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3701  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: BO's friends and appointments on: October 09, 2009, 09:46:20 AM
True personal responsibility is losing favor it seems to me.
Our way of life is getting too hard for many.
Thus we see more people taking advantage wherever they can.
Soaking the system is a way of life in America.
And Obama is exponentially expanding this.  There is no no question in my mind he is ruining our country as we knew it.
Question is what will become of us?

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

3702  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / LOL look who won in 2005 on: October 09, 2009, 09:34:24 AM
Well not only did Arafat win the prize, the guy who was happy to see suicide bombers murder innocent travelers in ariplanes and was one of the original architects of what we now call terrorism look at who won the prize in 2005!

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

What a joke.

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

Come to think of it perhaps the Russians, Chinese, or Iranians bribed those guys in Sweden.
3703  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Iran on: October 08, 2009, 04:08:50 PM
If one does a search for US arms sales by country there is a lot that comes up.  Israel near the top for two years.  Poland fell out of first place.  Iraq and Pakistan now moving up.  Both banned from US arms sales - not too long ago - presumable before Saddan toppled and before 911 and the flight Osama to Pahhhhkistan.

A sample:
3704  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Que cera cera on: October 08, 2009, 03:51:21 PM
"The Baucus bill assumes that Congress will allow the “sustainable growth rate” cuts in Medicare’s physician payments to occur beginning in 2012."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what the hell.

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

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

3705  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / LOL.thnx on: October 08, 2009, 02:11:00 PM
Russia must bee worried to see Obama send Biden to Poland, lol

This made my day!

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

The Chinese would be to if they weren't suckered into buying so much of our debt.
If monopoly money was worth anything we would all be rich.
3706  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 08, 2009, 02:04:37 PM
Well, the analysis of the chess game Russia may or may not be playing certainly seems logical and sound.

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

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

I guess the only other explanation is there are some pro-Israeli hawks keeping the military option REALLY on the table and not just (as appears to me) nothing more than a simple bluff.
3707  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty on: October 06, 2009, 12:47:41 PM
"The Obama administration has marked its first foray into the UN human rights establishment by backing calls for limits on freedom of expression. "

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

***An Olympic Ego Trip

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3708  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / I take Friedman with a grain of salt. on: October 06, 2009, 10:34:55 AM
***The Iranians are in fact moving rapidly toward a weapon; have been extremely effective at deceiving U.S. intelligence (read, they deceived the Bush administration, but the Obama administration has figured it out***

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

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

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

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

What horse crap is this?

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

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

3709  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 05, 2009, 08:40:07 PM
Another piece that suggests the US is gearing up for war with Iran?
I don't see it.

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

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

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

We will see.

What does anyone else think about this?

3710  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: October 05, 2009, 02:26:40 PM
Doctors are not a single block anymore than any other group.  Some will love Obama some will not.
There is something absurd about him surrounding himself with all these guys with white coats.
It is reminicent of both Reb and Dem presidents surrounding themselves with soldiers for photo ops.

How bizzare - a bunch of live doctor props.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3711  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Humor/WTF on: October 05, 2009, 02:14:08 PM
Lets start a rumor Netenyahu is part Iranian.  He can trace his ancestry back to Cyrus the Great  cheesy
3712  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Afghanistan-Pakistan on: October 05, 2009, 01:22:49 PM
I can't seem to find a transcript of his speech in London.
Even though I don't agree with OBama it is not helpful to have a commander directly contradicting the commander in chief in public.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John F. Burns reported from London, and Alan Cowell from Paris.***
3713  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: October 05, 2009, 11:53:07 AM
"Today, Medicare already reimburses doctors less than what many of their treatments cost to provide. Now the government is saying that additional Medicare cuts are coming—thus forcing doctors to try and make up the difference in volume, by seeing more patients. If you ask patients about this, they understand that more volume means less time with the doctor. That's something that all patients and doctors should oppose. In time, it will be difficult to find a physician."

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

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

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

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

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

How about accountant fees?

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

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

Is that fair?

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

Is that fair?  It is nuts, no?

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

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

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

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

OK lets talk about fairness.

3714  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 05, 2009, 11:38:14 AM
Bolton who in my mind is the only one seaking the truth was on Fox this weekend and when asked about this loon who is head of the IAEA stated we should be grateful his term as Director is almost up. This is exactly why he said this:
****ElBaradei says nuclear Israel number one threat to Mideast: report 
TEHRAN, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Mohamed ElBaradei said Sunday that "Israel is number one threat to Middle East" with its nuclear arms, the official IRNA news agency reported.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    On Sunday, ElBaradei said the UN nuclear watchdog would inspect Iran's new uranium plant near Qom on Oct. 25.*****
3715  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / As the spin turns or churns on: October 05, 2009, 10:39:02 AM
Well this is easy to respond to.  The Republicans are rooting for America.   We are responding to a President who travels around the world apologizing for this country.  Instead of being our advocate he has been agreeing with those who are our adversaries and enemies about how evil we are.

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

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

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

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

My head spins with all the spin.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Criticizing the White House for spending nearly a trillion dollars of taxpayers’ money to produce a jobless recovery is the responsibility of public officials who believe there is a better way,” responded Steel.****
3716  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Humor/WTF on: October 05, 2009, 10:14:37 AM
Sounds awfully like the rumors of Hitlers partial Jewish ancestry.
3717  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: October 05, 2009, 10:12:44 AM
One of my patients is a tough negotiator over medicines I suggest to him.
I complemented him and said we need you over there in Iran negotiating with them over the nukes.
He said forget the negotiations.  We should just bomb them to smitherines and go over and plant the American flag.
I said that is what I mean - we need you to get the job done.

Instead we have Obama.

And we will have a nuclear weaponized Iran.

A rebirth of the Persian empire - which is what it is really all about.
3718  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama's olympic speech on: October 03, 2009, 11:08:30 AM
Obama's speech.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And so I urge you to choose Chicago. I urge you to choose America. And if you do, if we walk this path together, then I promise you this: The city of Chicago and the United States of America will make the world proud. Thank you so much. (Applause)****
3719  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: BO's friends and appointments on: October 02, 2009, 11:58:57 AM
Well why should the US get the games - again - we had Los Angeles not too long ago, we had Atlanta in 1996.

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

It was all about OBama.

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

IMO that was what it was all about.

3720  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / chemical pathway that may prolong lifespan on: October 02, 2009, 10:09:51 AM
Get the benefits of reduced caloric intake without having to decrease intake - to good to be true?

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

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

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

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

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

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

The results corroborated those of other recent studies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright AFP 2008***
3721  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: BO's friends and appointments on: October 02, 2009, 08:45:29 AM
And that is why friend's of Obama do their best to marginalize Beck, Palin, tea partiers, and others as "fringe of the fringe".
Distract attention away from the message and character assasinate the messenger.
The MSM is happy to do it.

Thanks God for Fox.
3722  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: October 01, 2009, 08:20:19 PM
Controlling health care by targeting the costliest.  That conclusion is the easy part.  Now for the hard part.  Actually doing it.  Keep people out of the hospital have nurses become an extended family member and of course all the while improve the "quality" of care.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source Information

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

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

Anderson G. Chronic conditions: making the case for ongoing care. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University, November 2007. (Accessed September 11, 2009, at
Naylor MD, Brooten DA, Campbell RL, Maislin G, McCauley KM, Schwartz JS. Transitional care of older adults hospitalized with heart failure: a randomized, controlled trial. J Am Geriatr Soc 2004;52:675-684. [CrossRef][Web of Science][Medline]
Coleman EA, Parry C, Chalmers S, Min SJ. The care transitions intervention: results of a randomized controlled trial. Arch Intern Med 2006;166:1822-1828. [Free Full Text]
Leff B, Reider L, Frick KD, et al. Guided care and the cost of complex healthcare: a preliminary report. Am J Manag Care 2009;15:555-559. [Medline]
Bodenheimer T, Berry-Millett R. Care management of patients with complex healthcare needs. Princeton, NJ: Rober
3723  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Out of Havard? on: October 01, 2009, 08:00:35 PM
**Mr. Barro is a professor of economics at Harvard. Mr. Redlick is a recent Harvard graduate.**

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

Would the NYT carry their piece as opposed to the WSJ?
3724  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: October 01, 2009, 02:20:45 PM
Don't you just love this stuff from liberal academia.
Like the one that came out recently from Boston (of course) that 44K people die every year because they don't have insurance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3725  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: September 30, 2009, 05:54:43 PM
Hi Rarick,

Good to have another poster.

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

I agree with you.

I think Iran is pursuing nucs for this reason.

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

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

3726  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: September 30, 2009, 09:31:24 AM
Good luck to her and it is fine with me if she makes millions.

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

I wouldn't expect to gain insight into anything other than her from reading it.
3727  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: September 30, 2009, 09:28:25 AM
I look forward to Stossel on Fox.

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

Suggesting they follow the MSM pack about what to cover.

3728  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Buchanan - position of an isolationist/anti-"Jewish lobbyist" on: September 30, 2009, 09:23:01 AM
I agree with Pat on many issues but not this one.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Still, the burden of proof is now upon Tehran.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My answer to Buchanan's question is Iran is obviously working to build a bomb(s).  How near it is no one seems to be sure - at least publically.
3729  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: September 29, 2009, 09:53:21 AM

This erronous conclusion was made public before OBama became President.

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

I don't think he wanted to but he was so politically destroyed by the left's attacks and falling in the polls he abandoned them.
3730  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 29, 2009, 09:47:30 AM
Where the enemies of 1973 sensed a debilitating Israeli over-confidence on the conventional battlefield, the enemies of 2009 realize that Israel is hard-pressed to explain the intricacies and moralities of the civilian theater of war they have imposed upon us. And if there's one thing that hasn't changed in 36 years, it is that when our enemies identify Israeli hesitation, disarray and weakness, they will relentlessly seek to exploit it.

And now they do the same with the American leadership.

Our morality and kindness hurts us.

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

3731  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: September 29, 2009, 09:39:00 AM
As per the NYT
Publically released opinions:
Israel:  Iran has restarted weaponization.
Germany:  Iran never stopped weaponization.
France:  There is more going on then international inspectors say.
US:  Iran has halted weaponization in 2003.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Disagreeing with the Americans, Israeli intelligence officials say they believe that Iran restarted weapons design work in 2005 on the orders of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader. The Americans counter that the Israeli case is flimsy and circumstantial, and that the Israelis cannot document their claim.
German intelligence officials take an even harder line against Iran. They say the weapons work never stopped, a judgment made public last year in a German court case involving shipments of banned technology to Tehran. In recent interviews, German intelligence agencies declined to comment further.***
3732  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: September 28, 2009, 12:49:06 PM
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 The Huffington PostSeptember 28, 2009 
The other point of view from the Huffington post.  Obama's strategy is "brilliant" though it may not be enough:

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

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

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

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

Will Obama be able to carve out some face-saving deal with Iran? Or is he heading into a major crisis? Iraq and Afghanistan may turn out to be sideshows as Obama focuses on the threat from Tehran. But so far, Obama has handled Iran perfectly with a mixture of threats and promises of cooperation.****
3733  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / How long can we continue empty threats? on: September 28, 2009, 10:56:28 AM
I go to Drudgereport and I see articles about Iran's defiance, China is testing long range missle, and India is making higher grade nuclear material.

Obama and his cronies fly around the world and (as Krauthammer says while apologizing for US "wickedness") says for the thousandth time, "now we are serious", "now we will get tough", "now we will make sanctions hurt", "now we are warning Iran", etc etc.
The US has been doing this for years - it really would be laughable if not so sad and tragic.

We are headed for another world war if you ask me.  This is the 1930s all over again.  Our economy has crashed and we have a leadership running around appeasing our enemies all the while they continue to arm and quite frankly state exactly what they plan to do.  It isn't obvious by now?  We need to drop a bomb in the Gulf and let Iran know the next one is on Amedingjon's head.

I don't see any other way.  If the US won't do it (One can legitimately make the argument it is not in our interest) than I guess Israel will have to - if they can).
If we don't do it we will be more than sorry in the future.

Sound crazy - it is.  But continuing with talks is even more.

***Iran flexes muscle ahead of talks
An Iranian Zelzal missile is launched during a test at an unknown location in central Iran September … By Fredrik Dahl and Hossein Jaseb Fredrik Dahl And Hossein Jaseb – 33 mins ago
TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran test-fired missiles on Monday which a commander said could reach any regional target, flexing its military muscle before crucial talks this week with major powers worried about Tehran's nuclear ambitions.

The missile drills of the elite Revolutionary Guards coincide with escalating tension in Iran's nuclear dispute with the West, after last week's disclosure by Tehran that it is building a second uranium enrichment plant.

News of the nuclear fuel facility south of Tehran added urgency to the rare meeting in Geneva on Thursday between Iranian officials and representatives of six major powers, including the United States, China and Russia.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who says any military action against Iran would only "buy time" and stresses the need for diplomacy, mentioned possible new sanctions on banking and equipment and technology for Iran's oil and gas industry.

Iran's Foreign Ministry said there was no link between the missile maneuvers and the nuclear activities.

"This is a military drill which is deterrent in nature," spokesman Hassan Qashqavi told a news conference. "There is no connection whatsoever with the nuclear program."

Press TV said the Shahab 3, a surface-to-surface missile with a range of up to 2,000 km (1,250 miles), was "successfully" test-fired on the second day of an exercise that began on Sunday, when short and medium-range missiles were launched.

Such a range would put Israel and U.S. bases in the region within striking distance. Television footage of the launches showed missiles soaring into the sky in desert-like terrain, to shouts of Allahu Akbar (God is Greatest).

"All targets within the region, no matter where they are, will be within the range of these missiles," said General Hossein Salami, commander of the Guards' air force.

Salami said the exercise was over and had achieved its goals. "All the test-fired missiles managed to hit their targets without any errors and with precision," the forces website quoted him as saying.


The tests sparked swift international condemnation.

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the missile test was "part of an annual provocation" by Iran and should not distract from the pending Geneva talks.

"On Thursday (Iran will) need to ... show that they are serious about ensuring that their civilian nuclear power program does not leak into a military program," Miliband told Britain's Sky News.

European Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana, who will head the Western delegation in the Geneva talks, said "everything that is done in that context is a concern."

He said the aim of Thursday's talks was "engagement."

When asked what sanctions Iran should face if it failed to comply with Western demands over its nuclear program, Solana said "now is not the time to talk about that."

France called on Iran "to choose the path of cooperation and not that of confrontation by immediately ending these profoundly destabilizing activities and by immediately responding to the requests of the international community in order to reach a negotiated solution on the nuclear dossier."

Russia, meanwhile, urged restraint.

"We should not give way to emotions now," a Russian foreign ministry source told Interfax news agency. "We should try to calm down and the main thing is to launch a productive negotiations process (with Iran)."

The ministry source said the international community should wait to see what Iranian officials say at the Geneva talks before taking action.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday that if Iran does not cooperate at the meeting, then "other mechanisms" should be used to deal with Tehran's nuclear programme. Medvedev did not explicitly say whether Russia would support Western calls for sanctions against Iran.

The United States and its Western allies have made clear they will focus on Iran's nuclear programme at the Geneva meeting. Iran has offered wide-ranging security talks but says it will not discuss its nuclear "rights."

Washington, which suspects Iran is trying to develop nuclear bomb capability, has previously expressed concern about Tehran's missile programme. Iran, a major oil producer, says its nuclear work is solely for generating peaceful electricity.


The Pentagon chief told CNN he hoped the disclosure of the second facility would force Tehran to make concessions. "The Iranians are in a very bad spot now because of this deception, in terms of all of the great powers," Gates said.

"There obviously is the opportunity for severe additional sanctions. I think we have the time to make that work."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Iran must present "convincing evidence" at the Geneva meeting.

"We are going to put them to the test on October 1," Clinton told CBS' "Face the Nation. "They can open their entire system to the kind of extensive investigation that the facts call for."

Both interviews were taped before Iran started the two-day missile exercise, designed to show it is prepared to head off military attacks by foes like Israel or the United States.

Iran's state broadcaster IRIB said "upgraded" versions of Shahab 3 and another missile, Sejil, had been tested. Officials have earlier said Sejil has a range of close to 2,000 km (1,250 miles). They were powered by solid fuel, IRIB said.

Neither the United States nor its ally Israel have ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the nuclear row.

Iran has said it would respond to any attack by targeting U.S. interests in the region and Israel, as well as closing the Strait of Hormuz, a vital route for world oil supplies.

Iran's defense minister warned Israel on Monday against launching any attack on the Islamic Republic, saying it would only speed up the Jewish state's own demise.

"If this happens, which of course we do not foresee, its ultimate result would be that it expedites the Zionist regime's last breath," Ahmad Vahidi said on state television.

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Saturday the discovery of a secret nuclear plant in Iran showed a "disturbing pattern" of evasion by Tehran. He warned Iran on Friday it would face "sanctions that bite" unless it came clean.

Iran has rejected Western accusations that the plant was meant to be secret because it did not inform the U.N. nuclear watchdog as soon as plans were drawn up, saying the facility near the holy city of Qom is legal and can be inspected.

(Reporting by Tehran and Washington bureaus, Avril Ormsby in London and Conor Humphries in Moscow; writing by Samia Nakhoul; editing by Dominic Evans)***
3734  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Legal issues on: September 28, 2009, 10:11:14 AM
I don't get it.  This guy never faced justice for essentially child abuse and the President of France is outraged he is finally being brought to justice after fleeing to safe havens for all these years. 

***Sarkozy wants ‘resolution’ to Polanski arrest
By Scheherazade Daneshkhu in Paris

Published: September 27 2009 13:22 | Last updated: September 27 2009 16:28

President Nicolas Sarkozy said he hoped for a “speedy resolution” to the arrest in Switzerland of Roman Polanski, the film director who has French nationality.

Speaking on behalf of the French president, Frederic Mitterand, culture minister, said on Sunday he was “amazed” to hear that Mr Polanski was detained by Swiss police on Saturday night, at the request of US authorities.

Workplace suicides spark French outcry - Sep-18Christopher Caldwell: French suicides complicate corporate life - Sep-18Global Insight: Case poised to put French politics on trial - Sep-18France to count happiness in GDP - Sep-15French opposition sets out party reform plans - Aug-29French minister calls for ban on burka - Aug-14Mr Polanski, 76, was travelling to pick up an award at a Zurich film festival when he was arrested on a 1978 warrant. In 1977, he was arrested in Los Angeles for unlawful sex with an underage girl, which the director admitted. He fled before being sentenced and has been considered a fugitive from US justice ever since.

He lives in France, where he is protected by its limited extradition laws with the US and avoids visits to countries likely to extradite him.

Mr Mitterand said he was in close contact with Mr Sarkozy who was giving the matter “his utmost attention”.

Born in Paris of Polish parents of Jewish origin, Mr Polanski won Best Director Oscar in 2003 for The Pianist. His other celebrated films include Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown.

The festival directors, who had been planning to give Mr Polanski a lifetime achievement award, said they had received the news of his arrest with “great consternation and shock,” adding: “We are unable to judge the legal background surrounding the arrest.”

The Franco-Polish director made legal history in the UK in 2005 by becoming the first libel claimant to sue in the English courts using a video-link. Fearing extradition, Mr Polanski did not travel to the UK and successfully won a libel case against Vanity Fair magazine in London’s High Court after giving evidence via video-link.

The House of Lords ruled that his right to bring the libel claim trumped the fact that he was a fugitive from justice.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009. You may share using our article tools. Please don't cut articles from and redistribute by email or post to the web.****

3735  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / War or Peace their choice on: September 26, 2009, 10:59:38 AM
I can't find it now but does anyone remembr who the Roman Emperor was who said something to his enemies like,

"If you want peace we will give you peace, if you want war we will give you war, it makes NO difference to us".

That my friends is why Rome last sereral hundred years.

I doubt the caesar or emperor who said this was popular with his enemies.

Unlike today our President is beloved by ours.  And that says it all.

Thank God it is Netenyahu who leads Israel and not Obama.

3736  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: September 26, 2009, 10:45:39 AM
Mort Zuckerman - hardly a conservative - from sept. 24 but not 2009 - it is from 2008.
His prediction for the worsening crises in the Middle East is now fact.  His reiteration of Bidne's prediction that the One would be tested is also now fact.  Our enemies love our President unlike any we have ever had.

Russia is supplying our enemies while shaking the hand of the One.  Chavez now want to mine uranium.  N Korea and Iran are ever more confident in the weakness of the One.

There is only one choice for Israel.  Let the One play out as Krauthammer calls it - the farce.  Maybe that is good for Israel - let the One prove to the world that his way is the fool's way and then have more legitimacy to bomb Iran.

In any case this was written a year ago by a liberal Jewish guy:
3737  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: September 25, 2009, 11:52:45 AM
"Bottom line: If the Iranians indicate that they will not cooperate and the Russians do not budge on their opposition to imposing sanctions, then war could come suddenly — and from the United States. All the pieces for that war are already in place."

Are you kidding?

Where in the world would Stratford conclude this?

I seriously doubt this.

Israel will have to do it alone.

3738  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: September 25, 2009, 09:53:39 AM
The US's full retreat and appeasement to everyone overseas (except our friends) continues.
Of course Chavez, Ghaddafi and all the rest of our enemies and adversaries are praising Obama.
Obama to the border patrol:  let more Democrats come on in.  Will just continue our redistribution of wealth to his  personal constituents.  So despite us having a President who is doing everything possible to weaken the US he is still popular because he can buy off enough voters.  Great.
Administration Will Cut Border Patrol Deployed on U.S-Mexico Border
Thursday, September 24, 2009
By Terence P. Jeffrey, Editor-in-Chief

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer is seen from Mexico's side of the San Ysidro port of entry guarding vehicles involved in a shooting in Tijuana, Mexico, Sept. 22, 2009. Four people were injured in a gun battle involving an attempt to smuggle illegal immigrants from Mexico at the busiest border crossing in the U.S., authorities said. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias)( - Even though the Border Patrol now reports that almost 1,300 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border is not under effective control, and the Department of Justice says that vast stretches of the border are “easily breached,” and the Government Accountability Office has revealed that three persons “linked to terrorism” and 530 aliens from “special interest countries” were intercepted at Border Patrol checkpoints last year, the administration is nonetheless now planning to decrease the number of Border Patrol agents deployed on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Border Patrol Director of Media Relations Lloyd Easterling confirmed this week--as I first reported in my column yesterday--that his agency is planning for a net decrease of 384 agents on the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal 2010, which begins on October 1.
A Department of Homeland Security annual performance review updated by the Obama administration on May 7 said the Border Patrol “plans to move several hundred Agents from the Southwest Border to the Northern Border to meet the FY 2010 staffing requirements, with only a small increase in new agents for the Southwest Border in the same year.”
Easterling said on Tuesday that in fiscal 2009, 17,399 Border Patrol agents have been deployed on the U.S.-Mexico border. In fiscal year 2010, the Border Patrol plans to decrease that by 384 agents, leaving 17,015 deployed along the Mexican frontier. At the same time, the number of Border Patrol agents deployed on the U.S.-Canada border will be increased by 414, from a fiscal 2009 total of 1,798 agents to a fiscal 2010 total of 2,212.
The Border Patrol is responsible for securing a total of 8,607 miles of border, including the U.S.-Mexico border, the U.S.-Canada border from Washington state to Maine, and sectors of coastline in the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Each year, the Border Patrol sets a goal for “border miles under effective control (including certain coastal sectors).” “Effective control,” as defined by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, means that when the Border Patrol detects an illegal border crosser in a particular area of the border the agency can be expected to succeed in apprehending that person.
In the May 7 update of its performance review, DHS said the Border Patrol’s goal for fiscal 2009 was to have 815 of the 8,607 miles of border for which the agency is responsible under “effective control.”  The review also said the Border Patrol’s goal for fiscal 2010 was to again have 815 miles of border under “effective control,” meaning DHS was not planning to secure a single additional mile of border in the coming year.
However, Acting Deputy Assistant Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Todd Owen told a House committee in July that the Border Patrol already had 894 miles of border under effective control as of May 31 of this year.  These 894 miles, Owen said, included 697 miles on the Mexican border, 32 miles on the Canadian border and 165 miles in the coastal sectors.
Easterling said this week that as of now the Border Patrol still has the same 894 miles of border under effective control that it had under effective control as of May 31. He also said the agency would not relinquish control of any of these miles in the coming year.  After the beginning of the new fiscal year, he said, the Border Patrol would reevaluate the situation and set a new goal for border miles under “effective control” for 2010 that would at least equal, and might exceed, the 894 miles currently under effective control.
“The intention is to take back the border incrementally, and make gains that we can keep,” Easterling said. “We do not intend, nor will we give back, miles that we have gained control over.”
Easterling said the Border Patrol would be able to maintain the current number of miles under effective control on the Mexico border with fewer agents deployed there thanks to “force multipliers,” including new fencing, roads and other infrastructure that has been built in recent years. He also cited the assistance the Border Patrol receives from local police and sheriffs departments and community watch groups.
But even if the Border Patrol is able to maintain or marginally improve on the current level of security on the U.S.-Mexico border, most of the border will remain effectively open to smuggling both contraband and persons.
The entire U.S.-Mexico border is 1,954 miles long, according to the International Boundary and Water Commission. While 697 of those miles are now under “effective control,” according to the Border Patrol, 1,257 miles are not under “effective control.”
Reports from other government agencies paint a vivid picture of the massive drug and alien smuggling that takes place in these uncontrolled expanses and the national security problem created by unsecured border lands.
Each year, the Justice Department’s National Drug Intelligence Center produces “drug market analyses” for each of 32 regions of the country that the NDIC describes as “high intensity drug trafficking areas.” Five of these areas sit along the U.S.-Mexico border. These include the California border region, Arizona, New Mexico, West Texas and South Texas. The latest reports, released in March and April of this year, use candid language in portraying the U.S.-Mexican frontier as wide open to drug smuggling and even vulnerable to penetration by potential terrorists.
The California-Mexico border, the NDIC said, was “easily breached” on both foot and in vehicles.
“The vast border area presents innumerable remote crossing points that traffickers exploit to smuggle illicit drugs, primarily marijuana, into the country from Mexico,” said NDIC. “These areas are easily breached by traffickers on foot, in private vehicles, or in all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) as they smuggle drugs between POEs [ports of entry], particularly the mountainous areas in eastern San Diego County and the desert and sand dune areas in Imperial County.”
Arizona’s border was judged to be open not only to drug smugglers but also aliens with “extensive criminal records” and from “special interest countries,” which are defined as “countries that could export individuals who could bring harm to the United States through terrorism.”
“Some criminal organizations smuggle aliens and gang members into the United States,” said NDIC’s report on Arizona. “These particular individuals typically have extensive criminal records and pose a threat, not only to the Arizona HIDTA [high intensity drug trafficking area] region but also to communities throughout the United States. Alien smuggling organizations reportedly also smuggle aliens from countries other than Mexico, including special-interest countries.”
“Special-interest countries are those designated by the intelligence community as countries that could export individuals who could bring harm to the United States through terrorism,” said the NDIC report.
The NDIC described the Arizona-Mexico border as “largely underprotected” in the areas between official ports of entry.
“Large amounts of illicit drugs are smuggled into the area from Mexico, and bulk cash is transported from the area into Mexico,” said NDIC. “These trafficking activities are facilitated by several factors unique to the region, including the continuing economic and population growth in Arizona’s two primary drug markets (Phoenix and Tucson), the highways that connect major metropolitan areas in Arizona with major illicit drug source areas in Mexico, and a remote, largely underprotected border area between Arizona’s ports of entry (POEs).
“Vast stretches of remote, sparsely populated border areas are located within the HIDTA region; these areas are especially conducive to large-scale drug smuggling,” said NDIC. “By the end of January 2009, 108 miles of the 262-mile shared border between Arizona and Mexico will have some type of fencing. However, few physical barriers exist in border areas between POEs, particularly in the West Desert area of the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) Tucson Sector, to impede drug traffickers, chiefly Mexican DTOs, from smuggling illicit drug shipments into the United States from Mexico.”
Part of the New Mexico border was described as “an ideal smuggling corridor.”
“Southwestern New Mexico—specifically Hidalgo, Luna, and Dona Ana Counties—shares a 180-mile border with Mexico,” said NDIC. “More than half the length of this border is desolate public land that contains innumerable footpaths, roads, and trails. Additionally, many ranches are located along the border. These factors and minimal law enforcement coverage make the area an ideal smuggling corridor for drugs and other illicit goods and services— primarily alien smuggling into the United States and weapons and bulk cash smuggling into Mexico. Mexican DTOs smuggle multihundred-kilogram quantities of illicit drugs through this portion of the HIDTA region annually.”
Like the California border, the South Texas border is also “easily breached,” according to the NDIC.
“The combination of vast stretches of remote, sparsely populated land and extensive crossborder economic activity at designated ports of entry (POEs) creates an environment conducive to large-scale drug smuggling,” said NDIC. “Few physical barriers exist between POEs to impede drug traffickers, particularly Mexican DTOs, from smuggling illicit drug shipments into the United States from Mexico. Along many areas of the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas, the Rio Grande River can be easily breached by smugglers on foot or in vehicles, enabling Mexican DTOs to smuggle multikilogram quantities of illicit drugs, primarily marijuana and cocaine, into the United States.”
In the West Texas sector, the NDIC again raised the possibility that terrorists could exploit the border to enter the country.
“Moreover, the region’s location along the U.S.-Mexico border poses national security and law enforcement issues for the region, such as alien smuggling, weapons transportation, and terrorist entry into the United States through and between ports of entry,” said NDIC.
While the U.S. government may be failing to exert effective control over most of the border, identical language in the NDIC reports for Arizona and West Texas said that drug trafficking organizations have set up “gatekeeper” operations that control smuggling into the U.S. and levy taxes on the smugglers they let through.
“Gatekeepers regulate the drug flow from Mexico across the U.S.-Mexico border into the United States by controlling drug smugglers’ access to areas along the border,” said the Arizona and West Texas NDIC reports. “Gatekeepers collect ‘taxes’ from smugglers on all illicit shipments that are moved through these areas, including drugs and illegal aliens. The taxes are generally paid to the DTO that controls the area; the DTO then launders the tax proceeds. Gatekeepers sometimes resort to extortion, intimidation, and acts of violence to collect taxes from smugglers. Gatekeepers also reportedly bribe corrupt Mexican police and military personnel in order to ensure that smuggling activities occur without interruption.”
“Gatekeepers generally operate at the behest of a Mexican drug trafficking organization (DTO) and enforce the will of the organization through bribery, intimidation, extortion, beatings, and murder,” said the reports.
A Government Accountability Office report released on August 31 pointed out that the Border Patrol’s top priority is to stop terrorists and weapons of mass destruction from entering the United States and revealed that three person’s “linked to terrorism” and hundreds of aliens from “special interest countries” were intercepted at Border Patrol checkpoints in fiscal 2008. These checkpoints, which act as a final line of defense for the U.S. border, are typically set up on highways 25 to 100 miles north of the Mexican border.
“CBP reported that in fiscal year 2008, there were three individuals encountered by the Border Patrol at southwest border checkpoints who were identified as persons linked to terrorism,” said GAO.
“In addition, the Border Patrol reported that in fiscal year 2008 checkpoints encountered 530 aliens from special interest countries, which are countries the Department of State has determined to represent a potential terrorist threat to the United States,” said GAO. “While people from these countries may not have any ties to illegal or terrorist activities, Border Patrol agents detain aliens from special interest countries if they are in the United States illegally and Border Patrol agents report these encounters to the local Sector Intelligence Agent, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Joint Terrorism Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Investigations, and the CBP National Targeting Center.”
The GAO also said one illegal alien detained in West Texas had come from Iran.
“For example,” said GAO, “according to a Border Patrol official in the El Paso sector, a checkpoint stopped a vehicle and questioned its three Iranian occupants, determining that one of those occupants was in the United States illegally. The individual was detained and turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further questioning.”
There has been much discussion in the past week about whether President Barack Obama will heed the advice of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, to increase the U.S. troop deployment there.  The administration, however, has already decided to decrease by 384 the Border Patrol agents deployed on our own southern frontier.
3739  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: September 23, 2009, 07:42:27 PM
UN speech today could easily have come from Kofi Anan not a President of the US.
Or could it?

This must be a bad dream.  Tell me I am going to wake up.  I would be glad to have Bill Clinton back.

Notice the reference to "tyranny" on a couple of occasions on the ONe's megalomaniac speech to the world.  The One takes Mark Levin's use of the word to describe him and tries to turn it around.  No accident.
3740  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / ScientificAmerican: at least another 100 yrs of oil on: September 23, 2009, 07:36:22 PM
***scientific american
From the October 2009 Scientific American Magazine Another Century of Oil? Getting More from Current Reserves ( Preview )
Amid warnings of a possible "peak oil," advanced technologies offer ways to extract every last possible drop
By Leonardo Maugeri   

  Forecasts that global oil production will soon start to decline and that most oil will be gone within a few decades may be overly pessimistic. The author predicts that by 2030, thanks to advanced technologies, wells will be able to extract half of the oil known to be underground, up from the current average of 35 percent. Together with new discoveries, the increased productivity could make oil last at least another century. More from the Magazine
On fourteen dry, flat square miles of California’s Central Valley, more than 8,000 horsehead pumps—as old-fashioned oilmen call them—slowly rise and fall as they suck oil from underground. Glittering pipelines crossing the whole area suggest that the place is not merely a relic of the past. But even to an expert’s eyes, Kern River Oil Field betrays no hint of the technological miracles that have enabled it to survive decades of dire predictions.

When Kern River Oil Field was discovered in 1899, analysts thought that only 10 percent of its unusually viscous crude could be recovered. In 1942, after more than four decades of modest production, the field was estimated to still hold 54 million barrels of recoverable oil, a fraction of the 278 million barrels already recovered. “In the next 44 years, it produced not 54 [million barrels] but 736 million barrels, and it had another 970 million barrels remaining,” energy guru Morris Adelman noted in 1995. But even this estimate proved wrong. In November 2007 U.S. oil giant Chevron, by then the field’s operator, announced that cumulative production had reached two billion barrels. Today Kern River still puts out nearly 80,000 barrels per day, and the state of California estimates its remaining reserves to be about 627 million barrels. ***

I can't post the rest of the article but the author gives a compelling reason why we have far more oil available then present estimates.
We always find more than expected.
3741  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Hyman Minsky on: September 22, 2009, 01:53:18 PM
From the Boston Globe about an economist who predicted the latest crash.  His prescription is Obama like.
Big government supporting unions and jobs to the lower socioeconomic classes even if supported by big government.
Sounds simply like New Deal stuff. 

What is interesting is that we already have millions upon millions of lower wage jobs (ala Minsky) available for the unemployed.
If we simply throw out the illegals who work for low wages our unemployed would have ample opportunity to make some money at least till the economy picks up.
Instead we give it all away.  What dopes:
3742  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Online buying of antibiotics without Rx on: September 22, 2009, 11:35:03 AM
Online antibiotic sales may be fueling drug-resistance trend, researchers report
Antibiotics are widely available for purchase online without a prescription, making it easy for patients to self-medicate and potentially contributing to antibiotic resistance, a recent study found.

Researchers conducted searches on Google and Yahoo using the keywords “purchase antibiotics without a prescription” and “online” and compared vendors according to classes of drugs, quantity, shipping locations and shipping time. Of the 138 vendors found, almost all shipped to the U.S., 36.2% sold antibiotics without a prescription and 63.8% provided an online prescription. Available antibiotics included penicillins (94.2% of sites), macrolides (96.4%), fluoroquinolones (61.6%) and cephalosporins (56.5%), and drugs were often sold in higher quantities than a single course. The results appear in the September-October Annals of Family Medicine.

The findings suggest that many antibiotics taken in the U.S. are not impacted by physician prescribing practices and may be contributing to antibiotic resistance, the authors said. The Web sites studied promote self-diagnosis and self-medication, they added, and drugs are likely to be used in inappropriate dosages. In addition, because the drugs are available in large quantities and take a week or more to be delivered, it is likely that they are being stored for future use or to sell.

The results indicate that the observed decline in overall antibiotic prescribing for viral illnesses may be misleading because patients are able to go online for medications when they can’t get a prescription from their physician. Physicians can play a role in mitigating the problem, the authors continued, by educating patients who self-medicate about antibiotic resistance and potential drug interactions.

Among other limitations, the study does not analyze how customers in the U.S. are using the Web sites and the quantities being purchased, the authors acknowledged. Nonetheless, the results highlight a need for increased regulation of Internet sites beyond controlled substances, they concluded.

3743  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in America and the rest of the western hemisphere on: September 22, 2009, 11:24:19 AM
Well the organizers of this "event" are known anit-semites, anti- Christians, defenders of suicide bombers, defenders of terrorists acts on the US, and not interested in peace as much as they claim. 
I doubt they condemn terrorist acts, killing murdering and bigotry coming from their side like they do when they criticize us.
I have some Muslim patients who blend in with the rest of us and seem to all appearances to be American, but I dont know about some of the more "radical" ones.

For example:

Abdul Alim Musa
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Imam Abdul Alim Musa (born 1945; Clarence Reams) is a Muslim activist and director of Masjid Al-Islam in Washington, D.C.. He is a member of the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought (ICIT) and a well-known speaker around the world. He is founder and director of As-Sabiqun.
Reams was born in Arkansas in 1945 but grew up in Oakland, California during the 1960s. It was during this period that he associated with H. Rap Brown (Imam Jamil Al-Amin), who later converted to Islam.

Having set up a drug dealing operation operation in Colombia, Musa was arrested on charges including heroin smuggling, currency smuggling and assaulting a federal agent. After evading the authorities for several years, Musa fled to Algeria, where he came in contact with several exiled Black Panther leaders such as Eldridge Cleaver. After returning to the US, he turned himself in and was eventually incarcerated at the U.S. Federal Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan., among other institutions.[1]

While in prison, Musa converted to orthodox Islam. Musa suported the 1979 Iranian revolution, believing that it would lead to the revival of Islam.[1]

Following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Musa publicly expressed his support for the Islamic Republic and its leader Ayatollah Khomeini. Since the early 1980s he made several visits to Iran as a representative of Muslims in the United States and a supporter of the Islamic revival. He made connections with a wide array of Muslim leaders during the decade - both Sunni and Shia - and stressed that unity was a primary objective for the Islamic movements success. His references the writings of Malcolm X, Ayatollah Khomeini, Sayyid Qutb, Maulana Maududi, and Kalim Siddiqui. New members of the group are encouraged to individually familiarize themselves with the works of these political Islamic thinkers in addition to daily classes and lectures on classical Islamic studies, Arabic, hadith and Quran.

[edit] Antisemitism
According to the Anti-Defamation League, Musa "propagates a radical and anti-Semitic ideology." They quote him as saying “Who ran the slave trade…who funded [it]? You’ll study and you will find out: the Jews…It was the Jewish bankers…in Vienna, with pockets full of money, funding and insuring, that’s who did it…. you can’t tell us about no holocaust. Between the African Americans and the Native Americans, everybody else’s stuff was small potatoes.” [2]

According to Benjamin Ginsberg, student groups The Associated Students of the University of Washignton and the Black Students Commission sponsored "a vehemently Anti-semitic" speech by Musa, in which he asserted that America was controlled by Jews and that "Yahuds are the enemy of humanity." [3]

Critics have suggested that he promotes anti-Semitism in his speeches, which he defends are directed at Zionist supporters of Israel and not at Jewish people in general, although some of his statements suggest otherwise, such as: “Al-Amin [a convicted murderer] …turned his ideas, his belief in Islam, into practical solutions for society. And they can’t stand that. Just like our brother said: the Zionist are the same today as they was then. In those days [in Arabia before the ascendance of Islam] they controlled the liquor market in Madina… and the Zionists kept the Arab leaders broke and drunk…the yahud [Jew, in Arabic] were seating back and had each one of them [Arab clans] fighting each other because the leaders was both drunken and they was all in owe (sic) to the same Yahud… he was manipulating the Arabs…then Islam came [and abolished riba, or interest]."[4]

[edit] Recent Activities
During a rally in July 1999 Musa displayed a cashier's check made out to "Hamas, Palestine," to protest the 1996 U.S. law which declared Hamas a terrorist organization.[5] Musa said that "I would love to have a case in court with the FBI. I would love for them to arrest me on any trumped-up charges." Musa later commented that "I tried to get a case several years ago. We had a demonstration. I waved a check for Hamas, cashier's check, by the way. And I said, 'I'm donating this to Hamas.' Then I waited for them to arrest me. They didn't arrest me. So I put the thing back in the bank."[1]

At the January 21, 2001 event titled Shaping Our Perspective: Our Role in a Changing World, sponsored by Muslim Students Association at UCLA, Musa is quoted as stating: "If you were to say that the Soviet Union was wiped off the face of the earth . . . people would have thought you were crazy, right? The people of Afghanistan didn’t have the intellect or historical knowledge to know that they wasn’t supposed to wipe out the Soviet Union, is that right? . . . We saw the fall of one so-called superpower, Old Sam (the United States) is next."[citation needed]

On October 6, 2002 he spoke on Muhammad's model of leadership and its modern applications at the ICIT Seerah Conference in Sri Lanka.[6] On July 7, 2000 Musa, while in the company of his wife and daughter, witnessed the Metropolitan Police (Washington, DC) beating a citizen. He attempted to intervene by approaching the officers and telling them to stop. They continued until Musa grabbed one of the officers and was consequently arrested for assaulting the police. He spent two nights in jail before appearing before a judge on July 10. In court, the police reduced the charge against him to a misdemeanor.[7]

Musa has made a number of controversial statements:

Zionist American agents blew up the World Trade Center;
Palestinian suicide bombers are heroes;
the U.S. government saturated U.S. cities with heroin in the 1960s to snuff out blacks' rebellion;
that the United States should become an Islamic state[1]
In a video aired by Fox News, Musa stated, from behind a podium at the University of California at Irvine on Sept. 9, 2001, that "If you don't stay out of our way and leave us alone, we're going to burn America down." Musa later stated that he was simply paraphrasing Jamil Al-Amin, formerly H. Rap Brown, a prominent Black Panther in the 1960s. Musa never threatened to burn the United States down, according to a longer video and transcript of the speech posted on the Web site of the The Investigative Project.[8] [1]

Musa has stated that "the American ship is going down. And it's clowns like that [President George W. Bush] that's driving it down. We don't have to do nothing. Just step back, pray, fast, do good deeds, and stuff like that. And let that guy go. . . . When he finishes, nobody will love, nobody will trust, and nobody will believe anything coming from the United States of America."[1]

[edit] Banning from the UK
In April 2009 Musa's name was released to the press as one of 22 people banned from entering the United Kingdom in October 2008. The UK government said this was due to him being "Considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour by fomenting and glorifying terrorist violence in furtherance of his particular beliefs and seeking to provoke others to terrorist acts." [9][10]
3744  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Eagleberger and the ONE on: September 22, 2009, 11:04:26 AM
I guess it was Greta's show.  I see Obama has been critical of the One for quite some time going back to the campaign as  a search pulls up past criticisms on the World's Savior:
3745  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: US Foreign Policy on: September 22, 2009, 10:31:26 AM
Did you see Larwence Eagleberger on one of the  cable talk shows (CNN?) recently calling OBama's foreing policies "amateur hour"?

I could not believe I was hearing a Dem saying that.  He was pointing out how Obama ahs marginalized Hillary and more or less simply blows her off.

So he may have a bit of an ax to grind (being an ex Clintonite) who is not making his/her fame and fortune with the present leftist regime ala the rest of the liberal polictical mercenaries.

Yet it may also be a *true* reflection of reality and not the spin coming from the other Dems, MSM.  It may also be a kind of a leak as to what many Dems are thinking and saying privately but just not publically.

3746  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: September 20, 2009, 02:56:37 PM
"The more that we can get good information on the choices and their consequences and the more that we pay with our own money, the more accurately we will value that gain in our health or quality of life"

My little opinion FWIW is that I couldn't agree more.

Instead OBama wants to obtain the information so HE can make the choice for all of us.

And it is THAT reason along with the rest of his big government philosophy that we must stop.  It ain't because he is black.

Do any of these idiots in the MSM, Carter, Dowd, and the rest think we who are on the right would be any less fighting mad if the President who was pushing this sutff was a white like Biden, Pelosi, or Reid??
3747  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 20, 2009, 02:47:36 PM
"isn't it odd and a potential political time-bomb to know that the current, US ruling party includes nearly all Jewish-Americans and nearly all American haters of Israel, all in one big tent."


Not only odd but remarkable.

I have asked the "how can this be question" many times.

All I can say is liberal Jews (At least the American ones) despise conservatives, Republicans more than ANYTHING else.
To them cans are worse than Nazis.  I am not kidding.

There pure hatred for anything leaning right will warp their reasoning.

They are in total denial about Obama and Israel.   They will endlessly rationalize away the obvious fact he is an enemy of Israel because they otherwise agree with his radical left wing agenda. 

"I suppose that liberal Jewish Americans don't favor Netanyahu or his policies so the contradiction is mutual."

I don't know the answer to this question but it is a good one.

*W was Israel's best friend.* 
An Israeli who is now in America and I suspect was supporter of Obama does agree with this statement - at least now.   I think he was duped by Obama's "make them think you are one of them" strategy.

He ain't duping me.

3748  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: September 19, 2009, 01:44:46 PM
the urologists note is interesting.
The advent of PSAs is also driving up urologic care with questionable outcomes.
One huge study suggested we reduce the rate of death from prostate cancer by 20% because of PSA screeing.
Another study suggested there is absolutely no difference.
For every life we may save with PSA screening there are probably at least many more men who go through screening testing anxiety for nothing. 

The problem is we still can't tell which is the occasional patient who may benefit from the one who will never have had any problem with his prostate if we didn't go on fishing expeditions.

Yet we have parades of famous people with prostate cancer getting on Larry KIng telling their stories as though it applies to anything in reality to large populations of people.

Cardiology costs have also gone crazy and out of control.
Cardiologists are in my view the biggest spenders in medicine that are not a surgical specialty.

It used to be a stress test once every two years or only if there were symptoms or other specific reasons to get them.
Now I see some cardiologists who are part or wholly owners of stress nuclear machines getting them as often as yearly.
They are ordering tests on everyone.
Their reimbursements per procedure etc are down so they simply order more.
Patients think they are being more thorough and as long as a third party pays they are delighted to get more and more tests.

Another example from the drug industry.  Plavix a blood thinner is marginally better than a two cent aspirin - roughly 20% at preventing heart or stroke events in selected patients.  Sound like a big difference?  We may be talking a reduction in "events" from five per hundred to four per hundred total patients treated.  Doesn't sound like as big a gain now does it?  The cost between using plavix and aspirin would be huge.  State it a different way though and if we treat say one milliion people per year and reduce the "event" rate from 50,000 to 40,000 we could be "preventing" 10,000 more events (stroke, heart attack, death).  Now it sounds like alot again.  People who push for tiny incrementle gains as being "huge" or great progress are happy to state the statistics either the first or thrid way and always avoid the latter.

To add insult to injury recent publication of an even newer drug then plavix points that it now reduces event rates by again by "20%".   Again that sounds like a lot from that point of view.  The people on wall street who invest and the bitg shot carediologists who researched the drug make it sound like it is a huge breakthrough (noted is that the newer drug does have an increased risk of bleeding that may hold down use of it to some extent).  But the actual reduction number is from around 5.8% to something like 4.5%.  So for every hundred people treated we could prevent only *one* more event.  The kicker is plavix may go generic in a few years (I am not sure) while this newer drug will of course be mega bucks.
All the cardiologists will of course want and brag how they give there patients the most modern and perfect care without consideration of cost.  Patients are fine with this as long as the pill is covered.  A few patients will have to pay more for it out of pocket and are willing.

So where does it end?

Answer:  it doesn't.

Small incremental gains made in modern medicine have huge costs.

People want to live for ever, everyone one perfect cutting edge care and no one wants to pay for it.
Nothing new.

Now we have a government who believes it is everyone's right to have equal access and equal care.
Yet they can't pay for it either.  They even want to extend it to millions of people who don't even belong here.
Their argument/idea is rationed care is smarter care.
There is some truth to that argument.  Is it smart to spend endless billions for small incremental gains?

At present the health system says yes.   
3749  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Immigration issues on: September 18, 2009, 02:39:31 PM
I stand corrected cry
3750  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: China on: September 18, 2009, 01:40:09 PM
More China vs us - from Gertz.  They are going to beat us eventually.
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