from a retired police officer who at 57 wondered whether there was an age limit to start the two-year program.

"He retired and his pension was fine, and now his retirement fund isn't fine anymore," Mastellone said.

He said that about 80 percent of the program's graduates are employed in the funeral service industry. Graduates can earn about $50,000 a year by the time they complete a yearlong residency at a funeral home, he said.

The demographics don't hurt, either.

"I sometimes see a twinkle in the eye of some particularly entrepreneurial students . . . as they imagine what their future will be like with the aging of baby boomers," said Regina Smith, dean of the McCallister Institute in Manhattan, in an e-mail.

What's more, funeral directors are, on average, older than workers in most other occupations, which means they will be retiring in greater numbers over the next decade, according to a U.S. Department of Labor report.

"I think we have an extremely unique career," said John Madigan, 20, of Hicksville, a second-year student at Nassau. "Not many people can do it.

"A lot of the kids I graduated from high school with . . . now they're worried about whether they'll find a job. I'm still on track."

Nassau has an enrollment of 107 students, including part-timers - an increase of nearly 20 percent over this time in 2008. The fall 2008 class was about 50 students, twice what the school normally enrolls.

The program has attracted an eclectic mix of fresh-out-of-high-school students and second careerists, who shrug off stereotypes that the profession is ghoulish or maudlin.

"I get a lot of, 'Are you sure you want to do that?' " said Arielle Gallo, 22, a second-year student from Holbrook. She was inspired by the funeral director who handled the funerals of her grandparents, who died within two months of each other when she was in high school. "It's not really about hanging around deceased people. It's about caring for the families."

For Matthew Bennett, 37, getting laid off from his job as a personal assistant was the catalyst for pursuing a career he had always wondered about.

"Losing my job gave me that push," said Bennett, a second-year student who also lives in Holbrook. "I was in a good position to go to school full-time - and it's a good job."
3526  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed on: March 13, 2009, 02:18:44 PM
"well if we're going to lose anyany, why not make it a "smaller tent" membership and restore Conservative principles and push out the so called moderates"

Prentice,
I have to respectfully disagree.  Most of the Republicans would not call themselves "religious right" though they may think of themselves as "conservatives". 
I am not exactly sure what you mean by "moderate". You and or Chad suggest that those of us who are less strict on principle are Dems lite or not really Republicans or conservatives.

Yet I am sure that most of the Rep party would fall into this group.  Without them/us, you or I like it or not the strict conservatives are a shrinking group in the overall population.  Rush doesn't get it.  Hannity doesn't get it.  Colin Powell does - in this regard IMO.

I am not sure Michael Steele has the abilities to "lead" the party but I think having a minority at the forefront is a good idea.  I would like to give him backing and the chance to try to show minorities they too have a stake in America and a real chance at the pie if they work hard, take responsibility and stop giving in to a party that is more like slave master whitey whose idea of helping them is with their benevolent handouts that was obtained by confiscation from others.

And speaking of W being born again, what the heck does that have to do with being President?
Why is a religious group running a political party?
Is it not all about abortion?  Please correct me if I am wrong.




3527  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed on: March 13, 2009, 10:22:07 AM
It was bad enough for Steele to offend the religious right's defacto spokeman Rush Limbaugh but he commited the greatest transgression after that.   I believe the religious right will force him out.  What a pity that more moderate views are simply not tolerated by the religious right.  They rightly claim that Republicans will lose much of their base by not pleasing them.  I can also tell something they won't:

The party loses millions of the women's vote because of this same view.  Sure the party would be happy to take all Balcks, Latinos, Asians.  But they must abide by all *our* beliefs.  No compormise no prisoners, no discussion.  And that folks is why we lost.
I don't know how being a Republican means I have to believe in every Christian value to be considered worthy.  There are more Republicans who are not the religious right than vice a versa.  Yet they claim to be the defacto party.  I am not afraid to stand up to them.

"RNC chief Steele clarifies his abortion stance after 'choice' remark
By Ann Sanner | The Associated Press
7:06 PM EDT, March 12, 2009
WASHINGTON - A day after a magazine quoted him as saying abortion was "an individual choice," Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said today he opposes abortion and that Roe v. Wade should be overturned.

A leading conservative called Steele's remarks in the magazine "cavalier and flippant," underscoring the new chairman's precarious position with party regulars concerned about his off-the-cuff style and penchant for miscues.

Steele, who was adopted, told GQ magazine that his mother had the option of getting an abortion or giving birth to him.

"The choice issue cuts two ways," Steele said in the wide-ranging interview published online Wednesday. "You can choose life, or you can choose abortion. You know, my mother chose life."

This morning, Steele attempted to clarify his remarks in a statement.

"I am pro-life, always have been, always will be," he said. "I tried to present why I am pro-life while recognizing that my mother had a 'choice' before deciding to put me up for adoption."

Both in the interview and in his statement, Steele said he believed Roe v. Wade was "wrongly decided." He said the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion should be overturned and the decision left to the states.

In the GQ interview, Steele said he was opposed to gay marriage but wasn't going to "beat people upside the head about it."

Steele, a Catholic and former Maryland lieutenant governor, was elected chairman of the Republican National Committee nearly six weeks ago.

Since then, Steele has compared Republicans to alcoholics on a 12-step program and called Rush Limbaugh "incendiary and ugly," though he has apologized to the conservative radio host. Steele has also promised to give the party a "hip-hop makeover" that would be "off the hook" and would attract even "one-armed midgets."

Tony Perkins, president of the conservative Family Research Council, said in a written statement that he was disappointed with Steele's remarks to the magazine on abortion and gay marriage.

"This only serves to reinforce the belief by many social conservatives that one major party is unfriendly while the other gives only lip service to core moral issues," Perkins said, "which is why many have dropped their affiliation with the GOP."

The Republican platform asserts the GOP's opposition to abortion, saying that "the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed."

In his statement, Steele said he supports the platform. "The Republican Party is and will continue to be the party of life," he said.

Steele said in the magazine interview that he believed marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman. "I just draw the line at the gay marriage," he said.

"And I'm not gonna jump up and down and beat people upside the head about it, and tell gays that they're wrong for wanting to aspire to that, and all of that craziness," he continued.

Steele said states should address gay marriage.

"Just as a general principle, I don't like mucking around with the Constitution," he said."

3528  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hands off BO, so say the polls on: March 11, 2009, 10:40:31 AM
BO is starting to get ciritcism from a few on the left and the MSmedia but only indirectly.  Here Fineman criticizes him but them lets him off the hook at the end:  " Obama is no socialist".   No of course not, he just allows a massive socialist agenda pass because he doesn't want to hurt feelings. huh

Camille Paglia criticizes many of his aides, but just not the Obama.  It's all their clumsiness - not his.  Of course.  Give the telepromter king credit whenever it may be due but criticize his aides when the opposite is due.

Go after Hillary when it is BOs obvious opinions/policies on the Palestinian - Israel issue that runs the show.

IF BO starts to fall in the polls this might just change.  But I suspect until, then the media and the left will still suck up to BO.

"Sponsored ByA Turning Tide?
Obama still has the approval of the people, but the establishment is beginning to mumble that the president may not have what it takes.


Howard Fineman
Newsweek Web Exclusive
Mar 10, 2009 | Updated: 8:37  a.m. ET Mar 10, 2009
Surfer that he is, President Obama should know a riptide when he's in one. The center usually is the safest, most productive place in politics, but perhaps not now, not in a once-in-a-century economic crisis.

Swimming in the middle, he's denounced as a socialist by conservatives, criticized as a polite accommodationist by government-is-the-answer liberals, and increasingly, dismissed as being in over his head by technocrats.

Luckily for Obama, the public still likes and trusts him, at least judging by the latest polls, including NEWSWEEK's. But, in ways both large and small, what's left of the American establishment is taking his measure and, with surprising swiftness, they are finding him lacking.

They have some reasons to be concerned. I trace them to a central trait of the president's character: he's not really an in-your-face guy. By recent standards—and that includes Bill Clinton as well as George Bush—Obama for the most part is seeking to govern from the left, looking to solidify and rely on his own party more than woo Republicans. And yet he is by temperament judicious, even judicial. He'd have made a fine judge. But we don't need a judge. We need a blunt-spoken coach.

Obama may be mistaking motion for progress, calling signals for a game plan. A busy, industrious overachiever, he likes to check off boxes on a long to-do list. A genial, amenable guy, he likes to appeal to every constituency, or at least not write off any. A beau ideal of Harvard Law, he can't wait to tackle extra-credit answers on the exam.

But there is only one question on this great test of American fate: can he lead us away from plunging into another Depression?

If the establishment still has power, it is a three-sided force, churning from inside the Beltway, from Manhattan-based media and from what remains of corporate America. Much of what they are saying is contradictory, but all of it is focused on the president:

The $787 billion stimulus, gargantuan as it was, was in fact too small and not aimed clearly enough at only immediate job-creation.
The $275 billion home-mortgage-refinancing plan, assembled by Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, is too complex and indirect.
The president gave up the moral high ground on spending not so much with the "stim" but with the $400 billion supplemental spending bill, larded as it was with 9,000 earmarks.
The administration is throwing good money after bad in at least two cases—the sinkhole that is Citigroup (there are many healthy banks) and General Motors (they deserve what they get).
The failure to call for genuine sacrifice on the part of all Americans, despite the rhetorical claim that everyone would have to "give up" something.
A willingness to give too much leeway to Congress to handle crucial details, from the stim to the vague promise to "reform" medical care without stating what costs could be cut.
A 2010 budget that tries to do far too much, with way too rosy predictions on future revenues and growth of the economy. This led those who fear we are about to go over Niagara Falls to deride Obama as a paddler who'd rather redesign the canoe.
A treasury secretary who has been ridiculed on "Saturday Night Live" and compared to Doogie Howser, Barney Fife and Macaulay Culkin in "Home Alone"—and those are the nice ones.
A seeming paralysis in the face of the banking crisis: unwilling to nationalize banks, yet unable to figure out how to handle toxic assets in another way—by, say, setting up a "bad bank" catch basin.
A seeming reluctance to seek punishing prosecutions of the malefactors of the last 15 years—and even considering a plea bargain for Bernie Madoff, the poster thief who stole from charities and Nobel laureates and all the grandparents of Boca. Yes, prosecutors are in charge, but the president is entitled—some would say required—to demand harsh justice.
The president, known for his eloquence and attention to detail, seemingly unwilling or unable to patiently, carefully explain how the world works—or more important, how it failed. Using FDR's fireside chats as a model, Obama needs to explain the banking system in laymen's terms. An ongoing seminar would be great.
Obama is no socialist, but critics argue that now is not the time for costly, upfront spending on social engineering in health care, energy or education.
Other than all that, in the eyes of the big shots, he is doing fine. The American people remain on his side, but he has to be careful that the gathering judgment of the Bigs doesn't trickle down to the rest of us.

URL: http://www.newsweek.com/id/188565© 2009 "
3529  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 10, 2009, 08:32:09 AM
Although his personal history suggests he cares not for the investor class, the successful, the business class, he really should because without them he won't have any money to put into socialistic programs he really does care about.

Taxing toilet bowel flushes, and every mile we drive with electronic eavesdropping devices on our odometers will not be enough.

Amazing huh, how surprised so many people are at BOs leftism?  There was NOTHING to suggest he was anything but.
You pretend to be Abe Lincoln  well I'll give you Abe Lincoln:

*"You can fool some of the people all of the time...."  That should be the theme of the Republicans.*



3530  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 09, 2009, 01:56:45 PM
In a similar veing to HUSS's post:

March 6, 2009 12:00 AM

Waiting Game
He’s telling the poor he’s only soaking the rich, when he’s in fact soaking everyone.

By Jonah Goldberg

‘We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” Barack Obama proclaimed many times during the campaign. He and his throngs of supporters preened in the glow of their own righteousness like cats in a puddle of sunlight. They were for “shared sacrifice” and a “new era of responsibility.” They wanted to put aside the “old politics” and the “tired arguments” of the past.

Well, where are those people now?

Obama brags — albeit dishonestly — that he’s only raising taxes on rich people. Ninety-five percent of the American people will get a tax cut, the president insists.

Well, which is it? Do the times demand shared sacrifice from us all, or from just 5 percent of Americans?
If I say to ten co-workers, “We all need to chip in together to get this done,” and then say, “So, Todd, open your wallet and give five bucks to everyone else in the room,” it would sound ridiculous. But when Obama says the same thing to 300 million Americans it’s called “leadership.”

“The problem with socialism,” Margaret Thatcher once said, “is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” What Obama is proposing isn’t socialism — yet — but it runs into the same problem. You could take all of the money made by the richest one percent in this country and it wouldn’t come close to covering government’s expenses — even if those rich people for some reason kept working.

Our income-tax system is already extremely progressive, and it provides roughly half of all government revenue (add corporate income taxes, and it covers nearly three-fifths of all government revenue). The top five percent of earners pay more than 60 percent of income taxes. The top ten percent of earners pay more than 70 percent. And the top half of earners pay just shy of 100 percent of income taxes. Estate and gift taxes are even more progressive.

Now, it’s true that the low-wage earners who pay no income taxes do contribute in other ways. Sales taxes, payroll taxes, and other hidden taxes take a mighty bite out of the working poor and lower-middle class.

And, thanks to Obama, the poor will pay even more. President Obama’s proposed carbon tax will raise the price of energy. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle in early 2008, candidate Obama admitted as much: “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.”

Liberals will defend Obama’s carbon tax by saying it’s vitally necessary to combat climate change, end our dependence on foreign oil, and boost our embryonic green industries like wind and solar. Fine, fine. We can have that argument, as weak as I think it may be.

But why isn’t Obama honest about the fact that he’s asking the working poor and middle class to pay even more? He’s the guy who talks such a big game about shared sacrifice. He’s the one talking about a “new era of responsibility.” Heck, that’s the title of his proposed budget — you know, the one that will irresponsibly explode the deficit?

Instead, Obama sticks to his promise that everyone who isn’t rich will get a “tax cut.” That tax cut, by the way, amounts to $13 dollars more a week for the typical worker, according to the Associated Press. In 2010, that cut will be worth $7.70 a week. Will that cover “skyrocketing” electricity rates? Or higher gas prices? How about higher prices for things that use energy to get manufactured, i.e. everything?

I don’t know the answer myself. Maybe $1.85 a day in 2009 and $1.10 in 2010 will cover that. But I doubt it, particularly when your job is outsourced to carbon-tax-free China or India. The point is that Obama’s rhetoric about shared sacrifice is bogus on every level.

He tells people they are the upright ones for supporting his policies when what he’s actually saying is that he’s taking from the rich and giving it to them. “Shared sacrifice” really means taking other people’s money, while “greed” is not wanting to give it up and “responsibility” is when the government takes it anyway.

In reality, he’s giving with one hand and taking with the other. He’s telling the poor he’s only soaking the rich, when he’s in fact soaking everyone. The amazing thing is that his supporters, rich and poor alike, buy it. No wonder they’re the ones they’ve been waiting for.

— Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online and the author of Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning.

© 2009 Tribune Media Services, Inc.
 
3531  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A party who would love more minorities is not racist on: March 09, 2009, 09:32:49 AM
Well the polling data that 3 out of four Democrats agree with bigger governement and the taxation of the successful for dole outs to those who are for whatever the reason not, while 3 of four Republicans do not.

And there you have it in a nutshell.
Ant then when we have what , 40% who pay no Federal income tax, every expanding government employees whose livlihoods and pensions, and retirements are dependent on maintaining this, and a mindset of immigrants who are not what it was even 50 years ago, then we have a divided and bitter electorate.

The fact that 95% of blacks as well as large proportions of latinos, (as well  as my fellow Jews - though the latter for different reasons - guilt perhaps) vote Democratic is pretty strong evidence that there are many in this country who see that evening the playing field is being on the dole.

Sorry but this if fact - the polls, election demographics are clearly proof of this.
One only has to watch the talk shows for a week to see that most of the spokespeople for these groups are saying exactly that though they often try deflect it, or camouflage it.

This does not make me a racist.  Indeed the Republicans more than anything would love to have more "diversity" in their party.
Why cannot the Republicans not attract more minorities? Because they don't believe in big government dole outs. 

That said the Republicans do not have an attractive alternative message or messenger as yet.

Just haveing a big fat white boistrous multimillionaire guy screaming about "freedom", "less government", "personal responsibility",
trickle down theory, etc. while the rich keep getting richer and the rest of us keep going no where, is not going to compete with the opposing political gamesmenship.

And having pundits screaming all we need are tax cuts and let the cards fall where they may especially while many who are losing jobs are not apying taxes to begin with ....  well how many are going to vote for that.

I was gladdened to hear Newt rumors he may run in 2012.  He is the only one so far with ideas, and a willingness and ability  to
articulate past the dead end talk of limbaugh, hannity, coulter, and that group.


 
3532  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 06, 2009, 02:43:17 PM
Actually it is only an observation from that program.  It was about a black, Michael Steele trying to reach out to other Blacks.
The response from Hughey was to the effect that he has no problem with the rich getting richer even if faster than the rest, but that the other classes are staying put.  I actually agree with him on that.  The rest of the population seems to be unable to "get ahead" though I am not at all  sure of the reasons.  However, what struck me is he feels quite comfortable with BOs confiscation of wealth to give to them. More or less what have Republicans done for "us"?
Of course not all blacks feel this way but many do.  It is obvious.  It is obvious from many who call these shows.  It is obvious from their hatred of Rebublicans.   That said many whites and Latinos certainly feel the same way.

"Maybe African Americans don't want to be involved with a party who's members view them as monetary leeches who are out for "payback"?"

The Rebublicans are not racist. It is about the money. The racial thing is either intentional/unintentional delusion.

For me it is about people, of all stripes who want the government to take care of all their needs.  The problem is that there is an ever decreasing proportion of the population that can support these dole outs.  Meanwhile the whole country is going broke and increasingly into deeper debt.

FWIW though I am a doctor I would not be in BOs target range, or fit his description of being "rich" so I am not just thinking of my own pocket here.

3533  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 06, 2009, 09:29:13 AM
Krauthammer pretty much what I feel - that BO is a massive liar and fraud.  Yet Fox came out with a poll that shows he is still popular with a 64% approval and 55% are quite happy with the "soak the rich" theme and that it is "evening the playing field".
While truly wealthy people do have an extraordary advantage over the non wealthy and the rich are getting richer faster than any other group by idea of trying to even this out was not out and out confiscation of wealth to redistribute to your fans.
Hugely expanding government so the rest of us can pay for the salaries, health care, retirement and other benefits was not my idea of moderation.

These dopes who think getting a check ot two from BO is the answer to their problems are going to bring the whole house of cards down.  It is remarkable how stupid some are.  Did anyone see Michael Steele on Hughey the other night?  I'm saddened to say that for most blacks apparantly it is all about pay back time - no more no less.  Republicans are not going to attract many Balcks no matter what they do because it is all about the checks going into their pockets.   sad

***March 06, 2009
Deception at Core of Obama Plans
By Charles Krauthammer

WASHINGTON -- Forget the pork. Forget the waste. Forget the 8,570 earmarks in a bill supported by a president who poses as the scourge of earmarks. Forget the "$2 trillion dollars in savings" that "we have already identified," $1.6 trillion of which President Obama's budget director later admits is the "savings" of not continuing the surge in Iraq until 2019 -- 11 years after George Bush ended it, and eight years after even Bush would have had us out of Iraq completely.

Forget all of this. This is run-of-the-mill budget trickery. True, Obama's tricks come festooned with strings of zeros tacked onto the end. But that's a matter of scale, not principle.

 All presidents do that. But few undertake the kind of brazen deception at the heart of Obama's radically transformative economic plan, a rhetorical sleight of hand so smoothly offered that few noticed.

The logic of Obama's address to Congress went like this:

"Our economy did not fall into decline overnight," he averred. Indeed, it all began before the housing crisis. What did we do wrong? We are paying for past sins in three principal areas: energy, health care, and education -- importing too much oil and not finding new sources of energy (as in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf?), not reforming health care, and tolerating too many bad schools.

The "day of reckoning" has now arrived. And because "it is only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we'll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament," Obama has come to redeem us with his far-seeing program of universal, heavily nationalized health care; a cap-and-trade tax on energy; and a major federalization of education with universal access to college as the goal.

Amazing. As an explanation of our current economic difficulties, this is total fantasy. As a cure for rapidly growing joblessness, a massive destruction of wealth, a deepening worldwide recession, this is perhaps the greatest non sequitur ever foisted upon the American people.

At the very center of our economic near-depression is a credit bubble, a housing collapse and a systemic failure of the entire banking system. One can come up with a host of causes: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pushed by Washington (and greed) into improvident loans, corrupted bond-ratings agencies, insufficient regulation of new and exotic debt instruments, the easy money policy of Alan Greenspan's Fed, irresponsible bankers pushing (and then unloading in packaged loan instruments) highly dubious mortgages, greedy house-flippers, deceitful homebuyers.

The list is long. But the list of causes of the collapse of the financial system does not include the absence of universal health care, let alone of computerized medical records. Nor the absence of an industry-killing cap-and-trade carbon levy. Nor the lack of college graduates. Indeed, one could perversely make the case that, if anything, the proliferation of overeducated, Gucci-wearing, smart-ass MBAs inventing ever more sophisticated and opaque mathematical models and debt instruments helped get us into this credit catastrophe in the first place.

And yet with our financial house on fire, Obama makes clear both in his speech and his budget that the essence of his presidency will be the transformation of health care, education and energy. Four months after winning the election, six weeks after his swearing in, Obama has yet to unveil a plan to deal with the banking crisis.

What's going on? "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," said Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. "This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before."

Things. Now we know what they are. The markets' recent precipitous decline is a reaction not just to the absence of any plausible bank rescue plan, but also to the suspicion that Obama sees the continuing financial crisis as usefully creating the psychological conditions -- the sense of crisis bordering on fear-itself panic -- for enacting his "Big Bang" agenda to federalize and/or socialize health care, education and energy, the commanding heights of post-industrial society.

Clever politics, but intellectually dishonest to the core. Health, education and energy -- worthy and weighty as they may be -- are not the cause of our financial collapse. And they are not the cure. The fraudulent claim that they are both cause and cure is the rhetorical device by which an ambitious president intends to enact the most radical agenda of social transformation seen in our lifetime.

letters@charleskrauthammer.com
Copyright 2009, Washington Post Writers Group****
3534  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How do you say telePromter in French? on: March 05, 2009, 07:55:58 PM
Interesting.  I wonder if Chris Matthews would still get a chill on his leg after reading this.  He seems to delight with glee and glow in anything that mocks W as being less than intellectual.

In a similar vein Lou Dobbs showed BO mistating the PE ratio as "profit" to earnings ratio.  He asked if the main stream media would have let W off the hook if *he* did that.  We all know the answer.

BO would do well to remember Lincoln's famous phrase about you can fool some of the people some of the time....

Bo is too disingenious by half.   If only the Republicans can get the right message and the right messenger (it ain't Limbaugh)....BO is finished.

***Obama's safety net: the TelePrompter
By CAROL E. LEE | 3/5/09 3:22 PM EST  \President Barack Obama doesn’t go anywhere without his TelePrompter.

The textbook-sized panes of glass holding the president’s prepared remarks follow him wherever he speaks.

Resting on top of a tall, narrow pole, they flank his podium during speeches in the White House’s stately parlors. They stood next to him on the floor of a manufacturing plant in Indiana as he pitched his economic stimulus plan. They traveled to the Department of Transportation this week and were in the Capitol Rotunda last month when he paid tribute to Abraham Lincoln in six-minute prepared remarks.

Obama’s reliance on the teleprompter is unusual — not only because he is famous for his oratory, but because no other president has used one so consistently and at so many events, large and small.

After the teleprompter malfunctioned a few times last summer and Obama delivered some less-than-soaring speeches, reports surfaced that he was training to wean himself off of the device while on vacation in Hawaii. But no such luck.

His use of the teleprompter makes work tricky for the television crews and photographers trying to capture an image of the president announcing a new Cabinet secretary or housing plan without a pane of glass blocking his face. And it is a startling sight to see such sleek, modern technology set against the mahogany doors and Bohemian crystal chandeliers in the East Room or the marble columns of the Grand Foyer.

See Also
Dueling Dems have Obama in earmark jam
GOP tries to lure Dems on housing
Reports: Obama goes gray!
“It’s just something presidents haven’t done,” said Martha Joynt Kumar, a presidential historian who has held court in the White House since December 1975. “It’s jarring to the eye. In a way, it stands in the middle between the audience and the president because his eye is on the teleprompter.”

Just how much of a crutch the teleprompter has become for Obama was on sharp display during his latest commerce secretary announcement. The president spoke from a teleprompter in the ornate Indian Treaty Room for a few minutes. Then Gov. Gary Locke stepped to the podium and pulled out a piece of paper for reference.

The president’s teleprompter also elicited some uncomfortable laughter after he announced Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as his choice for Health and Human Services secretary. “Kathy,” Obama said, turning the podium over to Sebelius, who waited at the microphone for an awkward few seconds while the teleprompters were lowered to the floor and the television cameras rolled.

Obama has relied on a teleprompter through even the shortest announcements and when repeating the same lines on his economic stimulus plan that he's been saying for months — whereas past presidents have mostly worked off of notes on the podium except during major speeches, such as the State of the Union.

 
3535  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / pretend you are one of them and then you will be able to change them on: March 05, 2009, 04:20:21 PM
The them is us.  it is America as we knew it.  The you is BO and his true agenda.  America just voted the most liberal guy in the Senate to be our leader.  Why people now are so surprised by his leftist leanings I guess comes from the humanistic natural defense mechanism of denial.

Personally I have seen enough.  Lets not be taken by his deception.  This guy will go on to "being open to all ideas and options", and "everything is on the table" etc etc.

This guy's game is now obvious.  "Pretend you are one of them, then can change them."  Thanks to Mark Levin for opening my eyes pre election about what BO is really about and what he is up to.  As he says "it is pay back time".  This is reparations time.  Problem is we will all suffer far more because of this.

Folks, the *plan* for health care reform is already done.  Just like it is for Wall Street, Gas and coal companies, businesses, those at the higher end of the pay scale, Israel, and all the rest.   This is just a dog and pony show to snooker the gullible:

****Obama open to compromise on health care overhaul
         AP – President Barack Obama delivers remarks to the White House Forum on Health Reform, Thursday, March 5, … WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama said the consensus from the White House health care summit is that there is an immediate need for health care reform, and signaled that he's open to compromise on Thursday.

Obama told participants at the end of a health summit that although he offered a plan during last year's campaign, he isn't wedded to that proposal. He told Republicans and Democrats, doctors and insurers — "I just want to figure out what works."

The president said there are some elements that all sides can agree on such as electronic health records that will save lives and money. Other issues — such as his $634 billion down payment for expanded coverage — are certain to create deep divisions.

He said: "We have to keep an open mind."

Obama invited more than 120 people who hold a wide range of views on how to fix the system.

Obama entered the room with Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, who is battling a brain tumor. After brief remarks summarizing the participants' observations, Obama called on Kennedy. The veteran Democratic senator said he looked forward to being a foot soldier in the push for health care reform and said: "this time we will not fail."

Kennedy, who recently turned 77, is battling brain cancer and has been in Florida continuing his treatment and physical rehabilitation. He chairs the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and was a strong Obama backer during the 2008 campaign.****


3536  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: March 03, 2009, 11:56:52 AM
This article is interesting.  Some of my Indian doctor friends and colleagues will be the first to tell you that the situation is now reversed.  Many Indians came to the US to practice medicine because it was better here for doctors than India.
The situation is now reversed.  They say doctors in India are better off, get more respect and have more autonomy.
Not that anyone is going to care about doctors one way or the other but this article falls along this topic:

With BO's war on success in this country why would anyone want to come here like they used to.... except low wage, uneducated, low skilled immigrants coming in for the benefits.

****Why Skilled Immigrants Are Leaving the U.S.
Vivek Wadhwa
Tuesday March 3, 2009, 8:08 am EST

As the debate over H-1B workers and skilled immigrants intensifies, we are losing sight of one important fact: The U.S. is no longer the only land of opportunity. If we don't want the immigrants who have fueled our innovation and economic growth, they now have options elsewhere. Immigrants are returning home in greater numbers. And new research shows they are returning to enjoy a better quality of life, better career prospects, and the comfort of being close to family and friends.
Earlier research by my team suggested that a crisis was brewing because of a burgeoning immigration backlog. At the end of 2006, more than 1 million skilled professionals (engineers, scientists, doctors, researchers) and their families were in line for a yearly allotment of only 120,000 permanent resident visas. The wait time for some people ran longer than a decade. In the meantime, these workers were trapped in "immigration limbo." If they changed jobs or even took a promotion, they risked being pushed to the back of the permanent residency queue. We predicted that skilled foreign workers would increasingly get fed up and return to countries like India and China where the economies were booming.

Why should we care? Because immigrants are critical to the country's long-term economic health. Despite the fact that they constitute only 12% of the U.S. population, immigrants have started 52% of Silicon Valley's technology companies and contributed to more than 25% of our global patents. They make up 24% of the U.S. science and engineering workforce holding bachelor's degrees and 47% of science and engineering workers who have PhDs. Immigrants have co-founded firms such as Google (NasdaqGS:GOOG - News), Intel (NasdaqGS:INTC - News), eBay (NasdaqGS:EBAY - News), and Yahoo! (NasdaqGS:YHOO - News).

Who Are They? Young and Well-Educated

We tried to find hard data on how many immigrants had returned to India and China. No government authority seems to track these numbers. But human resources directors in India and China told us that what was a trickle of returnees a decade ago had become a flood. Job applications from the U.S. had increased tenfold over the last few years, they said. To get an understanding of how the returnees had fared and why they left the U.S., my team at Duke, along with AnnaLee Saxenian of the University of California at Berkeley and Richard Freeman of Harvard University, conducted a survey. Through professional networking site LinkedIn, we tracked down 1,203 Indian and Chinese immigrants who had worked or received education in the U.S. and had returned to their home countries. This research was funded by the Kauffman Foundation.

Our new paper, "America's Loss Is the World's Gain," finds that the vast majority of these returnees were relatively young. The average age was 30 for Indian returnees, and 33 for Chinese. They were highly educated, with degrees in management, technology, or science. Fifty-one percent of the Chinese held master's degrees and 41% had PhDs. Sixty-six percent of the Indians held a master's and 12.1% had PhDs. They were at very top of the educational distribution for these highly educated immigrant groups -- precisely the kind of people who make the greatest contribution to the U.S. economy and to business and job growth.

Nearly a third of the Chinese returnees and a fifth of the Indians came to the U.S. on student visas. A fifth of the Chinese and nearly half of the Indians entered on temporary work visas (such as the H-1B). The strongest factor that brought them to the U.S. was professional and educational development opportunities.

What They Miss: Family and Friends

They found life in the U.S. had many drawbacks. Returnees cited language barriers, missing their family and friends at home, difficulty with cultural assimilation, and care of parents and children as key issues. About a third of the Indians and a fifth of the Chinese said that visas were a strong factor in their decision to return home, but others left for opportunity and to be close to family and friends. And it wasn't just new immigrants who were returning. In fact, 30% of respondents held permanent resident status or were U.S. citizens.

Eighty-seven percent of Chinese and 79% of Indians said a strong factor in their original decision to return home was the growing demand for their skills in their home countries. Their instincts generally proved right. Significant numbers moved up the organization chart. Among Indians the percentage of respondents holding senior management positions increased from 10% in the U.S. to 44% in India, and among Chinese it increased from 9% in the U.S. to 36% in China. Eighty-seven percent of Chinese and 62% of Indians said they had better opportunities for longer-term professional growth in their home countries than in the U.S. Additionally, nearly half were considering launching businesses and said entrepreneurial opportunities were better in their home countries than in the U.S.

Friends and family played an equally strong role for 88% of Indians and 77% of Chinese. Care for aging parents was considered by 89% of Indians and 79% of Chinese to be much better in their home countries. Nearly 80% of Indians and 67% of Chinese said family values were better in their home countries.

More Options Back Home

Immigrants who have arrived at America's shores have always felt lonely and homesick. They had to make big personal sacrifices to provide their children with better opportunities than they had. But they never have had the option to return home. Now they do, and they are leaving.

It isn't all rosy back home. Indians complained of traffic and congestion, lack of infrastructure, excessive bureaucracy, and pollution. Chinese complained of pollution, reverse culture shock, inferior education for children, frustration with government bureaucracy, and the quality of health care. Returnees said they were generally making less money in absolute terms, but they also said they enjoyed a higher quality of life.

We may not need all these workers in the U.S. during the deepening recession. But we will need them to help us recover from it. Right now, they are taking their skills and ideas back to their home countries and are unlikely to return, barring an extraordinary recruitment effort and major changes to immigration policy. That hardly seems likely given the current political climate. The policy focus now seems to be on doing whatever it takes to retain existing American jobs -- even if it comes at the cost of building a workforce for the future of America.****

3537  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Economics on: March 03, 2009, 11:23:06 AM
Pitchfork Time
by  Patrick J. Buchanan

03/03/2009


In his campaign and inaugural address, Barack Obama cast himself as a moderate man seeking common ground with conservatives.

Yet, his budget calls for the radical restructuring of the U.S. economy, a sweeping redistribution of power and wealth to government and Democratic constituencies. It is a declaration of war on the Right.

The real Obama has stood up, and lived up to his ranking as the most left-wing member of the United States Senate.

Barack has no mandate for this. He was even behind McCain when the decisive event that gave him the presidency occurred -- the September collapse of Lehman Brothers and the market crash.

Republicans are under no obligation to render bipartisan support to this statist coup d'etat. For what is going down is a leftist power grab that is anathema to their principles and philosophy.

Where the U.S. government usually consumes 21 percent of gross domestic product, this Obama budget spends 28 percent in 2009 and runs a deficit of $1.75 trillion, or 12.7 percent of GDP. That is four times the largest deficit of George W. Bush and twice as large a share of the economy as any deficit run since World War II.

Add that 28 percent of GDP spent by the U.S. government to the 12 percent spent by states, counties and cities, and government will consume 40 percent of the economy in 2009.

We are not "headed down the road to socialism." We are there.

Since the budget was released, word has come that the U.S. economy did not shrink by 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter, but 6.2 percent. All the assumptions in Obama's budget about growth in 2009 and 2010 need to be revised downward, and the deficits revised upward.

Look for the deficit for 2009 to cross $2 trillion.

Who abroad is going to lend us the trillions to finance our deficits without demanding higher interest rates on the U.S. bonds they are being asked to hold? And if we must revert to the printing press to create the money, what happens to the dollar?

As Americans save only a pittance and have lost -- in the value of homes, stocks, bonds and other assets -- $15 trillion to $20 trillion since 2007, how can the people provide the feds with the needed money?

In his speech to Congress, Obama promised new investments in energy, education and health care. Every kid is going to get a college degree. We're going to find a cure for cancer.

Who is going to pay for all this?

The top 2 percent, the filthy rich who got all those Bush tax breaks, say Democrats. But the top 5 percent of income earners already pay 60 percent of U.S. income taxes, while the bottom 40 percent pays nothing.

Those paying a federal tax rate of 35 percent will see it rise to near 40 percent and will lose a fifth of the value of their deductions for taxes, mortgage interest and charitable contributions.

Yet, two-thirds of small businesses are taxed at the same rate as individuals. Consider what this means to the owner of a restaurant and bar in Los Angeles open from noon to midnight, where a husband and wife each put in 80 hours a week.

At year's end, the couple finds they have actually made a profit of $500,000 that they can take home in salary.

What is the Obama-Schwarzenegger tax take on that salary?

Their U.S. tax rate will have hit 39.6 percent.

Their California income tax will have hit 9.55 percent.

Medicare payroll taxes on the proprietor as both employer and salaried employee will be $14,500. Social Security payroll taxes for the proprietor as both employer and employee will be $13,243.

In short, U.S. and state income and payroll taxes will consume half of all the pair earned for some 8,000 hours of work.

From that ravaged salary they must pay a state sales tax of 8.25 percent, gas taxes for the 50-mile commute, and tens of thousands in property taxes on both their restaurant and home. And, after being pilloried by politicians for having feasted in the Bush era, they are now told the tax deduction they get for contributing to the church is to be cut 20 percent, while millions of Obama voters, who paid no U.S. income tax at all, will be getting a tax cut -- i.e., a fat little check -- in April.

Any wonder native-born Californians are fleeing the Golden Land?

Markets are not infallible. But the stock market has long been a "lead indicator" of where the economy will be six months from now. What are the markets, the collective decisions of millions of investors, saying?

Having fallen every month since Obama's election, with January and February the worst two months in history, they are telling us the stimulus package will not work, that Tim Geithner is clueless about how to save the banks, that the Obama budget portends disaster for the republic.

The president says he is gearing up for a fight on his budget.

Good. Let's give him one.

3538  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed on: March 03, 2009, 10:19:33 AM
Of course everone has heard of the Steele Limbaugh thing and of course all the Democrat bent talk shows are having a field day with this. 

I agree with those who say listen to Limbaugh and the Rebs are doomed to minority status. Rush is not going to win anyone new over with this stuff.  But if the economy continues to tank and BO gets the blame than there is a chance for a Republican come back.  The only one of prominence who I see gets it is Newt who was on the other day saying that we need new ideas, we need to take conservatism, Reagonism to the next level.  We can't just throw out the same old song and dance. Newt is the only one of prominence who I agree with.  I think Steele is on the right track but I don't think he is quite level of spokeperson needed.  Only Newt can IMO that I can see.  Romeny might be able to but I am not sure if he can attract new faces.
 
****RUSH: I was not going to talk about Michael Steele. I have had e-mails from the Drive-By Media. I have had interview requests to be on television shows to talk about Michael Steele and what he said about my speech Saturday night. He was on CNN and I was going to ignore it, but so many of you are e-mailing me asking me to respond to this that I have changed my mind and I'm going to do so. Here is what has prompted all of the irritation at Michael Steele. He was on the D. L. Hughley show on CNN Saturday night, and the other voice you'll hear is the other guest, the rapper Chuck D. They had this exchange about me.

HUGHLEY: Rush Limbaugh, who is the de facto leader of the Republican Party --

STEELE: No, he's not.

HUGHLEY: Well, I'll tell you what, I've never --

STEELE: I'm the de facto leader of the Republican Party.

HUGHLEY: Then you know what? Then I can appreciate that, but no -- no one will -- will actually pry down some of the things he says, like when he comes out and says that he wants the president to fail, I understand he wants liberalism to fail.

STEELE: How is that any different than what was said about George Bush during his presidency? Let's put it into context here. Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. Rush Limbaugh, the whole thing is entertainment. Yes, it's incendiary, yes, it's ugly --

RUSH: Okay, so I am an entertainer, and I have 20 million listeners, 22 million listeners because of my great song-and-dance routines here. Yes, said Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, I'm incendiary, and yes, it's ugly. Michael Steele, you are head of the RNC. You are not head of the Republican Party. Tens of millions of conservatives and Republicans have nothing to do with the RNC and right now they want nothing to do with it, and when you call them asking them for money, they hang up on you. I hope that changes. I hope the RNC will get its act together. I hope the RNC chairman will realize he's not a talking head pundit, that he is supposed to be working on the grassroots and rebuilding it, and maybe doing something about our open primary system and fixing it so that Democrats do not nominate our candidates. It's time, Mr. Steele, for you to go behind the scenes and start doing the work that you were elected to do instead of trying to be some talking head media star, which you're having a tough time pulling off. I hope you figure out how to run a primary system. But it seems to me that it's Michael Steele who is off to a shaky start. 
 
 
My parents taught me when I was growing up that you always stood behind people who defended you, you never abandoned people who stood up for you and who defended you against assault. Michael Steele was a candidate for the Senate in Maryland. Michael Steele was on this program, he got airtime on this program to attempt to refute the lies being told about him by Michael J. Fox in those famous ads way back when that were also run against Jim Talent in Missouri. I personally took time to defend Michael Steele and to rip the substance of those ads, had him on the show. I went after Chuck Schumer when Chuck Schumer's former employee stole Michael Steele's private credit record information and released it. When I went to Washington a couple years ago for a personal appearance from my station there, WMAL, WMAL arranged for a number of dignitaries to meet me backstage. One of them was Michael Steele, who thanked me very much for coming to his defense. Something's happened. Now I'm just an entertainer and now I am ugly and my program is incendiary.

Michael Steele has been around long enough to know that the liberal media will use him by twisting what I say or what others say. He took the bait, he bit down hard on the bait, he launched an attack on me even though the premise of what was said to him was false. He took the bait and he went for it. Now, Mr. Steele, if it is your position as the chairman of the Republican National Committee that you want a left wing Democrat president and a left wing Democrat Congress to succeed in advancing their agenda, if it's your position that you want President Obama and Speaker Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid to succeed with their massive spending and taxing and nationalization plans, I think you have some explaining to do. Why are you running the Republican Party? Why do you claim you lead the Republican Party when you seem obsessed with seeing to it that President Obama succeeds? I frankly am stunned that the chairman of the Republican National Committee endorses such an agenda. I have to conclude that he does because he attacks me for wanting it to fail.

This isn't complicated stuff here, folks. It's difficult to organize the defeat of Obama and the Democrat Congress in 2012, if we want to. It's going to be difficult enough, but on one hand it shouldn't be difficult at all. But it's going to be really hard, Mr. Steele, if you, as the chairman of the RNC, want Obama to succeed. Where does the Republican Party go if you, who are supposed to be redesigning our primary system and helping reestablish our grassroots movement, how are we going to retake elective office if you want this agenda of Obama's and Pelosi's and Reid's to succeed. My colleagues in talk radio can attest to this next point. We get press release after press release after press release from the Republican National Committee attacking the Democrat agenda. They send us points of refutation. I never use them 'cause I don't need them. But they send out all these points of refutation about how this part of what Dingy Harry wants or Pelosi wants is wrong, is wrong, is wrong. Why are you sending out these things, Mr. Steele? Why is your office sending out all these talking points to defeat the Democrat agenda in Congress if your position is you want it to succeed? And I don't understand why you're asking Republicans to donate to the Republican National Committee if their money is going to be spent furthering the agenda of Barack Obama.

If we don't want Obama and Reid and Pelosi to fail, then why does the RNC exist, Mr. Steele? Why are you even raising money? What do you want from us? If I want Obama and Democrats to succeed, I suppose we should be sending the RNC donations? You know, these people, it's a bizarre discussion to have because there's a news story on this, on this feud now between me and Michael Steele. And listen to this. This is a quote from RNC spokesman, Alex Conant, I'm not sure how he pronounces his last name. "The feud between radio host Rush and Rahm makes great political theater, but it is a sideshow to the important work going on in Washington. RNC Chairman Michael Steele and elected Republicans are focused on fighting for reform and winning elections. The Democrats' problem is that the American people are growing skeptical of the massive government spending being pushed by congressional leaders like [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi."

Mr. Steele, your spokesman sounds like the RNC wants 'em to fail, to me. You're opposing 'em. You say the American people are growing weary of it, getting suspicious of it. But it's not just Pelosi's spending. It's Obama's. Where are your guts? Why can't you tie Obama to these policies? They're his! Where are your guts? (interruption) Snerdley, they don't want me doing the dirty work because when I go out there and, quote, unquote, do the dirty work, they try to cut me off at the knees for doing so. The point is, when you read that statement from Alex Conant, they're opposed to the Obama agenda, too, they're just too gutless to say so, and they get frightened when they hear the words, "I want Obama to fail." "Oh, no, no, no, we can't be associated with that." Yet you're sending out all these talking points designed to help people explain to other people why the Obama agenda is wrong. So I think it's bizarre. They put out statements and press releases damning Obama and Pelosi policies and they object when somebody like me says he doesn't want them to succeed.

Now, if it's the purpose of the Republican National Committee to urge the success of the Obama and congressional agenda, then stop sending these press releases here. I don't want 'em anymore. Stop sending all these quotes and facts and figures to prove how the Obama and Pelosi agenda is full of lies. I don't want to see it anymore, because you don't believe it. Why are you even sending these things out, Mr. Steele? It's amazing how many Republican politicians contact this show wanting on it. It's amazing how many Republicans want to come on this show. It's amazing how many send this show an endless number of press releases, their PR flacks are constantly sending me press releases and points, Congressman X saying this, special interest group X saying that, hoping I will mention it, hoping I will promote their cause. Why do they work so hard to be on this show? Why are they so eager to get me to take up their cause? I'm just an entertainer, ugly, incendiary, they say. We don't discuss current issues or policies or history or economics. So on the one hand, they had their PR flaks inundating me every day with this group or this congressman's doing that. I'm supposed to take it and make this or that congressman look good or this or that RNC chairman look good. And then they do what they do.

They chicken out when I happen to articulate exactly what their agenda really is. They don't have the guts to admit it, and I do. I'm going further and telling you today it's not that I want Obama to fail; that's not it anymore. The president is presiding over economic failure. The president is watching it, doing nothing about it. He's watching unemployment grow; he's watching the stock market plummet; he is watching people sign up for unemployment. The president of the United States is doing nothing to stop the downward spiral of this economy. He has no economic recovery plan. The truth is, the president of the United States and Rahm Emanuel, who, remember, said, "Crisis is too great a thing to waste." What does that mean? They want you suffering, they want you miserable, they want it worse, they want you rejecting conservatism. They want you rejecting capitalism. They want you turning to them in fear and desperation and angst for an immediate fix to the problem. They want you thinking you have no ability to fix your own problems. They think you have and they want you to have no ability to take care of yourself. So as the stock market now approaches minus 2,800 since Obama was elected, the statement today is to speed up the economic recovery, we're going to focus on health care. Ask yourself how that is going to get you your next job.

One other thing. Mr. Steele, if you want to lead the Republican Party, as you say you do, then you need to run for and win the presidency. You are chairman of the Republican National Committee. That is your job. To run the Republican establishment bureaucracy and prove you can defeat Democrats and elect Republicans, to come up with a new primary system that eliminates Democrats participating in ours and choosing our candidates and getting the grassroots revved up again. This is how you're going to be measured, not by how entertaining or cute you are on talk shows. By the same token, I'm not in charge of the Republican Party, and I don't want to be. I would be embarrassed to say that I'm in charge of the Republican Party in the sad-sack state that it's in. If I were chairman of the Republican Party, given the state that it's in, I would quit. I might get out the hari-kari knife because I would have presided over a failure that is embarrassing to the Republicans and conservatives who have supported it and invested in it all these years. I certainly couldn't say I am proud of the Republican Party, as I am leading the Republican Party. Right now the Republican Party needs to be led, and it will be. The next Republican president is going to be the head of the party. Last time I checked, I don't think Mr. Steele is running.

And finally, Mr. Steele, we do like to entertain people here. The audience is very smart, sir. They know the difference between entertainment, and they know the difference between deadly serious issues that affect their country. Don't underestimate the intelligence of this audience or Republicans and conservatives generally. The biggest problem with all of you who live inside the Beltway is you look out over America and you think you see idiocy and unsophisticated people, ignorant people, and when you're looking at liberal Democrats, largely you're correct, but your own voters are every bit as informed, involved, engaged, and caring, if not more so than you are. We don't care, first and foremost, about the success of the Republican Party. We care about the United States of America and its future, because we cherish it and love it, and we know what it is that made it the greatest nation on earth, and we don't hear you articulating that you understand that, not just you, Mr. Steele, but hardly anybody else in Washington, DC. So send those fundraising requests out, and, by the way, when you send those fundraising requests out, Mr. Steele, make sure you say, "We want Obama to succeed." So people understand your compassion. Republicans, conservatives, are sick and tired of being talked down to, sick and tired of being lectured to, and until you show some understanding and respect for who they are, you're going to have a tough time rebuilding your party.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT
 
 
RUSH: Hey, psst, folks, just a little secret between us. Don't tell anybody, all right? This is just between us. Don't tell the Drive-Bys. The Drive-Bys were tuning in for that because they've been asking me for quotes on this. So the way they're gonna interpret -- and really don't tell anybody, this is between us, because I don't want this getting out beyond the show -- the way they are going to interpret what I just did in response to Michael Steele is, "Oh, this is great, this is great! Emanuel's strategy is working great, the Republican Party and Limbaugh are splitting apart, there's a feud, there's infighting." They will miss the whole point, and even if there are any Drive-Bys listening while I tell them the real point, they will reject it because it doesn't fit their template. What happened starting Saturday -- actually, CPAC started on Thursday, but what culminated with my speech on Saturday at CPAC was the reawakening of a huge sleeping giant that is ready to rumble, and that is American conservatism, which is found in the Democrat Party, it's found among independents, and it's found in the Republican Party.

More Americans live their lives as conservatives than you would believe. They don't get their paychecks and walk down the street and say, "Hi, you want some of this?" They'll vote for people who will do it for them, but they're trying to raise their kids right and make money, save money. They've got morality and values, most of them, not all, but most, they may not vote that way, but they live that way. They're waiting to be awakened and that awakening has started. The pressure is on the Republican Party to be more Democrat Party-like, and too many Republicans in Washington want to make that happen. Well, just the opposite is going to happen. The sleeping conservative giant has been awakened here. It's a beautiful thing. ****
 
 
END TRANSCRIPT
 
3539  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 01, 2009, 09:13:59 PM
Another sensible analysis of BO's diatribe.  When you think in these terms one can only come to the conclusion the BO is nuts and a total BS artist.   Endless contradictions:

***Jan. 26, 2009
Obama shoots for Mars

By Larry Elder

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | President Barack Obama, on Tuesday night, gave his first presidential address before Congress. He looked good, sounded great, and delivered his address with poise and confidence. He entered the Capitol and made his way through the applauding throng like a modern-day Moses slowly parting the Red Sea.

The moment was certainly historic, and all Americans — or at least nearly all Americans — took pride in living in a country that went from a Constitution that defined a black as three-fifths of a person to one where a black person could be elected President of the United States. Some journey!

But when the applause died down, the President took out a scattergun and attempted to hit everything in sight. He confidently asserted his and our intention to overcome the current economic downturn and march toward an even brighter future.

How? Government/taxpayers will spend our way to the summit.

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com 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.
 
He/Congress/we will "invest" in health care and education; "save or create" 3.5 million jobs; "cure cancer within our lifetime"; provide assistance to the states; "save our planet from the ravages of climate change"; save banks and other financial institutions while holding "accountable those responsible" for their problems; increase the size of the military; end torture (presumably he meant of our enemies); and cut the size of the deficit.

What?! Nothing about crafting a college football playoff?

After the President's speech, the political commentators fell over themselves in complimenting the President. Many said things like "he aimed high," "he set out an ambitious agenda," and "he outlined a vigorous list of expected accomplishments."

Economist Thomas Sowell uses a three-pronged test to examine government's "new ideas." 1) How much will it cost? 2) Who pays? 3) Will it work? Few of the post-speech analysts seemed to care.

One waited in vain for the political experts to point out that the President's spending spree must come from somewhere — taxes or borrowing or printing.

And, as an aside, how would the press have reacted had former President George W. Bush claimed — as did Obama — that America "invented the automobile"?

Suppose Bush steered a shopping cart down the aisle, packed it with everything in sight that he could grab, pushed it to the cashier, and then said, "You mean I gotta pay?"

The President, on Tuesday night, promised to both lower taxes and raise taxes. He promised to both reduce spending and increase it. He promised to expand education while simultaneously claiming that education begins in the home. He promised to bail out homeowners — "responsible" ones — while insisting that Americans take responsibility for living beyond our means and making bad choices.

He promised to provide financial assistance to states while never mentioning the states' fiscal irresponsibility. He said, "There are 57 police officers who are still on the streets of Minneapolis tonight because this plan prevented the layoffs their department was about to make," yet said nothing about whether that state budgeted or spent responsibly.

He unilaterally abolished the notion that "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch." Under his administration, the free lunch not only exists, but government bureaucrats provide takeout or delivery.

The President, last night, mentioned no total price tag for all this largesse. He did say, however, that he intends to raise taxes on the 2 percent of Americans making more than $250,000. Somehow he expects to burden "the rich" still more and not affect their behavior. Already, the top 1 percent pays nearly 40 percent of all federal income taxes.

The President, as he said during the campaign, promised to lower taxes on 95 percent of Americans. Of course, nearly 30 percent of working Americans pay zero in federal income taxes. But they, too, will get checks. And, Obama said to applause, the "checks are on the way."

The President sketched out a federal government grab larger than any in the history of our nation. His administration intends to bail out and oversee everything from banks to car manufacturers to lemonade stands.

Be not afraid about waste, mismanagement or politically directed spending. To ensure that our money is spent properly, the Obama administration intends to post the allocations on the Internet, ensuring wise and appropriate fund distribution.

Do those who voted against the President "want him to fail"? No, those who opposed the President want America to succeed. The formula for that success has a long and impressive track record: lower taxes, rein in government spending, and promote free trade. Let's put it another way: Remove government's boot from the neck of the American worker, businessperson and entrepreneur.

Set them free. Watch what happens.****

3540  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 01, 2009, 08:50:30 PM

I heard on a cable show yesterday Hitler and the occult how is was the "opportunity" of the Great Depression that directly led to the proliferation of Nazi after 1929.  The Nazi party was not a serious contender for power until after the collapse of the stock market.  While the Democrats are not Nazis there is this similarity with using an economic crash as a means to shove through soical change along with demogagory, propaganda, and centralization of power to the government.

Here is one piece to that effect though others can be found:


***Nazis on the Rise

The Great Depression

When the New York stock market crashed in October of 1929, the Great Depression struck Germany like a thunder bolt splitting a tree. Unemployment rate, poverty, hunger, and chaos increased rapidly. On the other hand, the Nazi party was delighted to see this occur. Bad times for Germany meant good times for the Nazis. Before the depression, the Nazi party was never much of a factor in the politics of Germany without much success in winning the government over the new Weimar Republic. However, when the depression hit, it gave the party a wonderful chance to shine and it ultimately paved a passage for the Nazis to ride all the way to the top.

By 1930, millions and millions of unemployed and poverty strickened citizens wanted changes to be made by the new Republic to help with the bad conditions. The Republic, however, was unable to make any effective changes to assist the people. At the same time, both sides of the extremist, with the communists on one end and the Nazis on the other end, promised extreme and drastic changes that might resolve the bad situations. In the 1930 election, both extreme parties won big over the Republic. However, the Nazis were extremely overjoyed as they beat the communist party by more than two million votes. This would begin a stretch of Nazi rule. Three years later, Hitler's dream finally came true. He was finally appointed as the chancellor or the head of the government. This would begin a reign of terror.

Propaganda

 The propaganda of the Nazi party during and after the Great Depression was very successful. It appealed to many German citizens especially to their needs during those poor conditions. The propaganda ususally stressed improvements on unemployment, social security, war reparations to foreign countries and tariffs. However, the Nazi propagandist also influenced the general public on the Nazi concept of antisemitism against the so called "inferior race." The propaganda throughout the Nazi regime were mainly antisemitic against the Jews. However, the success of the propaganda and the great influence of the Nazis all led to the horrifying event of the Holocaust.

Nazi Theories

After Hitler's rise to the seat of the chancellor, the Nazi party fully adopted the racial theory of a race being more superior than another. It was this theoretical basis that led to the destruction of so many millions of Jews, Gypsies, handicapped, Soviet P.O.Ws, homosexuals, and other so called "inferior race." The idea of the Aryan race being the purist was fully planted into the minds of many Nazis including Hitler. Another theory Hitler believed in is total dictatorship. In his book Mein Kampf Hitler described the concept of unconditional authority belonging to the leader which in turn creates a totalirarian government and a dictatorship. Besides that, he also mentioned the Darwinistic concept of survival of the fittest with life always being a struggle. Again, his Darwinistic concepts allowed him and the Nazi to rise to the top creating a dominant and dictatorial government and also to terminate the so called "weaker race" and that was one of the reason that enabled the Nazis to be a huge success.

Hitler in Control

 After Hitler came to power, situations began to change in the country of Germany. For beginners, Hitler called for a free election to be held in March. It was the last free election until 1949. Nazis, trying to ensure on the winning side, did everything to gather voters. Besides that, they also tried to eliminate their opponents. Just one week before the election, the government building of Reichstag caught fire. The Nazis, who most likely set the fire, blamed and accused the Communists for the fire. This way, the Communist were prevented from being at the election and the seats in the government. Hitler then slowly took control of the government after the election , but was able to do it without gaining power illegally. He, somehow was able to pass the Enabling Act through the cabinet which gave hime dictatorial power. The provisions of the legislature was unable to stop Hitler to become a dictator. Thus the legislature gave Hitler the absolute power to the country.****


3541  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: March 01, 2009, 08:14:19 PM
The Broder piece IS a "knock me down with a feather" piece.  The libs can deconstruct Republican criticism as obstructionist and party hack stuff but not Broder.

He stated the problem very well indeed.

BO, as my sister has pointed out, has ensured we will unlike the "greatest generation" of our parents and grandparents be know as the worst, "most selfish" generation.

I have come to the conclusion that BO has to fail and fail now.  It will result in great pain but it is better if we get him and Pelosi and the other lunes out now rather again kick the can down the road. 

But I have no faith in Republicans either.  They blew it when they had the chance.  To hear Tom Delay ciriticising the spending spree on cable the other day was weird being his own history of corruption and wildly spending bedfellows.  We need a real Abe Lincoln.

When we start hearing Blacks criticising BO (other than the few tokens like, Michael Steele) than we know that Americans have awakened to the craziness of this spending spree.  But I am not holding my breath.

As of now most Blacks are convinced that the time for reparations has come and they are mostly euphoric with the concept of evening the score (IMHO).  I am saddened that so many of them still feel this way.
3542  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: February 27, 2009, 04:17:04 PM
***Correct me if I'm wrong, but liberal American Jews would rather stand quiet while Israel is destroyed before they would ever support a moose hunting, peace through strength, conservative for Commander in Chief, just as Catholics pull the lever for for abortionist supporting candidates at the same rate as the rest of the country because of other liberal priorities.***

I am afraid so.  Republicans are worse than Nazis to the far left liberal Jews.
3543  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: February 27, 2009, 02:14:41 PM
***Congressional staffers and mid-level bureaucrats will be making very important decisions for people they never met.***

They will be getting their advice from ivory tower New England liberal health care policy types a few are MDs and most are phDs who write the flow charts and policies with the idea of providing as much universal coverage in a cost effective way.  They are looking at populations, and budgets, not individuals.  These people are from Harvard Yale the usual know it all suspects.

 
3544  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: February 27, 2009, 08:54:18 AM
Only one question.
Why are they blasting Hillary?
The anger should be directed at the source - BO.
Are they afraid to go after him?  Politically incorrect?
Because he is black?
Because he is otherwise the liberal socialist they dreamed of for decades?
I don't recall ever hearing a black express sadness by the Jewish holocaust.  Yet I hear about the "Black holocaust".
I happen to agree the blacks did have a form of holocaust and this deserves the recognition but I say Jews and Blacks are not as aligned as the liberal Jews run around spouting for whatever their motives in so doing.
3545  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: February 26, 2009, 06:39:35 PM

There is simply no way to provide health care to 48 million more people without taking money or benefits from those who already do have paid coverage

How is the 634 billion health care proposal going to be funded?

Much of the money is to be generated from squeezing private insurers who are in the Medicare Advantage program.  They now get more than Medicare alone pays but will soon get no more than 100% thus to make money they will have to cut costs more than Medicare.  This will no doubt result in less benefits, more costs to patients, and much more controlled care.  If yo think your HMO is controlling you now this will be child's play to what we will see. 

The smaller players will fail.  There will be consolidation and the around 15 big players who provide around 70% of it now may stop providing this service to Medicare recipients altogether.  More Hospitals will go out of business. Most are in the red now anyway.
Most physicians will already get further squeezed more than they already are.  As a primary care physician I am one of the few that may get a pitance more (5% is tossed about).  But the big BO gov. will simply find another way to get it back somewhere else so this essentially meaningless raise is just that.   


*****Obama health plan opens tough negotiation
 President Barack Obama's prescription for the nation's ailing health care system comes with Medicare cuts and tax hikes — usually poison pills that doom any overhaul effort in Congress.

But the budget Obama proposed Thursday is not a finished blueprint for overhauling health care. Rather it's the opening bid in a tough negotiation. Anybody who's been in a bargaining session knows you never end up with your opening bid.

Obama is asking Congress: If you're going to cover an estimated 48 million uninsured Americans in the world's costliest medical system, how do you pay for it?

Obama's plan would set aside $634 billion over 10 years in a major effort to cover all Americans — a goal that could cost more than $1 trillion. Half the money would come from tax increases on upper-income earners; the other half from cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Private insurance plans serving Medicare seniors would take the biggest hit, but hospitals, drug companies and home health agencies also face cuts.

Republicans and fiscally conservative Democrats are sure to disagree with Obama's specifics, but they may quietly applaud his determination to pay for health care reform, instead of adding to the deficit.

"This is a serious effort to get the process moving," said Mark McClellan, a doctor and health economist who ran Medicare for former President George W. Bush. "The specific financing proposals are going to have a very tough time."

Obama's approach is a conscious departure from the path former President Bill Clinton took in the 1990s. Clinton's 1,300-page health care bill tried to answer every question and ultimately went nowhere. Obama is asking Congress to fill in the blanks.

"He's outlining these cuts as examples of places where savings can be accrued," said Christine Ferguson, a health policy professor at George Washington University. "You put those on the table, and if people want to have this discussion, they have to propose alternatives."

Whether that dialogue succeeds depends not just on Obama, but on Congress and interest groups representing insurers and doctors, hospitals and drug companies, consumers and small business.

Clinton's top priority was to get everybody covered quickly. Obama has framed the problem differently, focusing on how to slow rising costs, so that everybody can eventually be covered.

"What the president is doing is bold, but it's not overreaching," said economist Robert Reischauer, president of the Urban Institute research center. "The administration is coming to grips with the reality that this will cost a lot of money, and it's committed to paying for it."

The tricky part is in the details.

For example, more than half of Obama's spending cuts would come from Medicare managed care plans. The private plans cost the government 14 percent more on average than care for seniors in traditional Medicare. That translates into lower out-of-pocket costs for seniors, who in a bad economy have been flocking to the plans, increasing enrollment to about 10 million.

"People are flooding into the program," said Dan Mendelson, president of Avalere Health, an information company serving government and the health care industry. "I don't think cuts of this magnitude ultimately are going to be palatable to Congress."

Obama would replace the current payments with a competitive bidding system estimated to save $177 billion over 10 years. That sent insurance company shares skidding Thursday on Wall Street. But some market analysts said there may be a silver lining: While competitive bidding could decrease profit margins, it might generate higher revenues for insurers if seniors keep signing up.

America's Health Insurance Plans, the insurance industry trade group, wasn't ready to leave the bargaining table.

While warning that Obama's cuts would "jeopardize the health security" of seniors, the group's president, Karen Ignagni, said insurers "are committed to doing our share" to expand coverage.****


3546  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Politics on: February 26, 2009, 05:04:09 PM
Moved to "The Electoral Process" thread:  Marc
3547  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: North Korea on: February 26, 2009, 04:58:37 PM
If Ronald Reagan didn't pursue what the left derided as "star wars" we wouldn't be able to do this now would we?

****ABC News' Martha Raddatz, Adm. Timothy Keating, head of the U.S. Pacific Commands, said that the military is prepared to shoot down any North Korean ballistic missile -- if President Obama should give the order.

There are reports that Kim Jung Il is advancing his nuclear plans for North Korea and Washington is watching closely. Admiral Keating says that the U.S. military is ready and prepared to respond to the launch of any missiles by North Korea.
(AP Photos)"If a missile leaves the launch pad we'll be prepared to respond upon direction of the president," Keating told ABC News. "I'm not a betting man but I'd go like 60/40, 70/30 that it will, they will attempt to launch a satellite. There's equipment moving up there that would indicate the preliminary stages of preparation for a launch. So I'd say it's more than less likely."

"Should it look like it's not a satellite launch -- that it's something other than a satellite launch -- we'll be ready to respond."

Intelligence reports suggest that North Korea is preparing a long-range missile test. Earlier this week, North Korea announced its plans to send a satellite into orbit as part of its space program.

However, many in the international community assert that North Korea's satellite test is simply a means of concealing a long-range missile test -- a move that would flare existing tension in the region.

Related
Will North Korea Launch a Long-Range Missile?NKorea Building Underground Fuel Facility?Clinton Fears North Korean Power StruggleKeating said that the military is ready to respond with at least five different systems: destroyer, Aegis cruiser, radar, space-based system and ground-based interceptor. All of these work in conjunction with one another to protect against any missile threat.

 Destroyers are fast, multi-purpose warships that can be used in almost any type of naval operation. They would likely play a defensive role, helping to repel an air attack and offering a platform for gunfire and missiles to hit airborne objects.

 The Aegis cruiser is part of the Navy's computer-based command and control system that integrates radar and missiles to fight against land, air and sea attacks. For Keating, the Aegis combat system can tracks threats and counter any short- or medium-range missiles.


 Radars vary in type and design, but the military would likely employ a range of sea-based and early warning radars to detect the presence of a North Korean missile, track warheads' movement and more easily home in on the position of a missile to knock it down.

 Space-based infrared system is a defense system that provides warning of any missile launches, detecting the threat and employing other tools to obliterate it.

 Ground-based interceptor is a weapon that seeks and destroys incoming ballistic missiles outside of the earth's atmosphere. Its sensors give the military the ability to locate and obliterate a North Korean missile.

"We will be fully prepared to respond as the president directs," Keating said. "Everything that we need to be ready is ready. So that's ready twice in one sentence, but we're not kidding, it doesn't take much for us to be fully postured to respond."****
3548  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Intel Matters on: February 26, 2009, 03:50:01 PM
****More surprisingly, they also differ rather sharply from the views -- or at least the views stated during the campaign -- of the president who has invited him to serve.****

More evidence of the real intent and devious nature of BO.
Remember Alinsky - pretend you are one of them and then you can change them - or in this case screw them.
This is BO's true intent.

This is in perfect sync with the 900 million BO is giving to Hamas/Gaza for humanitarian aid.

I don't believe this will end well.

When I meant that republicans need to alter their thinking I menat to do more to reach out to Blakcs and Latinos who are becoming an increasing proportion of the population.

I didn't mean we should roll over and become liberals and fools.  Or that Rep should simply agree with the Dems. 
3549  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: February 26, 2009, 03:14:51 PM
***Obama has soft-pedaled Iran's nuclear efforts, for which that country slapped him in the face for his naïveté by stepping up their program, including an operational test this week and a promise to redouble enrichment efforts***

What would anyone with a brain expect?  The only surprising thing is that Iran is open about its intentions.  IF they were really wise they'd pretend they want to dance with the BO.

He may have been brought up a Christian but his middle name is still Hussain.
The Blacks he hung out with hate Jews.  Many of my co Jews like to explain that we have a lot in common with Blacks and all being both groups have been oppressed.  Yet they fail to see that Blacks don't see it that way - bieng Jews are so successful, well to do and educated etc and they are not.  Many Jews had blacks clean their homes, due their gardening etc.   Wasn't Joe Louis and many other famous blacks in the entertainment industry robbed totally blind by their Jewish managers?  Remember Spike Lee said Hollywood is controlled by the Jews?

Blacks do not see the similarities with the Jews as the liberal Jews see with them.

So all my Jewish friends who love BO - you are being taken.

3550  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / animals on: February 25, 2009, 06:47:01 PM
I recall watching a cable show on chimps (animal planet, nat geo, or discovery - I don't rmember which one) and they show how chimps from one clan I think literally butchered a baby chimp from another.  It was rather brutul and not the charming portrait we usually see of Tarzan and Cheetah.  I think it was a territorial issue like noted below:

****Health & ScienceAdd Time News
Why the Stamford Chimp Attacked
By Bryan Walsh
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009
In this Oct. 20, 2003 photo, Travis, then a 10-year-old chimpanzee, sits in the corner of his playroom at the home of Sandy and
The 200-lb. chimp named Travis, whose owner, Sandra Herold, 70, raised him as part of her own family, had no history of violence — aside from one incident in 2003, when he escaped and stopped traffic in Stamford for hours. But when Charla Nash, 55, a friend of Herold's, visited on Monday afternoon, Travis suddenly lashed out at her. The 14-year-old chimpanzee latched onto Nash's face and tore it apart. (See pictures of animals facing extinction.)

The victim's injuries were reportedly gruesome; the head paramedic who treated Nash on the scene told the New York Times that he had "never seen anything this dramatic on a living patient." Nash remains in extremely critical condition. The chimp was shot dead by a police officer, who was also attacked.

But even as investigators try to figure out exactly what triggered Travis's attack (he had been suffering from Lyme disease, which in rare cases is linked to psychotic behavior), the reality is that a chimpanzee living among people is simply a ticking time bomb. No matter how many years it has lived peacefully as a pet, a chimpanzee is not a domesticated animal and can snap without warning. "They are wild animals, and all wild animals are potentially dangerous," says Colleen McCann, a primatologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and New York's Bronx Zoo. "They are not pets. This is tragic, but it's not surprising." (See pictures of animals in space.)

It might be hard to imagine that a chimpanzee — familiar from zoos, animal shows and slapstick comedies like Cannonball Run — could be capable of the kind of savage violence inflicted on Nash. Travis himself was reportedly a beloved figure around Stamford; he was recognizable from television commercials, could bathe and dress himself and use a computer — qualities that made him seem dangerously close to human.

But adult chimpanzees might be better described as superhuman — a 200-lb. chimpanzee is five to seven times stronger than a person of the same size, especially in the upper body. "They are incredibly powerful, and people underestimate that," says McCann. "An adult male chimpanzee is a formidable animal. I would not want to be standing next to one." (See pictures of animals with prosthetic limbs.)

Nor are wild chimpanzees the docile, childlike creatures portrayed on TV. Highly territorial, chimpanzees will attack and kill other chimps. Though mostly vegetarian, they will also hunt and kill other animals for food; young male chimpanzees in Africa have been known to fashion crude weapons and use them to hunt bushbabies for meat. Attacks on human beings are rare, but they do happen — and the results are often catastrophic. The former NASCAR driver St. James Davis, who raised a chimpanzee as a pet, was attacked by escaped chimps at an animal sanctuary in 2005; he was left with injuries and disfigurement so severe that doctors kept him in a medically induced coma for three months. (See pictures of the 50th running of the Daytona 500.)

Pet chimpanzees are also reservoirs of disease and can pass along infections like yellow fever, monkey pox and the Marburg virus to their human keepers.

Despite the potential threat chimpanzees pose, many U.S. states, including Connecticut, legally allow people to raise them as pets. Primatologists like McCann argue that chimpanzees should never be kept privately, and the WCS supports the Captive Primate Safety Act, a bill pending in Congress that would ban the private selling of primates as pets. The bill has stalled since it was introduced in 2005, but the Stamford assault may well renew its debate. "This is a tragedy for the families involved, for the animal and for the community — but it's not a unique story," says McCann. "When humans keep wild animals as pets, they pose a danger, and more times than not it will end in tragedy."

In Travis's case, his owner was forced to call 911, then attack and repeatedly stab him — a cherished pet she had reared for years — with a butcher knife in a desperate attempt to save her friend.****
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