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4001  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: December 07, 2009, 01:08:05 PM
Hi Doug,

"I don't know enough to argue statistically, but know kids who grew up without a mom because of breast cancer in her 40s, and just lost a friend to colon cancer prior to his first recommended screening also.  I don't know the answer but I do know that the latest word from the best professionals in the world on matters like these changes over time."

Breast cancer before age 50 is not rare.  ie the parade of woman telling us their stories on the news.

I agree with you -

That said, no one thinks they should all get cancer and die just to save a few bucks.

Yet -
if doing mammograms were saving lives before age 50 then why is it so hard to show the benefits?

It seems against common sense to think that it doesn't catch some cancers earlier than otherwise would be found and hence earlier treatment and hopefully earlier treatment means less deaths.  I even ask myself how could it not save lives?

Yet the studies fly in the face of expectations.  And we see little comment on the cancers all the extra radiation may be causing.

We do this a lot in our society.  We aggravate and make the majority pay for the few or even rare problems that occur.  Get a couple of outbreaks of salmonella and we get the calls the FDA is not doing their jobs, we are all at risk of dying.  And yet there are millions of eateries all over the US who have no problem.
We all cater to those with disabilities.
We sue and torture pharm companies for the rare side effects of drugs.

Where does it end?

We expect perfection from our police officers.   

We are expecting perfection in every corner of our society.  The cost is obvious.  We are all forced to pay for every little ditsel of imperfection.  And we go broke.

Thanks to the liberals who see financial opportunity with every "cause" they can uncover from under every rock.
4002  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: December 07, 2009, 10:54:53 AM
I am not sure I get the just.  Why should insurers pay for a test that is unproven to have value?

A mammogram is only a couple hundred dollars - if women want it why can't they pay for it?

Or pay for the cadillac insurance that would cover it?

There are woman who are at higher risk who might benefit from it but not woman of avergae risk.

GM you are using this for political purposes.

I don't agree.

It was pure politics that led to mammograms before 50 to be approved by some groups years ago. 

It continues to be a political football.

Who are the powers to be who decided it is ok to have mammograms every 1 to 2 yrs is a great idea?

Why not MRIs every one to two years?  They are better tests than mammos and don't cause cancer like the radiation spewing mammograms?  So they are too costly yet mammograms are acceptable cost?

Who decided this?

My pointy is someone has to make these decisions or we all go broke.
4003  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Forget privacy on: December 07, 2009, 09:36:02 AM
From one who has had my total privacy invaded I find this interesting.  When one sees the close up picture of Schmidt one can understand how money can but anything - including lots of girlfriends (he would make a good catch for Susan Boyle):

Google CEO: Secrets Are for Filthy People
Eric Schmidt suggests you alter your scandalous behavior before you complain about his company invading your privacy. That's what the Google CEO told Maria Bartiromo during CNBC's big Google special last night, an extraordinary pronouncement for such a secretive guy.

The generous explanation for Schmidt's statement is that he's revolutionized his thinking since 2005, when he blacklisted CNET for publishing info about him gleaned from Google searches, including salary, neighborhood, hobbies and political donations. In that case, the married CEO must not mind all the coverage of his various reputed girlfriends; it's odd he doesn't clarify what's going on with the widely-rumored extramarital dalliances, though.

Schmidt's philosophy is clear with Bartiromo in the clip below: "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." The philosophy that secrets are useful mainly to indecent people is awfully convenient for Schmidt as the CEO of a company whose value proposition revolves around info-hoarding. Convenient, that is, as long as people are smart enough not to apply the "secrets suck" philosophy to their Google passwords , credit card numbers and various other secrets they need to put money in Google's pockets.

4004  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / VictorHanson.Iran.Israel.Rachel on: December 06, 2009, 12:47:45 PM
From Doug's favorite theorist/educator.  Mr. Hanson outlines quite well the problems with modern Western approach to war to a large extent.

He outlines the problems.

But I am not clear what he prescribes to do about them. Now what do we do about it?

My Rx:

I say this - I agree with the premise that war will always be with us - unless one subscribes to a single "world government" with total control over all of us around the world by one single entity (with of course the Chosen One in charge leading mankind to Eden) .  I don't beleive or want a single government controlling the world.

So instead, like the Roman general said, "you want peace we will give you peace, you want war we will give you war, it makes no difference to us", I say we do everything possible to destroy all of Irans nuclear sites even using nuclear weapons if needed to do the job right.  IF we don't do this it seems evident we will be sorry when we do have a nuclear armed Iran and the situation will be far worse.

Yes we will likely make generations of US hating Muslim radicals.  But these people are never going to love us anyway so I say we stop them now and the sooner the better.

The only other two alternatives though neither any good when one thinks them through:

1)  We somehow promote regime change in Iran. There is clearly some seeds of that already but I don't know how we can speed it up or if we can.  I suspect Nationalism will trump the desire for Western materialism.

2) Only other thing I can envision is that we go all out to become *energy self sufficient* so we don't keep funding Iran's regime with free dollars.  The two problems with this is it would take a decade and it is already too late for this.  Second thing is other countries like China, India, and the rest of the Stans would simply fill the void and send money to the Tollahs of Iran and are aleready doing this.

So really, we either accept a nuclear Iran - which to me is NOT acceptable - or we make their military/nuclear capabilities parking lots.

Yes it will cause financial turmoil.  Yes the horror of the carnage to those on the receiving end.  But sitting back and letting Iran have nucs would in my opinion (I am a world class genius here in arm chair) be far worse.  We either deal with it now or pay a higher price later.

As for Israel there really is NO choice.  Either deal with it militarily or expect to be annhilated.   The Iranian regime is quite explicit in their goals.  They are saying it up front.  AND their actions *prove* they mean what they say.

If anyone has any other solutions please chime in.  Rachel how about you for starters.  You are clearly, like me a supporter of Israel, and (not like me) Obama.  As O'Reilly would ask, "what say you?" 

****November 2009
Victor Davis Hanson

Distinguished Fellow in History
Hillsdale College

The Future of Western War
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON, the Wayne and Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History at Hillsdale College, is also a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor of classics emeritus at California State University, Fresno. He earned his B.A. at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his Ph.D. in Classics from Stanford University. He is a columnist for National Review Online and for Tribune Media Services, and has published in several journals and newspapers, including Commentary, the Claremont Review of Books, The New Criterion, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Dr. Hanson has written or edited numerous books, including The Soul of Battle, Carnage and Culture, and A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War.

The following is adapted from a lecture delivered at Hillsdale College on October 1, 2009, during the author's four-week teaching residency.

I want to talk about the Western way of war and about the particular challenges that face the West today. But the first point I want to make is that war is a human enterprise that will always be with us. Unless we submit to genetic engineering, or unless video games have somehow reprogrammed our brains, or unless we are fundamentally changed by eating different nutrients—these are possibilities brought up by so-called peace and conflict resolution theorists—human nature will not change. And if human nature will not change—and I submit to you that human nature is a constant—then war will always be with us. Its methods or delivery systems—which can be traced through time from clubs to catapults and from flintlocks to nuclear weapons—will of course change. In this sense war is like water. You can pump water at 60 gallons per minute with a small gasoline engine or at 5000 gallons per minute with a gigantic turbine pump. But water is water—the same today as in 1880 or 500 B.C. Likewise war, because the essence of war is human nature.

Second, in talking about the Western way of war, what do we mean by the West? Roughly speaking, we refer to the culture that originated in Greece, spread to Rome, permeated Northern Europe, was incorporated by the Anglo-Saxon tradition, spread through British expansionism, and is associated today primarily with Europe, the United States, and the former commonwealth countries of Britain—as well as, to some extent, nations like Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea, which have incorporated some Western ideas. And what are Western ideas? This question is disputed, but I think we know them when we see them. They include a commitment to constitutional or limited government, freedom of the individual, religious freedom in a sense that precludes religious tyranny, respect for property rights, faith in free markets, and an openness to rationalism or to the explanation of natural phenomena through reason. These ideas were combined in various ways through Western history, and eventually brought us to where we are today. The resultant system creates more prosperity and affluence than any other. And of course, I don't mean to suggest that there was Jeffersonian democracy in 13th century England or in the Swiss cantons. But the blueprint for free government always existed in the West, in a way that it didn't elsewhere.

Just as this system afforded more prosperity in times of peace, it led to a superior fighting and defense capability in times of war. This is what I call the Western way of war, and there are several factors at play.

First, constitutional government was conducive to civilian input when it came to war. We see this in ancient Athens, where civilians oversaw a board of generals, and we see it in civilian control of the military in the United States. And at crucial times in Western history, civilian overseers have enriched military planning.

Second, Western culture gave birth to a new definition of courage. In Hellenic culture, the prowess of a hero was not recognized by the number of heads on his belt. As Aristotle noted in the Politics, Greek warriors didn't wear trophies of individual killings. Likewise, Victoria Crosses and Medals of Honor are awarded today for deeds such as staying in rank, protecting the integrity of the line, advancing and retreating on orders, or rescuing a comrade. This reflects a quite different understanding of heroism.

A third factor underlies our association of Western war with advanced technology. When reason and capitalism are applied to the battlefield, powerful innovations come about. Flints, percussion caps, rifle barrels and mini balls, to cite just a few examples, were all Western inventions. Related to this, Western armies—going back to Alexander the Great's army at the Indus—have a better logistics capability. A recent example is that the Americans invading Iraq were better supplied with water than the native Iraqis. This results from the application of capitalism to military affairs—uniting private self-interest and patriotism to provide armies with food, supplies, and munitions in a way that is much more efficient than the state-run command-and-control alternatives.

Yet another factor is that Western armies are impatient. They tend to want to seek out and destroy the enemy quickly and then go home. Of course, this can be both an advantage and a disadvantage, as we see today in Afghanistan, where the enemy is not so eager for decisive battle. And connected to this tradition is dissent. Today the U.S. military is a completely volunteer force, and its members' behavior on the battlefield largely reflects how they conduct themselves in civil society. One can trace this characteristic of Western armies back to Xenophon's ten thousand, who marched from Northern Iraq to the Black Sea and behaved essentially as a traveling city-state, voting and arguing in a constitutional manner. And their ability to do that is what saved them, not just their traditional discipline.
Now, I would not want to suggest that the West has always been victorious in war. It hasn't. But consider the fact that Europe had a very small population and territory, and yet by 1870 the British Empire controlled 75 percent of the world. What the Western way of war achieved, on any given day, was to give its practitioners—whether Cortez in the Americas, the British in Zululand, or the Greeks in Thrace—a greater advantage over their enemies. There are occasional defeats such as the battles of Cannae, Isandlwana, and Little Big Horn. Over a long period of time, however, the Western way of war will lead us to where we are today.

But where exactly are we today? There have been two developments over the last 20 years that have placed the West in a new cycle. They have not marked the end of the Western way of war, but they have brought about a significant change. The first is the rapid electronic dissemination of knowledge—such that someone in the Hindu Kush tonight can download a sophisticated article on how to make an IED. And the second is that non-Western nations now have leverage, given how global economies work today, through large quantities of strategic materials that Western societies need, such as natural gas, oil, uranium, and bauxite. Correspondingly, these materials produce tremendous amounts of unearned capital in non-Western countries—and by "unearned," I mean that the long process of civilization required to create, for example, a petroleum engineer has not occurred in these countries, yet they find themselves in possession of the monetary fruits of this process. So the West's enemies now have instant access to knowledge and tremendous capital.

In addition to these new developments, there are five traditional checks on the Western way of war that are intensified today. One of these checks is the Western tendency to limit the ferocity of war through rules and regulations. The Greeks tried to outlaw arrows and catapults. Romans had restrictions on the export of breast plates. In World War II, we had regulations against poison gas. Continuing this tradition today, we are trying to achieve nuclear non-proliferation. Unfortunately, the idea that Western countries can adjudicate how the rest of the world makes war isn't applicable anymore. As we see clearly in Iran, we are dealing with countries that have the wealth of Western nations (for the reasons just mentioned), but are anything but constitutional democracies. In fact, these nations find the idea of limiting their war-making capabilities laughable. Even more importantly, they know that many in the West sympathize with them—that many Westerners feel guilty about their wealth, prosperity, and leisure, and take psychological comfort in letting tyrants like Ahmadinejad provoke them.

The second check on the Western way of war is the fact that there is no monolithic West. For one thing, Western countries have frequently fought one another. Most people killed in war have been Europeans killing other Europeans, due to religious differences and political rivalries. And consider, in this light, how fractured the West is today. The U.S. and its allies can't even agree on sanctions against Iran. Everyone knows that once Iran obtains nuclear weapons—in addition to its intention to threaten Israel and to support terrorists—it will begin to aim its rockets at Frankfurt, Munich, and Paris, and to ask for further trade concessions and seek regional hegemony. And in this case, unlike when we deterred Soviet leaders during the Cold War, Westerners will be dealing with theocratic zealots who claim that they do not care about living, making them all the more dangerous. Yet despite all this, to repeat, the Western democracies can't agree on sanctions or even on a prohibition against selling technology and arms.

The third check is what I call "parasitism." It is very difficult to invent and fabricate weapons, but it is very easy to use them. Looking back in history, we have examples of Aztecs killing Conquistadors using steel breast plates and crossbows and of Native Americans using rifles against the U.S. Cavalry. Similarly today, nobody in Hezbollah can manufacture an AK-47—which is built by Russians and made possible by Western design principles—but its members can make deadly use of them. Nor is there anything in the tradition of Shiite Islam that would allow a Shiite nation to create centrifuges, which require Western physics. Yet centrifuges are hard at work in Iran. And this parasitism has real consequences. When the Israelis went into Lebanon in 2006, they were surprised that young Hezbollah fighters had laptop computers with sophisticated intelligence programs; that Hezbollah intelligence agents were sending out doctored photos, making it seem as if Israel was targeting civilians, to Reuters and the AP; and that Hezbollah had obtained sophisticated anti-tank weapons on the international market using Iranian funds. At that point it didn't matter that the Israelis had a sophisticated Western culture, and so it could not win the war.

A fourth check is the ever-present anti-war movement in the West, stemming from the fact that Westerners are free to dissent. And by "ever-present" I mean that long before Michael Moore appeared on the scene, we had Euripides' Trojan Women and Aristophanes' Lysistrata. Of course, today's anti-war movement is much more virulent than in Euripides' and Aristophanes' time. This is in part because people like Michael Moore do not feel they are in any real danger from their countries' enemies. They know that if push comes to shove, the 101st Airborne will ultimately ensure their safety. That is why Moore can say right after 9/11 that Osama Bin Laden should have attacked a red state rather than a blue state. And since Western wars tend to be fought far from home, rather than as a defense against invasions, there is always the possibility that anti-war sentiment will win out and that armies will be called home. Our enemies know this, and often their words and actions are aimed at encouraging and aiding Western anti-war forces.

Finally and most seriously, I think, there is what I call, for want of a better term, "asymmetry." Western culture creates citizens who are affluent, leisured, free, and protected. Human nature being what it is, we citizens of the West often want to enjoy our bounty and retreat into private lives—to go home, eat pizza, and watch television. This is nothing new. I would refer you to Petronius's Satyricon, a banquet scene written around 60 A.D. about affluent Romans who make fun of the soldiers who are up on the Rhine protecting them. This is what Rome had become. And it's not easy to convince someone who has the good life to fight against someone who doesn't.

To put this in contemporary terms, what we are asking today is for a young man with a $250,000 education from West Point to climb into an Apache helicopter—after emailing back and forth with his wife and kids about what went on at a PTA meeting back in Bethesda, Maryland—and fly over Anbar province or up to the Hindu Kush and risk being shot down by a young man from a family of 15, none of whom will ever live nearly as well as the poorest citizens of the United States, using a weapon whose design he doesn't even understand. In a moral sense, the lives of these two young men are of equal value. But in reality, our society values the lives of our young men much more than Afghan societies value the lives of theirs. And it is very difficult to sustain a protracted war with asymmetrical losses under those conditions.

My point here is that all of the usual checks on the tradition of Western warfare are magnified in our time. And I will end with this disturbing thought: We who created the Western way of war are very reluctant to resort to it due to post-modern cynicism, while those who didn't create it are very eager to apply it due to pre-modern zealotry. And that's a very lethal combination.****

4005  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Politics of mammograms (female *voters*) on: December 04, 2009, 02:24:45 PM
Commentary Mammogram advice based on science

Breast Cancer
Hospitals and Clinics By Miriam Alexander
December 4, 2009

We at the American College of Preventive Medicine support the updated United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendations on breast cancer screening. On Nov. 17, the task force released recommendations that women age 50 and older should have screening mammography every two years, and women in their 40s should decide whether to have screening mammography on an individual basis after talking with their doctors. Since then, misinformation and conspiratorial rumors have been rampant, including allegations that the task force is a mechanism for government or insurance industry cost-cutting at the expense of women's health.

Much of the response by media, pundits and policymakers is a result of two converging factors. The first is a lack of understanding about how the task force operates and how to interpret its findings. The second is a politically charged environment generated by the health care reform debates.

Let's set the record straight: The task force is not a government body. It is an independent panel of health care professionals, mostly primary care physicians - pediatricians, family physicians, internists, obstetricians and gynecologists - many of whom teach at prestigious academic medical centers. To characterize the task force as a collection of stooges for the insurance industry is simply disingenuous. In fact, the task force does not consider cost as a factor in making its recommendations. It conducts rigorous evaluations of the evidence to provide primary care clinicians with evidence-based guidance on using patient-directed clinical preventive services.

The task force concerns itself with clinical services aimed at patients who are healthy or do not have symptoms; it therefore deals with screening to detect early disease in which treatment or intervention will make a difference in ultimate health outcomes. The recommendations are not intended for people who are already ill or have symptoms. We agree with the task force that the tolerance for risk vs. the benefit of any service delivered in an asymptomatic population is different than in individuals who may already be ill.

Any competent doctor will tell you how important it is to consider both the benefits and the drawbacks of any treatment or screening service that they offer. The task force, using rigorous methodologies, examines the scientific evidence for preventive services. It carefully weighs the benefits and the drawbacks before making its recommendations - based on what's best for whole populations, not each individual.

Ideal preventive care for healthy individuals should "do no harm," as is stated in the Hippocratic Oath. Mammography may lead to harms such as false positives and subsequent unnecessary tests and biopsies. Furthermore, though unquestionably able to pick up true disease that needs treating, mammography also detects certain breast cancers will never spread and will never cause signs or symptoms. Our challenge in the medical community is that at the time of diagnosis, we do not know which cancers will lie dormant or regress and which will go on to cause significant suffering. We therefore move forward on treating essentially all cancers detected. A recent study suggests that 1 in 3 breast cancers detected on screening results in unnecessary surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy.

This recommendation also has nothing to do with health care reform. The task force voted on this recommendation more than a year ago - before the current administration took office and before health reform became a centerpiece of public policy. This recommendation is not about rationing, health care costs or politics. It is all about making intelligent decisions from a scientific perspective as to what works and what does not, and weighing medical benefits against negative outcomes.

As preventive medicine physicians, we support the value of mammograms for early detection of breast cancer. We know mammography screening saves lives. But it is important for women to be informed about the risks and benefits and make their decision in conjunction with their doctors. Let's not politicize this issue and these recommendations. Too many lives are at stake.

Dr. Miriam Alexander is president-elect of the American College of Preventive Medicine. She is on the faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is director of the school's General Preventive Residency Program. Her e-mail is
Copyright © 2009, The Baltimore Sun
4006  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: December 02, 2009, 12:24:44 PM
      "Anti-Semitism and crises in the US-Israel relationship have existed in the past, and there is simply nothing like it in the current      US    administration"

Simply nothing like it in the current administration?


As for the prominant Jews in the administration - they love and worship their own power more than Israel.

    "How can anyone accuse these individuals of being "self-hating Jews,"

Completely wrong.  These Jews who veiw anything Repubublican is worse than Nazism LOVE themselves.  I, a Jew who leans right detests them.  They are frauds, phoneys, hypocrits in my mind.
There are other Jews I relate to more.  I am proud of my fellow Jews but not these fraudulent "liberals".  If they want do good for the poor that is wonderful.  I applaud anyone who wants to help others.  Where I part ways is they want to tell the rest of us what to do.  They want to take our freedoms and give it to THEIR causes, and advance their socialistic agenda.  As for me they can do what they want with their lives, their money, but stop telling the rest of America what we ought or should be doing and how the rest of us MUST live, spend our money, how much taxes we should pay and all the rest.

    "So why the pervasive malaise about the Obama administration - a distrust so deep that Obama's popularity in Israel is equal to the margin of error?"

Baloney.  Most Israelis know Bush was a far greater friend to Israel than Obama.

   "The diplomatic failures led the New York Times editorial board to conclude on November 28, "We don't know exactly what happened but we are told that Mr. Obama relied more on the judgment of his political advisers - specifically his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel - than of his Mideast specialists."

We are seeing a pattern constantly popping up in the MSM.  As Obama's policies become more obviously a failure - blame someone else and give cover to Obama.  Oh I get it.  Obama was just listening to his advisors who were trying to do a mitzvah.  I would laugh outloud if this wasn't such a blatant lie.  Obama, the most radical, leftist Presedent we have ever had, whose father was a Muslim, as was he early in his life, and then converted to Christianity and sat in a Church for a quarter century run by a guy who is an obvious anti-semite.  NOw we are supposed to believe Obama was just getting wrong advice from his advisors.
The excuse business is going to be gargantuan over the next couple years.

4007  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Father a corrupt Congressman on: December 01, 2009, 12:00:12 PM
Well Chelsea's future father in law as a felon fits right in with the family.
I assume he has money so he can finance her eventual run for office.
Unfortunately another very liberal Jewish guy who spends all his time making every cent he can then turns around and pleads he is worried for the world's poor and hence MUST be a Democrat.  I don't understand the hypocracy of my some of own people.  I guess it is guilt for some.

****Will Father of the Groom Be Welcome Figure at Chelsea Clinton's Wedding?
Convicted Felon Ed Mezvinsky Cheated Friends and Family Out of Millions of Dollars
Dec. 1, 2009 
5 comments Font Size   PrintRSSE-mailShare this story with friendsFacebookTwitterRedditStumbleUponMore
If Ed Mezvinsky, the disgraced father of Chelsea Clinton's newly-announced fiancé Marc Mezvinsky, attends his own son's wedding, he might want to consider ducking out before the reception. Mezvinsky was convicted in 2002 of bilking his associates, friends and family members -- even his own late mother-in-law -- out of millions of dollars. Despite being released in April 2008 after serving five years in prison, Mezvinsky remains on federal probation and still owes almost $9.4 million in restitution to his victims.

Chelsea Clinton and fiancee Marc Mezvinsky are shown in this file photo, left./Marc's father, Edward M. Mezvinsky, is shown in this file photo.
(AP Photo/Reuters)
More PhotosAn ABC News investigation revealed that Mezvinsky, a former Democratic Congressman from Iowa, had been caught up in a series of Nigerian e-mail scams and began to steal from people to further his schemes.

"He was always looking for the home run. He was always trying to find the business deal that would make him as wealthy as all the people in his social circle," said federal prosecutor Bob Zauzmer. According to Zauzmer, Mezvinsky, who is now 72, will be on supervised release, the federal version of probation, until 2011.

PHOTOS: Inside Look at Nigerian Scam ArtistsPHOTOS: The Secrets Behind the 'Black Money' ScamMore from Brian Ross and the Investigative TeamABC News was unable to reach Ed Mezvinsky for a response, but did reach his wife Marjorie. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky refused to comment on whether or not her husband would be attending their son's wedding, referring all questions to a Clinton family spokesperson. Margolies-Mezvinsky did confirm that no wedding date has yet bAsked whether Ed Mezvinsky would be attending the wedding, a spokesperson for former President Bill Clinton said he didn't know. "I don't know anything at this point beyond the fact that they're engaged," Matt McKenna told ABC News in an e-mail.

In their heyday, Ed Mezvinsky and his wife Marjorie, herself a former Democratic congresswoman from Pennsylvania as well as an ex-TV reporter, were part of the political and social elite in Philadelphia. The Mezvinskys were close to Bill and Hillary Clinton and were frequent guests at the White House. Prosecutors say Mezvinsky exploited his ties to the Clintons, including his son's relationship with Chelsea, to woo investors to contribute more money to his schemes.

  Suspected Con MenMarc Mezvinsky's Dad Served Time For Nigerian E-mail Scam
Mezvinsky used those funds to travel to Nigeria to pursue one hare-brained scheme after another. He ultimately lost more than $3 million to the scammers, falling especially hard for the notorious "black money" scam, where victims are told millions of dollars have been coated with black ink so the money could be smuggled out of Nigeria. The scammers then offer to sell a special, expensive chemical to clean the ink off of the money. Prosecutors say Mezvinsky fell for at least three separate "black money" schemes.

Mezvinsky pleaded guilty to more than 30 counts of fraud, and was sentenced to 80 months in federal prison. He has blamed bipolar disorder for his behavior.

In an interview with Des Moines Register from prison in 2003, Mezvinsky said he found the scam convincing. "The man later came out with a chemical, threw it on the money, and it all turned to $100 bills. He gave me 10 to have them tested back home. And they were real," Mezvinsky told the Register.****
4008  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / "just because they say you're stupid doesn't mean you're Lincoln" on: December 01, 2009, 10:23:20 AM
LOL at that line.
Noonan who once pointed out BO is "no Abe LIncoln", than had a little egg on her face when he got elected can no bring that line up again - touche!

We are hearing it all now.  Lincoln was disliked early in his Presidency etc so why not OBama?

Last week, two points in an emerging pointillist picture of a White House leaking support—not the support of voters, though polls there show steady decline, but in two core constituencies, Washington's Democratic-journalistic establishment, and what might still be called the foreign-policy establishment.

From journalist Elizabeth Drew, a veteran and often sympathetic chronicler of Democratic figures, a fiery denunciation of—and warning for—the White House. In a piece in Politico on the firing of White House counsel Greg Craig, Ms. Drew reports that while the president was in Asia last week, "a critical mass of influential people who once held big hopes for his presidency began to wonder whether they had misjudged the man." They once held "an unromantically high opinion of Obama," and were key to his rise, but now they are concluding that the president isn't "the person of integrity and even classiness they had thought."

She scored "the Chicago crowd," which she characterized as "a distressingly insular and small-minded West Wing team." The White House, Ms. Drew says, needs adult supervision—"an older, wiser head, someone with a bit more detachment."

As I read Ms. Drew's piece, I was reminded of something I began noticing a few months ago in bipartisan crowds. I would ask Democrats how they thought the president was doing. In the past they would extol, with varying degrees of enthusiasm, his virtues. Increasingly, they would preface their answer with, "Well, I was for Hillary."

This in turn reminded me of a surprising thing I observe among loyal Democrats in informal settings and conversations: No one loves Barack Obama. Half the American people say they support him, and Democrats are still with him. But there were Bill Clinton supporters who really loved him. George W. Bush had people who loved him. A lot of people loved Jack Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. But no one seems to love Mr. Obama now; they're not dazzled and head over heels. That's gone away.

He himself seems a fairly chilly customer; perhaps in turn he inspires chilly support. But presidents need that rock-bottom 20% who, no matter what's happening—war, unemployment—adore their guy, have complete faith in him, and insist that you love him, too.

They're the hard 20 a president always keeps. Nixon kept them! Obama probably has a hard 20 too, but whatever is keeping them close, it doesn't seem to be love.

Just as stinging as Elizabeth Drew on domestic matters was Leslie Gelb on Mr. Obama and foreign policy in the Daily Beast. Mr. Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations and fully plugged into the Democratic foreign-policy establishment, wrote this week that the president's Asia trip suggested "a disturbing amateurishness in managing America's power." The president's Afghanistan review has been "inexcusably clumsy," Mideast negotiations have been "fumbling." So unsuccessful was the trip that Mr. Gelb suggested Mr. Obama take responsibility for it "as President Kennedy did after the Bay of Pigs."

He added that rather than bowing to emperors—Mr. Obama "seems to do this stuff spontaneously and inexplicably"—he should begin to bow to "the voices of experience" in Washington.

When longtime political observers start calling for wise men, a president is in trouble.

It also raises a distressing question: Who are the wise men and women now? Who are the Robert Lovetts, Chip Bohlens and Robert Strausses who can came in to help a president in trouble right his ship? America seems short of wise men, or short on those who are universally agreed to be wise. I suppose Vietnam was the end of that, but establishments exist for a reason, and it is hard for a great nation to function without the presence of a group of "the oldest and wisest" who can not only give sound advice but help engineer how that advice will be reported and received.

Mr Obama is in a hard place. Health care hangs over him, and if he is lucky he will lose a close vote in the Senate. The common wisdom that he can't afford to lose is exactly wrong—he can't afford to win with such a poor piece of legislation. He needs to get the issue behind him, vow to fight another day, and move on.

Afghanistan hangs over him, threatening the unity of his own Democratic congressional base. There is the growing perception of incompetence, of the inability to run the machine of government. This, with Americans, is worse than Mr. Obama's rebranding as a leader who governs from the left. Americans demand baseline competence. If he comes to be seen as Jimmy Carter was, that the job was bigger than the man, that will be the end.

Which gets us back to the bow.

In a presidency, a picture or photograph becomes iconic only when it seems to express something people already think. When Gerald Ford was spoofed for being physically clumsy, it took off. The picture of Ford losing his footing and tumbling as he came down the steps of Air Force One became a symbol. There was a reason, and it wasn't that he was physically clumsy. He was not only coordinated but graceful. He'd been a football star at the University of Michigan and was offered contracts by the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.

But the picture took off because it expressed the growing public view that Ford's policies were bumbling and stumbling. The picture was iconic of a growing political perception.

The Obama bowing pictures are becoming iconic, and they would not be if they weren't playing off a growing perception. If the pictures had been accompanied by headlines from Asia saying "Tough Talks Yield Big Progress" or "Obama Shows Muscle in China," the bowing pictures might be understood this way: "He Stoops to Conquer: Canny Obama shows elaborate deference while he subtly, toughly, quietly advances his nation's interests."

But that's not how the pictures were received or will be remembered.

It is true that Mr. Obama often seems not to have a firm grasp of—or respect for—protocol, of what has been done before and why, and of what divergence from the traditional might imply. And it is true that his political timing was unfortunate. When a great nation is feeling confident and strong, a surprising presidential bow might seem gracious. When it is feeling anxious, a bow will seem obsequious.

The Obama bowing pictures are becoming iconic not for those reasons, however, but because they express a growing political perception, and that is that there is something amateurish about this presidency, something too ad hoc and highly personalized about it, something . . . incompetent, at least in its first year.

It is hard to be president, and White Houses under pressure take refuge in thoughts that become mantras. When the previous White House came under mounting criticism from 2005 through '08, they comforted themselves by thinking, They criticized Lincoln, too. You could see their minds whirring: Lincoln was criticized, Lincoln was great, ergo we are great. But of course just because they say you're stupid doesn't mean you're Lincoln.

One senses the Obama people are doing the Lincoln too, and adding to it the consoling thought that this is only the first year, we've got three years to go, we can change perceptions, don't worry.

But they should worry. You can get tagged, typed and pegged your first year. Gerald Ford did, and Ronald Reagan too, more happily. The first year is when indelible impressions are made and iconic photos emerge.

Printed in The Wall Street Journal Asia, page 15
Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved"
4009  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Energy Politics & Science on: November 30, 2009, 02:50:08 PM
Doug suggested we come up with a new contract with America.  One of the promises I thought of is that Republicans promise to make America self sufficient when it comes to our energy needs.  I did a search for this but all I pull up is lefitst rants about alternative energy like solar, wind etc, and/or biofuels.
I went to Newt's webite and he has a column for energy but he points out near the bottom is "we have to come up with an alternative to what the Democrats are offering now".

I don't see why we can't do all of it as well as using our own offshore reserves, nuclear, Canada shale etc. instead of shooting ourselves in the head like BO and the rest of the socialists (and the rest of the laughing world) want us to do.

In any case we need a showdown on energy policy to help knock the liberals out of power.
Probably most Americans would buy it if we can surmount the MSM propaganda machine.
4010  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / A banker on: November 30, 2009, 09:46:09 AM
and possibly a nice Jewish boy.
But is he politically correct in his views?
Anyone care to bet if he is a secret Beck admirer?

Clinton daughter Chelsea engaged to be married
         NEW YORK – Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton has become engaged to her longtime boyfriend.

Matt McKenna, a spokesman for former President Bill Clinton, confirmed that 29-year old Chelsea and investment banker Marc Mezvinsky got engaged on Thanksgiving and announced it in an e-mail to friends.

Chelsea is the only daughter of the former president and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. The couple was rumored to be getting married last summer in Martha's Vineyard but the stories turned out to be premature. The engagement was first reported by ABC News.

4011  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Calling Obama the radical he is is a new McCarthism on: November 28, 2009, 01:43:31 PM
Has anyone noticed the MSNBC types trying to marginalize the efforts to expose BO for what he is as a new version of "McCarthyism"?

Trying to link the Becks et al with what possibly was historically rewritten that McCarthy efforts were so terrible in the 50's.
Ah the poor liberals of HWood whe were smeared and black listed.  How they suffered yadda yadda.
4012  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / David Alinsky: Obama learned his lesson well on: November 28, 2009, 01:39:35 PM
Doug writes:

"I've listened to Glen Beck on radio plenty.  His 'conspiracy' charge is that this administration's playbook is right out of extremist Saul Alinsky's radical rules.  That happens to be true whether by design or coincidence."

It IS by design.  From Saul Alinsky's own son who blows the cover by pointing out the connection with Obama and his father is no coincidence:

****Communist guru
Saul Alinsky’s son: “Obama learned his lesson well”

By Judi McLeod  Tuesday, September 2, 2008
In Artful Dodger style, Barack Obama, plays down his mentorship with Communist author Saul Alinsky.  But Alinsky’s son, L. David Alinsky, credits Obama for “learning his lesson well” from the Communist guru.

  Indeed, Alinsky Jr. who credits his late father for the success of last week’s Democratic National Convention, may have done something that Obama’s detractors couldn’t: blown the cover on the presidential hopeful’s communist leanings.

  No one can blame Alinsky for the pretentiousness of the Ancient Greek Temple from which Obama addressed plebes, or for the tacky neon colours on display at the Pepsi Centre, but it was Alinsky who wrote Rules for Radicals, the bible of the far left.

Says Alinsky’s son L. David Alinsky of his father’s influence at the Dem Convention: “ALL the elements were present: the individual stories told by real people of their situation and hardships, the packed-to-the rafters crowd, the crowd’s chanting of key phrases and names, the action on the spot of texting and phoning to show instant support and commitment to jump into the political battle, the rallying selections of music, the setting of the agenda by the power people.”

  “The Democratic National Convention had all the elements of the perfectly organized event, Saul Alinsky style, the Communist guru’s son wrote in a letter published yesterday in the Boston Globe.

  The Artful Dodger may be less than pleased that he has been pegged as a Saul Alinsky Poster Boy by the guru’s own son.

  “Barack Obama’s training in Chicago by the great community organizers is showing its effectiveness,” Alinsky Jr. wrote to the Globe.  “It is an amazingly powerful format, and the method of my late father always works to get the message out and get the supporters on board.  When executed meticulously and thoughtfully, it is a powerful strategy for initiating change and making it really happen.  Obama learned his lesson well.

  “I am proud to see that my father’s model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008.  It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday.”

  Alinsky should be reminded that the West has stared down communism everywhere it has raised its hideous head.

  influencing a Democratic convention from the grave pales in comparison to the results that followed President Ronald Reagan’s famous words, “Mr. Gorbachev, take down this wall.”

  The commonsense and freedom-loving Gipper would have chuckled at the audacity of Obama’s Ancient Greek Temple stage setting and would have told Obama what he told the world:  “All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”

  Reagan also said: “I have seen the rise and fall of Nazi tyranny, the subsequent cold war and the nuclear nightmare that for 50 years haunted the dreams of children everywhere.  During that time my generation defeated totalitarianism.  As a result, your world is poised for better tomorrows.  What will you do on your journey?”

  “Alinsky considered himself a realist above all, the ultimate pragmatist.” (American Thinker, Aug. 30, 2008).  “As a confirmed atheist, Alinsky believed that the here and now is all there is, and therefore had no qualms about assorted versions of morality in the pursuit of worldly power.  He didn’t coddle his radical acolytes or encourage their bourgeois distinctions between good and evil when it came to transferring power from the Haves to the Have Nots.  Alinsky saw the already formed church communities as being the perfect springboards for agitation and creating bonds for demanding goods and services.”

  Obama followed the same path.

  It is a fact that activist-cum senator Barack Hussein Obama started off his career as an activist with a position as a community organizer for the Developing Communities Project (DCP) of the Calumet Community Religious conference (CCRC) in Chicago. Both the CCRC and the DCP were built on the Alinsky model of community agitation, wherein paid organizers learned, in Alinsky’s own words,  how to “rub raw the sores of discontent”.

  Meanwhile L. David Alinsky, perhaps unwittingly put Obama into the proper perspective by stating without reservation: “Obama learned his lesson well.”****
4013  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: Pathological Science on: November 24, 2009, 01:30:48 PM
When it comes to what we should do in Afghanistan BO takes his time - I mean we should think this through - but when it comes to thinking through the claims of climate change - well that is defferent.

I mean why call into question the whole theory of climate change just because some of its promoters are clearly perpetuating a giant fraud on all of us? wink

I mean why do this when we can exponentially expand governement control and further the demise of American leadership in the world?  Is not BO exposed over and over and the mainstream press still calls those who call THIS fraud on it's face value fringe of the fringe?

"Obama says 'step closer' to climate deal
Nov 24 12:25 PM US/Eastern

US President Barack Obama said Tuesday the world has moved "one step closer" to a "strong operational agreement" on climate change at next month's Copenhagen summit after his talks with Indian and Chinese leaders."
4014  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The vast left wing conspiracy: BO's friends, appts, and running dogs on: November 24, 2009, 09:33:02 AM
I couldn't agree more with this analysis.  It is obvious to anyone who is objective.
Propaganda - it is a major tool of facism, naziism, communism and progressism.
BO is a major league propagandist.

I watched this AM on CNN the meeting with India's PRime minister while they played the National Anthem and there is BO with his patent camera pose; chin up, head slightly turned and hand over his heart (as though his bust is on Mt. Rushmore).  All I can think of is how paradoxical - this guy hates America and he stands during the National Anthem like he admires and is a proud of our country.
Photo op - while he leads us into socialism.  What a joke on real Americans.
4015  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / World still with lots of oil, gas, coal on: November 23, 2009, 11:10:16 AM
From the other George W.
****By George Will | What city contributed most to the making of the modern world? The Paris of the Enlightenment and then of Napoleon, pioneer of mass armies and nationalist statism? London, seat of parliamentary democracy and center of finance? Or perhaps Titusville, Pa.

Oil seeping from the ground there was collected for medicinal purposes — until Edwin Drake drilled and 150 years ago (Aug. 27, 1859) found the basis of our world, 69 feet below the surface of Pennsylvania, which oil historian Daniel Yergin calls "the Saudi Arabia of 19th-century oil."

For many years, most oil was used for lighting and lubrication, and the amounts extracted were modest. Then in 1901, a new well named for an East Texas hillock, Spindletop, began gushing more per day than all other U.S. wells combined.

Since then, America has exhausted its hydrocarbon supplies. Repeatedly.

In 1914, the Bureau of Mines said that U.S. oil reserves would be exhausted by 1924. In 1939, the Interior Department said that the world had 13 years' worth of petroleum reserves. Then a global war was fought, and the postwar boom was fueled. In 1951 Interior reported that the world had . . . 13 years of reserves. In 1970, the world's proven oil reserves were an estimated 612 billion barrels. By 2006, more than 767 billion barrels had been pumped, and proven reserves were 1.2 trillion barrels. In 1977, scold in chief Jimmy Carter predicted that mankind "could use up all the proven reserves of oil in the entire world by the end of the next decade." Since then the world has consumed three times more oil than was then in the world's proven reserves.


  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.

But surely now America can quickly wean itself from hydrocarbons, adopting alternative energies — wind, solar, nuclear? No.

Keith O. Rattie, chief executive of Questar, a natural gas and pipeline company, says that by 2050 there may be 10 billion people demanding energy — a daunting prospect, considering that of today's 6.2 billion people, nearly 2 billion "don't even have electricity — never flipped a light switch." Rattie says that energy demand will grow 30 to 50 percent in the next 20 years and there are no near-term alternatives to fossil fuels.

Today, wind and solar power combined are just one-sixth of 1 percent of American energy consumption. Nuclear? The United States and other rich nations endorse reducing world carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050. But Oliver Morton, a science writer, says that if nuclear is to supply even 10 percent of the necessary carbon-free energy, the world must build more than 50 large nuclear power plants a year. Currently five a year are being built. Rattie says that as part of "a worldwide building boom in coal-fired power plants," about 30 under construction in America "will burn about 70 million tons of coal a year."

Edward L. Morse, an energy official in Carter's State Department, writes in Foreign Affairs that the world's deep-water oil and gas reserves are significantly larger than was thought a decade ago, and high prices have spurred development of technologies — a drilling vessel can cost $1 billion — for extracting them. The costs of developing oil sands — Canada may contain more oil than Saudi Arabia — are declining, so projects that last year were not economic with the price of oil under $90 a barrel are now viable with oil at $79 a barrel.

Morse says new technologies are also speeding development of natural gas trapped in U.S. shale rock. The Marcellus Shale, which stretches from West Virginia through Pennsylvania and into New York, "may contain as much natural gas as the North Field in Qatar, the largest field ever discovered."

Rattie says that known U.S. reserves of natural gas, which are sure to become larger, exceed 100 years of supply at the current rate of consumption. BP recently announced a "giant" oil discovery beneath the Gulf of Mexico. Yergin, writing in Foreign Policy, says "careful examination of the world's resource base . . . indicates that the resource endowment of the planet is sufficient to keep up with demand for decades to come."

Such good news horrifies people who relish scarcity because it requires — or so they say — government to ration what is scarce and to generally boss people to mend their behavior: "This is the police!" Put down that incandescent bulb and step away from the lamp!"

Today, there is a name for the political doctrine that rejoices in scarcity of everything except government. The name is environmentalism.*****
4016  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: November 23, 2009, 10:13:54 AM
"The Russians have been yanking the Iranians' chain, and ours, on this point for several years now."

I didn't realize this.
But where is the Russian's end game with this?
4017  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: November 22, 2009, 03:02:57 PM
A shining example of Washington corruption and how our government is totally out of control.  Use my tax dollars to bribe a Senator to vote for a bill I don't want.  Obviously this has been going on forever.  Any Consititutional protection against this?  I guess not or we would have seen it by now.   

By Dana Milbank
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Staffers on Capitol Hill were calling it the Louisiana Purchase.

On the eve of Saturday's showdown in the Senate over health-care reform, Democratic leaders still hadn't secured the support of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), one of the 60 votes needed to keep the legislation alive. The wavering lawmaker was offered a sweetener: at least $100 million in extra federal money for her home state.

And so it came to pass that Landrieu walked onto the Senate floor midafternoon Saturday to announce her aye vote -- and to trumpet the financial "fix" she had arranged for Louisiana. "I am not going to be defensive," she declared. "And it's not a $100 million fix. It's a $300 million fix."

It was an awkward moment (not least because her figure is 20 times the original Louisiana Purchase price). But it was fairly representative of a Senate debate that seems to be scripted in the Southern Gothic style. The plot was gripping -- the bill survived Saturday's procedural test without a single vote to spare -- and it brought out the rank partisanship, the self-absorption and all the other pathologies of modern politics. If that wasn't enough of a Tennessee Williams story line, the debate even had, playing the lead role, a Southerner named Blanche with a flair for the dramatic.

After Landrieu threw in her support (she asserted that the extra Medicaid funds were "not the reason" for her vote), the lone holdout in the 60-member Democratic caucus was Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. Like other Democratic moderates who knew a single vote could kill the bill, she took a streetcar named Opportunism, transferred to one called Wavering and made off with concessions of her own. Indeed, the all-Saturday debate, which ended with an 8 p.m. vote, occurred only because Democratic leaders had yielded to her request for more time.

Even when she finally announced her support, at 2:30 in the afternoon, Lincoln made clear that she still planned to hold out for many more concessions in the debate that will consume the next month. "My decision to vote on the motion to proceed is not my last, nor only, chance to have an impact on health-care reform," she announced.

Landrieu and Lincoln got the attention because they were the last to decide, but the Senate really has 100 Blanche DuBoises, a full house of characters inclined toward the narcissistic. The health-care debate was worse than most. With all 40 Republicans in lockstep opposition, all 60 members of the Democratic caucus had to vote yes -- and that gave each one an opportunity to extract concessions from Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) won a promise from Reid to support his plan to expand eligibility for health insurance. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) got Reid to jettison a provision stripping health insurers of their antitrust exemption. Landrieu got the concessions for her money. And Lincoln won an extended, 72-hour period to study legislation.

And the big shakedown is yet to occur: That will happen when Reid comes back to his caucus in a few weeks to round up 60 votes for the final passage of the health bill.

Republicans also knew that a single defection would kill the bill, so they tried to pressure the holdouts. "That's what we've got to choose today: Do we choose life or do we choose death?" declared Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.). "We just need one vote, one vote on the other side."

But Landrieu had already made up her mind. She went to the floor during the lunch hour to say that she would vote to proceed with the debate -- but that she'd be looking for much bigger concessions before she gives her blessing to a final version of the bill.

"My vote today," she said in a soft Southern accent that masked the hard politics at play, "should in no way be construed by the supporters of this current framework as an indication of how I might vote as this debate comes to an end." Among the concessions she'll seek: more tax credits for small business and a removal of the version of the "public option" now in the bill.

That turned all the attention to the usually quiet Lincoln, who emerged from the cloakroom two hours later to announce her decision. Her attire was school-principal prim -- blue suit with knee-length skirt, orange silk scarf tied tightly at the neck -- and she was clearly uncomfortable in the spotlight. She spoke with the diction of somebody giving a dramatic reading, and she stumbled more than once as she read, botching the crucial line: "I will vote to support, of, the, the, will vote in support of cloture on the motion to proceed to this bill."

She argued, a bit too strenuously, that "I'm not thinking about my reelection" in 2010. All the same, she made clear that Democratic leaders would have to give more if they want her to vote yes as the health-care debate continues. Specifically, she demanded removal of the public option. "I am opposed to a new government-administered health-care plan," she warned, further cautioning that "I will not vote in favor of the proposal . . . as it is written."

By the time this thing is done, the millions for Louisiana will look like a bargain.
4018  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Nuclear War, WMD issues on: November 22, 2009, 02:59:52 PM
I believe it was during an interview of John Bolton where it was pointed out that the Iranians have ordered and paid for anti-aircraft weapons from Russia.

It is my opinion they have absolutely no choice but to go all out to destroy to the best of their ability the Iranian nuc sites before Iran gets these weapons.

Keep an eye out for this and sell all your stock if we hear these weapons are being delivered in my opinion.
4019  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / More lawyerly linguistics; What is IS? on: November 20, 2009, 10:53:38 AM
What can I say?  For anyone who works hard and keeps getting robbed by the government this should be infuriating.  But it doesn't matter because the number of people who are on the receiving end of government dole outs keeps rising and they certainly don't give a crap.  This makes me wish there were enough people who are willing to stand up and just say enough and simply not pay their taxes.  What are they going to do arrest 100 million people.
We just keep getting robbed more and more.  There is no end in sight.
Obama has hated America as it was and barely still is for 200 years.  So now I can hate what he is turning it into.
In his mind that is justice.
I can only hope we kick this guy out of office in time and can restrict his power next year in the elections.

***ABC News' Jonathan Karl reports:

What does it take to get a wavering senator to vote for health care reform?

Here’s a case study.

On page 432 of the Reid bill, there is a section increasing federal Medicaid subsidies for “certain states recovering from a major disaster.” 

The section spends two pages defining which “states” would qualify, saying, among other things, that it would be states that “during the preceding 7 fiscal years” have been declared a “major disaster area.” 

I am told the section applies to exactly one state:  Louisiana, the home of moderate Democrat Mary Landrieu, who has been playing hard to get on the health care bill.

In other words, the bill spends two pages describing would could be written with a single world:  Louisiana.  (This may also help explain why the bill is long.)

Senator Harry Reid, who drafted the bill, cannot pass it without the support of Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu.

How much does it cost?  According to the Congressional Budget Office: $100 million.

Here’s the incredibly complicated language: 


Section 1905 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396d), as amended by sections 2001(a)(3) and
2001(b)(2), is amended— (1) in subsection (b), in the first sentence, by striking ‘‘subsection (y)’’ and inserting ‘‘subsections (y) and (aa)’’; and (2) by adding at the end the following new subsection:

‘‘(aa)(1) Notwithstanding subsection (b), beginning January 1, 2011, the Federal medical assistance percentage for a fiscal year for a disaster-recovery FMAP adjustment State shall be equal to the following:
‘(A) In the case of the first fiscal year (or part of a fiscal year) for which this subsection applies to the State, the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the fiscal year without regard to this subsection and subsection (y), increased by 50 percent of the number of percentage points by which the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the fiscal year without regard to this subsection and subsection (y), is less than the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the preceding fiscal year after the application of only subsection (a) of section 5001 of Public Law 111–5 (if applicable to the preceding fiscal year) and without regard to this subsection, subsection (y), and subsections (b) and (c) of section 5001 of Public Law 111–5.

‘‘(B) In the case of the second or any succeeding fiscal year for which this subsection applies to the State, the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the preceding fiscal year under this subsection for the State, increased by 25 percent of the number of percentage points by which the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the fiscal year without regard to this subsection and subsection (y), is less than the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the preceding fiscal year under this subsection.

‘‘(2) In this subsection, the term ‘disaster-recovery FMAP adjustment State’ means a State that is one of
the 50 States or the District of Columbia, for which, at any time during the preceding 7 fiscal years, the President has declared a major disaster under section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and determined as a result of such disaster that every county or parish in the State warrant individual and public assistance or public assistance from the Federal Government under such Act and for which— ‘‘(A) in the case of the first fiscal year (or part of a fiscal year) for which this subsection applies to the State, the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the fiscal year without regard to this subsection and subsection (y), is less than the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the preceding fiscal year after the application of only subsection (a) of section 5001 of Public Law 111–5 (if applicable to the preceding fiscal year) and without regard to this subsection, subsection (y), and subsections (b) and (c) of section 5001 of Public Law 111–5, by at least 3 percentage points; and ‘‘(B) in the case of the second or any succeeding fiscal year for which this subsection applies to the State, the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the fiscal year without regard to this subsection and subsection (y), is less than the Federal medical assistance percentage determined for the State for the preceding fiscal year under this subsection by at least 3 percentage points.

‘‘(3) The Federal medical assistance percentage determined for a disaster-recovery FMAP adjustment State under paragraph (1) shall apply for purposes of this title (other than with respect to disproportionate share hospital payments described in section 1923 and payments under this title that are based on the enhanced FMAP described in 2105(b)) and shall not apply with respect to payments under title IV (other than under part E of title IV) or payments under title XXI.’’.****

4020  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Mammo screening - who wants to face a mob of angry women? on: November 18, 2009, 11:39:24 AM
Of course the parade of women on the news networks, who have had breast cancer parading, and with their anecdotal stories mostly explaining their outrage at the recent task force recommendations which are just that - recommendations based on the data.
One woman this morning agreed and actually commended the USPSTF for their courageous decision only to be questioned with disbelief from the CNN announcer.

Question to all here:

Would anyone want to say no to a mob of angry women about the advisability of mammos between 40 and 50, OR is it easier and more politically expedient to just say OK - we rec. mammos between 40 and 50?

Based on any numbers I have read we could just as easily be causing just as many breast cancers with the additional 5 or 10 mammograms in a person's lifetime then we *may* be saving.  I admit it seems hard to believe but if we are saving so many lives who come we can't prove it with hundreds of thousands of people in the studies?

No one wants to be called sexist, a murderer, a piece of dirt who just wants to save money while many women die needlessly because heartless insurance companies don't want to pay for the mammograms.

So we have been paying for them even when the science doesn't show evidence they help more than they harm.

FWIW there is similar controversy with prostate cancer screening.

And by the way my mother and aunt both had breast cancer.
4021  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Breast cancer screening IS political on: November 17, 2009, 10:05:24 AM
From everything I have read so far mammograms before age 50 have not been shown to save any lives though this article suggests that one life could be saved in around 1900 of them.  No where does it point out the increased burden from the extra CUMULATIVE dose of radiation that undoubtedly will cause some breast cancers by starting radiation screening at age 40 rather than 50.

Make no mistake about it - this is and has been more of a political decision.  There are potent lobbying groups from the Susan Kormen foundation, NOW and others, primarily womens groups who lobby and claims that breast cancer researched lagged ( because of course most researchers are men and therefore they don't give a hoot about what is mostly a woman's disease and any politician that disputes this is of course going to incur the wrath of woman at the polls.  I always felt groups like the American Cancer Society who support mammos from 40 to 50 were succumbing more to political pressure than to science.

Now of course with the USPSTF new rec. that screening mammos be done in normal risk pts only after age 50 the screams and outcries are all over the news.  It is more obvious than ever health decisions are no longer just that - they are political decisions.

And the questions begs to be answered - WHEN IF EVER IS COST TO SOCIETY AN ISSUE?Huh?

So we SHOULD do nearly 20,000 mammograms (1,900 babes screened over ten years) to save one life?
The cost is not an issue??

Well by that logic why do we even do mammograms???  Why not do MRIs which are more sensitive and safer (no radiation) than mammos ( and probably less painful)??

Why not do them every 6 months?  Where do we draw the line???  This is EXACTLY a perfect example of individuals screaming they they want everything done known to man at a cost that is acceptable because why??  Someone else pays for it.

Who if anyone will take the leadership and ask us where to draw the line???

Folks this is one reason we go broke.  No one is addressing this.
4022  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / CMA awards on: November 16, 2009, 06:22:03 PM
I don't know if anyone is a country fan but if you watched the CMA awards you couldn't help but think the music mostly stunk.

No new songs that appeared to be Katherine's.
However there were some sung that originally appeared as recent as around two months ago that were like those networked off the computer or  a few left overs written on folders and taken out of the house.
Included are the first one of Taylor Swift's two songs as well as White Liar claimed to have been written by Lambert.
The Sugarland songs of course (Ms. stuffed nose).
Keith Urban's appeared to be written by someone else not Katherine - maybe really was his own.
Carrie underwood's song as usual sounded like a Katherine throw away.  Wasn't even "country" and was really more pop.
They had all kinds of excuses explaining how or why she is changing her style.  Don't buy the bullshit.  It is for no other reason than they can't steal something that is more suitably country and apparently can't write anything themselves or/and do not anyone else who can in their little club of scoundrels.

Brooks and Dunn who sang numerous songs just like Katherine's are all washed up and have announced their retirement but not before making fools of themselves singing a hard rock song with a ZZ top song (oh yea - that's real country).
Unless they can get Swift more songs she will go the way of the garbage can too.  See certainly isn't where she is because of talent.
Yea they will get her some more material to soak the teenie boppers as much as they can out of their parent's money but she proved again she can't sing well, dance well, or play guitar - unless strumming one cord is playing guitar.

They cleverly had all the country bumpkin "stars" come in with their daughters so they could all run down and surround the stage where Swift was doing her one cord strum and play up the teens gone wild for Taylor bit.

Sorry Doug.  I am glad your daughters had a good time with Swift and hope they are well.   No one can stop teenage crushes anymore that we can stop a hurricane.  I remember my older sister screaming and going nuts with my parents scratching their heads 45 yrs ago as the Beatles came out on Ed Sullivan.  Who didn't have romantic fantasies at that age?  I know I did. 

Unless they can steal more of Katherine's songs (or someone else with real talent) the country bumpkins are mostly washed up.
That said I don't underestimate their resolve or leverage in getting their way.

Like a boxer once said on cable - "you can't fight the mafia".
4023  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 13, 2009, 01:57:00 PM
***Will the next Mohamed Atta or Khalid Sheikh Mohammed need to be caught exactly in the act, require probable cause to be bothered, be read his rights and consult an attorney, etc. before the US can take preventive, security actions??***

Exactly.  Similar to the jerks on TV exclaiming they are WORRIED that Hassan can get a FAIR trial.

***Defense will put USA, our anti-terrorism efforts and justice system on trial, while getting evidence thrown out.****

Exactly.  MSNBC will love the waterboarding thing.  *We are the killers and torturers", etc!

Just let them try it.  Hopefully this will blow up in their faces.  Obama's too.  But he will back off..... now that the damage is all done.

4024  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / political master stroke on: November 13, 2009, 09:28:50 AM
Probably not coincidence this comes out NOW.
Notice the news channels fall for this hook line and sinker.

After days of embarassing day after day revelations coming out proving that Hassan got as far as he did due to political correctness we get a sudden out of know where "tough on terrorism" move by the Feds.

Then we are being told that Mohammed is being brought to NYC for trial to please the anti terrorism folks.
OBama had to do something - he is crashing in the polls and if he looked soft on terror (excuse me, I mean catching the bad boy banditos who commit these acts - not "terrorists") his ratings would really fall off a cliff.

Personally I prefer this guy NOT be tried in the media circus glare of NYC.  The trial will go on for Gods knows how long and it will be a circus.

Give the guy his few days in court in the military and then execute him and get it over with.
Should have been done years ago.  But why not save it for the political opportune moment such as NOW.
4025  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama the slavemaster on: November 12, 2009, 05:11:48 PM
Possibly by design Barack Obama is the biggest enslaver of part of our society since 1865.

We the taxpayers are enslaved to government who confiscate wealth to bribe their way to power.

Ironically so many in the lower classes think of themselves slaves to those of the higher classes.

Obama is turning this around and making the earners and creators of wealth the slave to those who have their hands out for entitlements.

4026  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: November 12, 2009, 03:37:18 PM
"The Times quotes the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s condemnation of the killings, declaring that the organization is “speaking for much of the Muslim community in the United States.” On what possible basis can the Times determine that? Is there any organization that the Times would designate as speaking for much of the Christian community in the United States? How about the Jewish Community?"

We keep hearing how *most* Muslims do not hold the opinions of the Ft. Hood killer.
He is a fringe of the fringe.

Oh really?  Exactly how does anyone know that?  Has anyone studied this?

Where is the research that proves this?  And does anyone really think that many Muslims are going to admit in the open they sympathize with Jihad?
4027  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Homeland Security and American Freedom on: November 09, 2009, 07:30:10 PM
***Think how much worse this would have been in their little minds if the victims were shot because they were black or gay, instead  because they are patriotic Americans serving their country***

True.  And think how much worse this would have been simply if W were still President.  This to me is all about protecting the Obama.
4028  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Our house breached on: November 09, 2009, 04:31:19 PM
Katherine and I found out the criminals surveillancing us have been in our house more than once probably within the last few months.
Unless they used forced entry and covered it up they slipped in through a door and tip toed around stealing some Copyright documents, financial statements and ominously identification documents for Katherine.

Were not entirely sure the damage done but it is no coincidence this occured (we believe within last few weeks to month) before the Country Music Awards this Wednesday.

She or I are ALWAYS in the house so they somehow got in and snuck around while we were there.
They must have cameras and listening devices somewhere to be able to coordinate it without our knowing.
There are neighbors who have moved in to neighborhood after us in order to watch us exactly for this reason;  to stalk and wait for the perfect opportunity to get in the house steal evidence and then get the songs up to the singers so they can get them OUT THEIR - published!

This is how these criminals work and why it is so hard to catch them.  They never take chances, they are very patient and willing to wait for as long as it takes, and have everything planned out in advance, and everything is soft - they sneak around leaving no evidence.  No forced entry - just pick locks, get copies of keys through bribery or finding out which Home Depot I was in and simply getting a key from the same batch of locks (- they are all the same key), and similar tricks.

I believe they are getting in the house when I am not home. In retrospect I find they watch me closely wherever I happen to be at the time when the plan to get in the house.  This way they know I won't just happen to pull up and catch them.

I can't comment anymore.

We will be watching the CMAs closely for any new material.

Did anyone see Carrie Underwear say on the CMT or perhaps GAC station how she can't comment on her new songs,  "my handlers have not given me permission" to say yet?

In other words, the songs have not been *completely* stolen just yet so she has to keep her mouth shut.
When they think they are on the verge of succesfully stealing the lyrics and all the related evidence the singers many of whom claim they are the song writers start bragging about how they are working on new albums and about ready to release this or that.
If their plans fall through there is either total silence as to why the album or new hit single hasn't come out OR they make up excuses.
Such as taking time of for their children, spend more time with family, or some other BS excuse.

It is sickening to watch the total BS.

And I don't care how adorable Bill O'Reilly thinks Taylor not so swift is.  She is a lying dirtball.  She couldn't write a song to save her life.   All those stories about boyfriends are nonsense. And she is a mediocre singer.


4029  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama no more than an anomaly? on: November 07, 2009, 10:50:42 AM
Too soon to say for sure but I hope Charles is right in this call:
***By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, November 6, 2009

Sure, Election Day 2009 will scare moderate Democrats and make passage of Obamacare more difficult. Sure, it makes it easier for resurgent Republicans to raise money and recruit candidates for 2010. But the most important effect of Tuesday's elections is historical. It demolishes the great realignment myth of 2008.

This Story
The myth of '08, demolished
Lessons from Virginia for the GOP
Trouble ahead for Democrats
In the aftermath of last year's Obama sweep, we heard endlessly about its fundamental, revolutionary, transformational nature. How it was ushering in an FDR-like realignment for the 21st century in which new demographics -- most prominently, rising minorities and the young -- would bury the GOP far into the future. One book proclaimed "The Death of Conservatism," while the more modest merely predicted the terminal decline of the Republican Party into a regional party of the Deep South or a rump party of marginalized angry white men.

This was all ridiculous from the beginning. The '08 election was a historical anomaly. A uniquely charismatic candidate was running at a time of deep war weariness, with an intensely unpopular Republican president, against a politically incompetent opponent, amid the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression. And still he won by only seven points.

Exactly a year later comes the empirical validation of that skepticism. Virginia -- presumed harbinger of the new realignment, having gone Democratic in '08 for the first time in 44 years -- went red again. With a vengeance. Barack Obama had carried it by six points. The Republican gubernatorial candidate won by 17 -- a 23-point swing. New Jersey went from plus-15 Democratic in 2008 to minus-four in 2009. A 19-point swing.

What happened? The vaunted Obama realignment vanished. In 2009 in Virginia, the black vote was down by 20 percent; the under-30 vote by 50 percent. And as for independents, the ultimate prize of any realignment, they bolted. In both Virginia and New Jersey they'd gone narrowly for Obama in '08. This year they went Republican by a staggering 33 points in Virginia and by an equally shocking 30 points in New Jersey.

White House apologists will say the Virginia Democrat was weak. If the difference between Bob McDonnell and Creigh Deeds was so great, how come when the same two men ran against each other statewide for attorney general four years ago the race was a virtual dead heat? Which made the '09 McDonnell-Deeds rematch the closest you get in politics to a laboratory experiment for measuring the change in external conditions. Run them against each other again when it's Obamaism in action and see what happens. What happened was a Republican landslide.

The Obama coattails of 2008 are gone. The expansion of the electorate, the excitement of the young, came in uniquely propitious Democratic circumstances and amid unparalleled enthusiasm for electing the first African American president.

November '08 was one shot, one time, never to be replicated. Nor was November '09 a realignment. It was a return to the norm -- and definitive confirmation that 2008 was one of the great flukes in American political history.

The irony of 2009 is that the anti-Democratic tide overshot the norm -- deeply blue New Jersey, for example, elected a Republican governor for the first time in 12 years -- because Democrats so thoroughly misread 2008 and the mandate they assumed it bestowed. Obama saw himself as anointed by a watershed victory to remake American life. Not letting the cup pass from his lips, he declared to Congress only five weeks after his swearing-in his "New Foundation" for America -- from remaking the one-sixth of the American economy that is health care to massive government regulation of the economic lifeblood that is energy.

Moreover, the same conventional wisdom that proclaimed the dawning of a new age last November dismissed the inevitable popular reaction to Obama's hubristic expansion of government, taxation, spending and debt -- the tea party demonstrators, the town hall protesters -- as a raging rabble of resentful reactionaries, AstroTurf-phony and Fox News-deranged.

Some rump. Just last month Gallup found that conservatives outnumber liberals by 2 to 1 (40 percent to 20 percent) and even outnumber moderates (at 36 percent). So on Tuesday, the "rump" rebelled. It's the natural reaction of a center-right country to a governing party seeking to rush through a left-wing agenda using temporary majorities created by the one-shot election of 2008. The misreading of that election -- and of the mandate it allegedly bestowed -- is the fundamental cause of the Democratic debacle of 2009.****

4030  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / A.Weiner on: November 07, 2009, 09:51:03 AM
What Anthony (A)Weiner today says:
There are no provisions for illegals in the House bill.
What AWeiner doesn't say:
One cannot verify if the person who is asking for health insurance is legal or not.
In other words if the illegal simply asks for it - then well....

What a scumbag.

4031  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: November 06, 2009, 11:43:50 AM
The writer in this article somewhat contradicts himself.
ON one hand he states the ONE is appointing a commission to come up with plans to cut costs.
On the other hand he states the plan is to ration care.

As far as I am concerned there are MANY radical ideas out there and the goal IS for single payer government controlled with an eye to ration care by looking at what gets statistical improvement over POPULATIONS of patients.

For example, get infant mortality down, vaccination levels up, screening tests up etc.

This is nice but if a person gets really sick the US is the place to be for the most advanced technology, medicines, specialty access etc.

Obama has not a clue other than the above = single payer, government control over distribution, payment, and everyone is covered and gets same access whether they like it or not.

There are many liberal think tanker liberals in health care - most of whom are at the IVy League liberal meccas who know what is best for everyone (including their own interests) who have worked this all out a long time ago.

Don't let them fool you into thinking the goals and plans are not already there.  Sure there may be wrinkles to iron out but the overall goal and methods are already very well outlined, and in the dogma for all of us.

The ONE is just their spokesman; there front man.

So some of what this guy writes is silly and wrong.
Folks - as far as the ONE and the rest of the big time liberals - it is a done deal.  The goal is etched in stone.
It is just how we get there in their minds.

4032  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Political Rants on: November 06, 2009, 09:52:56 AM
"screw wealth, screw the rich and dismantle free enterprise"

I agree 100%.  I would also add screw the *taxpayer* (though it is camoflouged, sp?, not be this) and screw America as we know it, and perhaps even screw the concept of citizenship.
As long as most illegals vote Dem than screw the rest of us.
4033  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Media Issues on: November 06, 2009, 09:49:37 AM
What I saw from the OBama statement about the shooting was a man who  was giving another lecture.  Everytime he speaks it is in the form of a lecture.  The lack of true emotion (other than anger when someone should disagree or oppose him), the lack of any real sensitivity does suggest some sort of personality disorder.  The love for himself, the lack of emotion, the manipulative character, the deceitfulness like it is actually part of his nature, the balming others when things go wrong = personality disorder.
Clinton certianly possessed many of these traits.  Whenever I would try to categorize him as a personality disorder (Clinton) I would find that he possessed many of the traits but not quite enough to be categorized as full fledged narcissistic personality disorder.
Yet Clinton did seem to have a sensitivity that OBama clearly does not possess.  Obama is also clearly more of megalomaniac than Clinton ever was.  What is interesting about the following piece is that the author doesn't blame OBama.  He blames his handlers.
Thus there is still denial out there about the true nature, the true objectives of Obama.
Many still appear to be in denial about his true nature, his true agenda.  What will it take to wake the country up I don't know?  If people haven't seen enough to figure it out by now....

Obama's Frightening Insensitivity Following Shooting
A bad week for Democrats compounded by an awful moment for Barack Obama.
Updated 9:18 AM CST, Fri, Nov 6, 2009

 Getty Images President Obama didn't wait long after Tuesday's devastating elections to give critics another reason to question his leadership, but this time the subject matter was more grim than a pair of governorships.

After news broke out of the shooting at the Fort Hood Army post in Texas, the nation watched in horror as the toll of dead and injured climbed. The White House was notified immediately and by late afternoon, word went out that the president would speak about the incident prior to a previously scheduled appearance. At about 5 p.m., cable stations went to the president. The situation called for not only his trademark eloquence, but also grace and perspective.

But instead of a somber chief executive offering reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion, viewers saw a wildly disconnected and inappropriately light president making introductory remarks. At the event, a Tribal Nations Conference hosted by the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian affairs, the president thanked various staffers and offered a "shout-out" to "Dr. Joe Medicine Crow -- that Congressional Medal of Honor winner."  Three minutes in, the president spoke about the shooting, in measured and appropriate terms. Who is advising him?

Anyone at home aware of the major news story of the previous hours had to have been stunned. An incident like this requires a scrapping of the early light banter. The president should apologize for the tone of his remarks, explain what has happened, express sympathy for those slain and appeal for calm and patience until all the facts are in. That's the least that should occur.

Indeed, an argument could be made that Obama should have canceled the Indian event, out of respect for people having been murdered at an Army post a few hours before. That would have prevented any sort of jarring emotional switch at the event.

Did the president's team not realize what sort of image they were presenting to the country at this moment? The disconnect between what Americans at home knew had been going on -- and the initial words coming out of their president's mouth was jolting, if not disturbing.

It must have been disappointing for many politically aware Democrats, still reeling from the election two days before. The New Jersey gubernatorial vote had already demonstrated that the president and his political team couldn't produce a winning outcome in a state very friendly to Democrats (and where the president won by 15 points one year ago). And now this? Congressional Democrats must wonder if a White House that has burdened them with a too-heavy policy agenda over the last year has a strong enough political operation to help push that agenda through.

If the president's communications apparatus can't inform -- and protect -- their boss during tense moments when the country needs to see a focused commander-in-chief and a compassionate head of state, it has disastrous consequences for that president's party and supporters.

All the president's men (and women) fell down on the job Thursday.  And Democrats across the country have real reason to panic.

New York writer Robert A. George blogs at Ragged Thots. Follow him on Twitter.

Copyright NBC Local Media First Published: Nov 6, 2009 5:16 AM CST
4034  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: November 03, 2009, 11:06:34 AM
"Britain has had a government-run medical system for more than half a century and it has to import doctors, including some from Third World countries where the medical training may not be the best."

Well we have been doing this since the 1970s to some extent here.
There are many doctors who are here trained elsewhere and two thirds of those in NJ medical schools and residency programs were born overseas.
There is no doubt part of the allowance for this was to increase supply of doctors and to increase supply of those who were willing to take less AND accept Medicare when that was having problems finding doctors accepting "assignment".  There was a day believe it or not that those doctors who were willing to take Medicare pay (which was I think around 70% of usual pay) were considered traitors.  The start of the slippery slope to where we are inevitably heading - single payer, government controlled health care.
The concept of importing those from around the world who will accept what we won't is certainly not new.

Why so many born Americans complain including minorities, yet there are those from overseas who are willing to work their behinds off and are kicking our own asses with accomplishments I am not sure.

But it is only recently I have heard some foreign born colleagues actually say they would consider returning to their native country to practice medicine at the rate things keep going.

As for the lawsuits stuff I am not defending doctors or blaming lawyers.  There are enough in all fields that are bilking the "system" that can share some blame as well as those in all fields who do an excellent and ethical job.

Yet the idea that the House bill actually makes everyone payfor this stuff, and regulates everybody and everything BUT the lawyers and fails to address malpractice if obviously a gross injustice and just pure slime.
I am really bnot sure how much of costs are in any way related to malpractice.  How many have merit and how many are just ambulance chasers trying to make a buck I really don't know.  Personally  I don't think there is a flood of "frivolous" lawsuits although there are some.

As far as us ordering tests that can be considered really unneeded and are purely defensive in nature is totally a sugjective call.
When is a test defensive and not really needed?  If the risk of a serious disease is 1/2 of one percent or 2 percent or 5 percent?

If the doctor really thinks it very unlikely a patient has a disease but orders a test "just in case this is the rare person who really does have it" is this defensive or just carefull and cautious and safe medicine being sure a person doesn't have a uncommon or rare disorder?

Ask five doctors on five different scenerios and you might get five answers.  So what is defensive medicine?  I read a big shot doctor who wrote and article and scoffed at the idea of "defensive testing" altogether.  His theory was if the doctor was worried enough to get a test because if he missed something he would get sued - well then he should order the test.  With that theory in mind the country can go broke ordering tests.  Yet this was some professor at some IVY league place who had an opinion just like he had an Ahole.

4035  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for the American Creed on: October 30, 2009, 04:42:52 PM
Noonan expresses the feelings I expressed in my last post under the health care thread.
4036  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Pelosi pearls on: October 30, 2009, 12:30:06 PM
I guess we could start a "fashion thread".
Nancy Pelosi has done wonders for the pearl necklace industry the way Imelda Marcos has for the shoe industry.
Has anyone noticed we never see her without her gigantic pears around her neck.
It must be some sort of phallic symbol, or symbol expressing POWER.
But there is something more than just fashion about this.

The number of Rx that just one of those pearls could pay for some poor broke elderly person...
4037  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / progressivism/liberalism on: October 30, 2009, 09:42:15 AM
This thread I think is new but very important.  This is along the lines of what the Marxists in and around the White House, Congress, and the Senate are planning for us.  I doubt very much the majority of Americans who are more than first generation really want this.
As for immigrants it is mixed.  I had one Polish physician tell me how he came from a totatarian regime and now we are moving that way here.  So not all people coming here buy into this.  I am not so sure about those from the middle east or south of the border though.

Remember I mentioned how Jeffrey Sachs said that sovereignty is "medieval".  Now from this guy who has made a fortune singing songs at least one of which he has been accused of stealing (not by me):

"we seem to be living in a currency of medieval ideas."

He appears to be a proponent of one world governenment.
Or how about this:

"I can't think of any be better qualified because of his background, his education, particularly in regard to Islam,"

Couldn't the notion of Islam be considered Medieval?  And why is a background in community organizing and being a college professor and the organizer of the Harvard review make him so qualified?

And what is the regard to Islam the answer to the world's problems? 

I nominate Sting for the peace prize.
I gotta love when music industry types discuss politics.  It is remeniscent of Tony Soprano waving the American flag.  The joke is on us.

****Recording artist Sting is photographed in New York on Wednesday, Oct. 28,..Flashback: Sting Performs With Stevie Wonder at
NEW YORK (AP) - Sting isn't a religious man, but he says President Barack Obama might be a divine answer to the world's problems.
"In many ways, he's sent from God," he joked in an interview, "because the world's a mess."

But Sting is serious in his belief that Obama is the best leader to navigate the world's problems. In an interview on Wednesday, the former Police frontman said that he spent some time with Obama and "found him to be very genuine, very present, clearly super-smart, and exactly what we need in the world."

"I can't think of any be better qualified because of his background, his education, particularly in regard to Islam," he said.

Still, Sting acknowledged the president had a "difficult job" ahead of him.

The British singer, who released the seasonal album "On A Winter's Night" this week, said he's fascinated by American politics, Obama, and also by Obama's opponents on the right.

"It's aggressive and violent and full of fear," he said of the backlash against Obama. "They don't want change, they want things to feel the same because they feel safe there."

Sting, 58, said he's hopeful that the world's problems can be dealt with, but is frustrated that "we seem to be living in a currency of medieval ideas."

"My hope is that we can start talking about real issues and not caring about whether God cares about your hemline or your color," he said. "We are here to evolve as one family, and we can't be separate anymore."****

4038  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Politics of Health Care on: October 29, 2009, 04:09:05 PM
Democrats issued a statement saying their 1,990-page measure "lowers costs for every patient" and would not add to federal deficits. They put the cost of coverage at under $900 billion over 10 years, a total that excludes several items designed to improve benefits for Medicare and Medicaid recipients and providers, as well as public health programs and more.

What lies.

Decrease the deficit AND lower costs for "every" patient AND cover another God knows how many millions and of course care will not be rationed, will be better "quality".

What a joke.

As always those of us who work and pay taxes  have more taken to pay for those who don't, or are on some sort of dole.

Hopefully it won't get through the Senate.

And no, I don't want to pay for the medicines of that sob story lady who spoke after Pelosi.

We have got to stop the entitlements.  People have got to stop expecting to retire at their convenience, and expecting governemnt to pick up their lives.

I had someone come in requesting disability the other day.  I was astonished.  I asked I  thought you retired from your turnpike job?

He said I did.  On pension.  So I asked what is the disability for?  He says a friend told him he could get more money that way.

I told him he is not disabled and would not write that he is.  He admitted he agreed with me and sheepishly left the office.

I have another daughter of a pt. who told me that one of the first English words the immigrants legal or illegal learn when they come to the US is "medicaid". 

Where is the outrage?  When will this all stop?  I am becoming to hate my own country.

We are broke in spirit, in ethics, in honesty, as a nation.

The crats keep making it worse.

4039  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / staged photo op "for the ages" on: October 27, 2009, 11:22:19 AM
Could this photo op have been any obviously more staged then this?
Hand picked *short* navy personel.
Tall darkly dressed figure against the all white dressed back drop and probably with elevations in his shoes and on elevated podium.
Reminds one of a towering figure of Abe Lincoln, black dressed and at the head of all the shorter generals.
Except he is still no Abe Lincoln who really does belong to the ages.
4040  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Rules of the Road/Fire Hydrant on: October 26, 2009, 09:45:26 AM
I reiterate one of my points earlier.
I do not love buchanan that much that I must post his writings.
I value Rachel's interesting posts and points of view more than I value buchanan.

So with that said I won't Buchanan anymore.
Not a big deal to me.
4041  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Environmental issues on: October 23, 2009, 02:52:12 PM
"That said I can take the heat.  But that said I amp perfectly willing to defend and go on offense when the heat is a threat of any nature.  But when it is just opinion - well - I don't know."

I would like to clarify what I meant; of those (such as Buchananan) who want to criticize Jewish opinion I can take that criticism.
When it crosses the line for me is when it evolves into threats like they should all die, or be shoved into the sea, etc.
Or they are to blame for all the world's ills etc, or the holocaust didn't happen, etc.
Just my opinion.
4042  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Obama: no Winston Chruchill on: October 23, 2009, 01:05:27 PM
Winston Churchill he is not.  What was his famous line, something like "all I have to offer is blood, toil, sweat, and tears"?

Contrast this with our guy who ran around the world making it a point to demoralize an already demoralized nation, humiliate us more. Unilaterally volunteer to disarm, regulate our industries, gigantically expand the size of a dependent state, lecture us about what we must and must not do, pretend he wants to be bipartisan but of course *only after* he dictates the entire agenda as the most radical one ever seen in the US, and so and on and on.

The question is how long and how succesful will the bribery of select groups of voters keep this guy holding up in the polls?  Fortunately most of us are still tax payers.

This is the Peggy Noonan I used to know:

***OCTOBER 23, 2009, 10:49 A.M. ET It's His Rubble Now And the American people want him to fix it.By PEGGY NOONAN
At a certain point, a president must own a presidency. For George W. Bush that point came eight months in, when 9/11 happened. From that point on, the presidency—all his decisions, all the credit and blame for them—was his. The American people didn't hold him responsible for what led up to 9/11, but they held him responsible for everything after it. This is part of the reason the image of him standing on the rubble of the twin towers, bullhorn in hand, on Sept.14, 2001, became an iconic one. It said: I'm owning it.

Mr. Bush surely knew from the moment he put the bullhorn down that he would be judged on everything that followed. And he has been. Early on, the American people rallied to his support, but Americans are practical people. They will support a leader when there is trouble, but there's an unspoken demand, or rather bargain: We're behind you, now fix this, it's yours.

President Obama, in office a month longer than Bush was when 9/11 hit, now owns his presidency. Does he know it? He too stands on rubble, figuratively speaking—a collapsed economy, high and growing unemployment, two wars. Everyone knows what he's standing on. You can almost see the smoke rising around him. He's got a bullhorn in his hand every day.

It's his now. He gets the credit and the blame. How do we know this? The American people are telling him. You can see it in the polls. That's what his falling poll numbers are about. "It's been almost a year, you own this. Fix it."

The president doesn't seem to like this moment. Who would? He and his men and women have returned to referring to what they "inherited." And what they inherited was, truly, terrible: again, a severe economic crisis and two wars. But their recent return to this theme is unbecoming. Worse, it is politically unpersuasive. It sounds defensive, like a dodge.

The president said last week, at a San Francisco fund-raiser, that he's busy with a "mop," "cleaning up somebody else's mess," and he doesn't enjoy "somebody sitting back and saying, 'You're not holding the mop the right way.'" Later, in New Orleans, he groused that reporters are always asking "Why haven't you solved world hunger yet?" His surrogates and aides, in appearances and talk shows, have taken to remembering, sometimes at great length, the dire straits we were in when the presidency began.

This is not a sign of confidence. Nor were the president's comments to a New York fund-raiser this week. Democrats, he said to the Democratic audience, are "an opinionated bunch." They always have a lot of thoughts and views. Republicans, on the other hand—"the other side"—aren't really big on independent thinking. "They just kinda sometimes do what they're told. Democrats, ya'll thinkin' for yourselves." It is never a good sign when the president gets folksy, dropping his g's, because he is by nature not a folksy g-dropper but a coolly calibrating intellectual who is always trying to guess, as most politicians do, what normal people think. When Mr. Obama gets folksy he isn't narrowing his distance from his audience but underlining it. He shouldn't do this.

But the statement that Republicans just do what they're told was like his famous explanation of unhappy voters are people who "cling to guns or religion." (What comes over him at fund-raisers?) Both statements speaks of a political misjudgment of his opponents and his situation.They show a misdiagnosis of the opposition that is politically tin-eared. Politicians looking to win don't patronize those they're trying to win over.

But the point on the We Inherited a Terrible Situation and It's Not Our Fault argument is, again, that it is worse than unbecoming. It is unpersuasive.

How do we know this? Through the polls. In all of the major surveys, the president's popularity has gone down the past few months. A Gallup Daily Tracking Poll out this week reported Mr. Obama's job approval dropped nine points during the third quarter of this year, that is between July 1 and Sept. 30, when it fell from 62% to 53%. It was the biggest such drop Gallup has ever measured for an elected president during the same period of his term. A Fox News poll out Thursday showed support for the president's policies falling below 50% for the first time. Ominously for him, independents are peeling off. In 2006 and 2008 independents looked like Democrats. They were angry and frustrated by the wars, they sought to rebuke the Bush White House. Now those independents look like Republicans. They worry about joblessness, debts and deficits.

The White House sees the falling support. Thus the reminder: We faced an insuperable challenge, we're mopping up somebody else's mess.

The Democratic Party too sees the falling support, and is misunderstanding it. The great question they debated last week was whether the president is tough enough: Does he come across as too weak? It is true, as the cliché has it, that it's helpful for a president to be both revered and feared. But this president is not weak, that's not his problem. He willed himself into the presidency with an adroit reading of the lay of the land, brought together and dominated all the constituent pieces of victory, showed and shows impressive self-discipline, seems in general to stick to a course once he's chosen it, though arguably especially when he's wrong. His decision to let Congress write a health-care bill may yield at least the appearance of victory. And if Mr. Obama isn't twisting arms like LBJ, and then giving just an extra little jerk to snap the rotator cuff just for fun, the case can be made that day by day he's moving the Democrats of Congress in the historic direction he desires. All his adult life he's played the long game, which takes patience and skill.

The problem isn't his personality, it's his policies. His problem isn't what George W. Bush left but what he himself has done. It is a problem of political judgment, of putting forward bills that were deeply flawed or off-point. Bailouts, the stimulus package, cap-and-trade; turning to health care at the exact moment in history when his countrymen were turning their concerns to the economy, joblessness, debt and deficits—all of these reflect a misreading of the political terrain. They are matters of political judgment, not personality. (Republicans would best heed this as they gear up for 2010: Don't hit him, hit his policies. That's where the break with the people is occurring.)

The result of all this is flagging public support, a drop in the polls, and independents peeling off.

In this atmosphere, with these dynamics, Mr. Obama's excuse-begging and defensiveness won't work.

Everyone knows he was handed horror. They want him to fix it.

At some point, you own your presidency. At some point it's your rubble. At some point the American people tell you it's yours. The polls now, with the presidential approval numbers going down and the disapproval numbers going up: That's the American people telling him.

Copyright 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved****
4043  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Environmental issues on: October 23, 2009, 10:24:01 AM
"Buchanan crosses the line of human decency ."

How so?

I don't expect everyone to love Jews.  I don't care if they don't.  But some Jews take the slightest offence at anything even potentially negative said about them. 

Where is this line of decency?  Some feel Glenn Beck crosses the line of decency.  Yet I feel pretty much everything he says is true.
So should he shut up because those on the left don't like what they hear?

"I would greatly appreciate if you wouldn't post  any more article by Buchanan."

I respect your opinion.   That's is ok.  I don't need to post his pieces if it offends people on this board.  I don't love the guy.  But some of what he says I find I agree with and much of what he says I find food for thought.

I don't particularly like things he says about Jews at times.  Yet there IS a disproportionate number of Jews in high visible places with key advisorial roles in our nation from political, to legal, to health care, to policy, to financial.
So if we are going to be outspoken in our views around the nation, if we are going to keep reminding everyone about the holocaust and our long history of persecution followed by survival followed success followed by resentment followed by persecution followed by the never must we let this happen again then I don't think we can expect everyone else to simply fall in love with us.
It just flies in the face of human nature.

That said I can take the heat.  But that said I amp perfectly willing to defend and go on offense when the heat is a threat of any nature.  But when it is just opinion - well - I don't know.

4044  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Cognitive Dissonance of His Glibness on: October 22, 2009, 01:26:18 PM
One problem with these wars is we engage half assed.  We don't annihilate the enemy because we are too afraid of harming "innocents".  And of course we don't know who are the innocents, who are our enemy, it sounds like these can change from day to day depending on who pays who off, politics, who we piss off or please.

So there is no end in sight.

So because we are a gentle nation and hold back we keep getting screwed.  Ironically no one around the owrld loves us any more for the efforts and the sacrifice of our own troops and money to avoid hurting innocents.

There seems to me no good answer to this especially if we really don't engage our enemy with full force.
4045  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Environmental issues on: October 21, 2009, 07:57:23 PM
I guess I am the perpetrator of posting Buchanan occasionally.
He probably does have a deep rooted dislike of Jews.
I have my own feelings about this.

Yet I find him to be the only one who will state what others are literally afraid to state.

Many could legitimetly argue he was correct about Iraq. 
And he wasn't the only right winger who was against this venture.
I recall Joe Scarborough for one was very skeptical as to the wisdom of it.

I agree with him on protecting our borders although I simply don't know enough about some of his other protectionist ideas.

He has made what most would consider outrageous claims about other wars.
Including an argument that Abraham Lincoln is responsible for more deaths of US citizens than any other President.
He even stated and argued we should have stayed out of Europe in WW2 and that we pushed Japan into attacking us.

Do I agree with these arguments - no.  Yet I find them interesting.

If he offends you I won't post his stuff anymore.

I can think of people who write or say things I wouldn't want to hear.  Take Loius Farrakan for example.

You want a real Jew hater take him.

4046  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Who runs the CBO on: October 20, 2009, 12:35:44 PM
We keep hearing how non partisan the CBO is.  But is it?  The present director was appointed 01/22/2009 for four years.
He is from Princeton and Harvard (where else?) did work with a Reagan guy years ago but recently worked at the liberal think tank the Brookings Institute.

To me it is not clear he is a partisan inasmuch as a political opportunist.  He donated 1000 to Obama's campaign.  He seems to hail from the left and worked under the Clinton regime.  Yet some of his moves towards Obama may be more to garner favor for a job than that he is a true believer.

The conclusion from the CBO that the Baucus bill will reduce the deficit by some 80 million certainly sounds suspect to me.

To think that Pelosi and the rest are not pressuring him would seem naive.

In any case:

*****, a Wash Post Co > Profiles > Douglas W. Elmendorf
Douglas W.

Current Position: Director of the Congressional Budget Office (since January 2009)
Credit: Jahi Chikwendiu/TWP
  Table of Contents
1. Why He Matters
2. At a Glance
3. Path to Power
4. The Issues
4.1. The Bailout
4.2. Health Care
5. The Network
6. Campaign Contributions
7. Footnotes
8. Tags
9. Links
10. Key Associates
11. News

Why He Matters
Elmendorf may be the most important financial analyst in America. He’s not one of the highest paid, but his client list is the U.S. Congress as he evaluates the nation’s budget in trying economic times. He will be a key player in determining how Congress responds to President Barack Obama’s proposed $3.6 trillion budget for fiscal year 2010.

Succeeding new Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, Elmendorf joined the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) as the struggling economy commanded much of Congress’ time. Like Orszag, he comes from the liberal think-tank the Brookings Institution, and was the former director of the Hamilton Project, which focuses on economic policy at Brookings.

Elmendorf continued what Orszag began as CBO head, including contributing to the CBO “Director’s Blog” and evaluating health-care reform’s impact on the national budget. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate Robert C. Byrd (D-WestVa.) selected Elmendorf after getting recommendations from the House and Senate Budget Committees. The House and Senate switch who takes charge in selecting a new CBO director; Pelosi took the lead in selecting Elmendorf.“Pelosi and Spratt Statement on New Director of the Congressional Budget Office” Press Release, Dec. 30, 2008(1)“Pelosi and Spratt Statement on New Director of the Congressional Budget Office” Press Release, Dec. 30, 2008 

In March 2009, the CBO released a revised budget outlook, which increased its forecast of the 2008 deficit from $1.2 trillion to $1.8 trillion. It also valued the 10-year deficit at $9.3 trillion — $2.3 trillion more than what the White House projected in February 2009.Pulizzi, Henry J., "OMB's Orszag:CBO Figures Reflect Worsening Econ, Fiscal Outlook," Dow Jones News Service, March 20, 2009(2)Pulizzi, Henry J., "OMB's Orszag:CBO Figures Reflect Worsening Econ, Fiscal Outlook," Dow Jones News Service, March 20, 2009

Elmendorf is also a key voice in the health-care debate as his office in July 2009 released a report estimating the cost of the health-care plan crafted by Sens. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) at a daunting $1 trillion. A Preliminary Analysis of the HELP Committee’s Health Insurance Coverage Provisions," Congressional Budget Office, July 2, 2009(3)A Preliminary Analysis of the HELP Committee’s Health Insurance Coverage Provisions," Congressional Budget Office, July 2, 2009
 At a Glance
Current Position: Director of the Congressional Budget Office (since January 2009)

Career History: Director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution (2008 to 2009); Senior fellow at the Brookings (2007 to 2009); Chief of the macro-economic analysis team at the Federal Reserve Board (2002 to 2007)

Birthday: N/A

Hometown: Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Alma Mater: Princeton University, A.B. (economics), 1983; Harvard University, M.A. (economics), 1985; Harvard, PhD (economics), 1989

Spouse: N/A

Religion: N/A

DC Office: N/A

State/District Office: N/A

Email N/A

Web site
Path to Power
Hailing from upstate New York, Elmendorf spent his early career as an academic and educator. He went to Princeton University as an undergraduate, studying economics, and then headed to Harvard University to obtain his master’s and Ph.D in the same subject. After graduating in 1989, he stayed at Harvard for five years, working closely with economics professor Martin Feldstein, the director of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) under President Reagan.Douglas Elmendorf’s resume(4)Douglas Elmendorf’s resume

In 1993, Elmendorf moved to public life, working for the CBO office for the first time. He spent a year as an associate analyst before joining full-time in 1994 as a principal analyst where Elmendorf focused on health- care issues and the economic effects of budget deficits. Working under CBO Director Robert D. Reischauer, Elmendorf worked on a team that concluded President Bill Clinton's health reform package would cost much more than originally thought. This analysis helped cripple Clinton's attempt to reform health care.Montgomery, Lori, "What Would a Health Overhaul Cost? All Eyes on the CBO," The Washington Post, June 11, 2009(5)Montgomery, Lori, "What Would a Health Overhaul Cost? All Eyes on the CBO," The Washington Post, June 11, 2009

Elmendorf only stayed a year at the CBO as a principal analyst before heading to the Federal Reserve Board as an economist while Alan Greenspan headed it. In 1998, his travels through the financial departments of the federal government continued, as Elmedorf moved to the CEA, working as a senior economist under Director Janet Yellen.Douglas Elmendorf’s resume(4)Douglas Elmendorf’s resume

After staying at the CEA for a year, Elmendorf then joined the Treasury Department as deputy assistant secretary for economic policy, working under Clinton Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers. When George W. Bush took office, Elmendorf moved back to the Fed as a senior economist and in 2002, he got a promotion to chief of the macro-economic analysis team, leading a group of 30 economists and researchers as they forecasted inflation rates and labor markets.

In 2007, Elmendorf began working for the liberal think-tank Brookings Institution, co-editing the yearly publication “Brookings Papers on Economic Activity.”Douglas Elmendorf’s resume(4)Douglas Elmendorf’s resume In 2008, Jason Furman, the director of the Brookings’ group known as the Hamilton Project left to join the Obama campaign. Elmendorf replaced him as director of the Hamilton Project, a forum for economic policy discussion that was created by Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin — an advocate of free trade and a small deficit.
The Issues
Joining the CBO in late December 2008, Elmendorf is responsible for providing estimates of the cost of legislation on the federal budget. Elmendorf already has a full plate: Within the first month of President Obama’s administration, Congress passed a $787 billion stimulus package and weeks later, the House approved a $410 billion ‘omnibus’ bill, which allocated funds for the federal government through September 2009.Faler, Brian, "House Approves $410 Billion ‘Omnibus’ Spending Bill," Bloomberg News, Feb. 25, 2009(6)Faler, Brian, "House Approves $410 Billion ‘Omnibus’ Spending Bill," Bloomberg News, Feb. 25, 2009 The CBO was tasked with evaluating the long-term effects of these mammoth measures, while explaining their impact on the budget to lawmakers on the Hill.

The Bailout
Although the CBO is a non-partisan position, Elmendorf worked two years at Brookings. While there, he spent much of his time opining on the mortgage collapse, and the appropriate response by the government. While he only called for the nationalization of banks as a last resort, Elmendorf did support a bailout of struggling financial institutions.

In a paper titled “The Great Credit Squeeze,” Elmendorf along with co-authors Martin Neil Baily and Robert E. Litan, laid out important steps in an attempt to stabilize the financial system quickly, and to assure nothing similar repeats itself. The paper recommended helping banks and mortgage finance companies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but also suggested ways to aid struggling homeowners facing foreclosure. Some of the short-term stabilization options the authors proposed included equity investment by the government, “outright nationalization” of Fannie and Freddie and allowing judges the power to reduce mortgage payments.Baily, Martin Neal; Elmendorf, Douglas and Litan, Robert E., “The Great Credit Squeeze,” The Brookings Institution, May 21, 2008(7)Baily, Martin Neal; Elmendorf, Douglas and Litan, Robert E., “The Great Credit Squeeze,” The Brookings Institution, May 21, 2008

The three authors also outlined long-term recommendations for changes to the financial system to make it more stable. The three long-term changes they suggested were:

Make financial instruments, like derivatives and certain mortgages, more transparent.
Prevent financial institutions from leveraging themselves to the degree many did prior to the 2008 collapse of the credit markets.
Increased government supervision of financial institutions.Baily, Martin Neal; Elmendorf, Douglas and Litan, Robert E., “The Great Credit Squeeze,” The Brookings Institution, May 21, 2008(7)Baily, Martin Neal; Elmendorf, Douglas and Litan, Robert E., “The Great Credit Squeeze,” The Brookings Institution, May 21, 2008
Health Care
In July 2009, CBO estimated the cost of Senate Health, Education and Labor Committee health-care reform bill - otherwise known as the Kennedy-Dodd bill - would cost more than $1 trillion over ten years, but it did not include the tax on the wealthy when analyzing the bill."A Preliminary Analysis of the HELP Committee’s Health Insurance Coverage Provisions," Congressional Budget Office, July 2, 2009(Cool"A Preliminary Analysis of the HELP Committee’s Health Insurance Coverage Provisions," Congressional Budget Office, July 2, 2009

Then, on July 16, 2009, Elmendorf testified in front of the Senate Budget Committee. He came out strongly against the proposed bills being drafted by Democrats in both the House and the Senate. Elmendorf said the proposals did not offer "the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a signficant amount."

"On the contrary," said Elmendorf, "the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs."Montgomery, Lori, "CBO Chief Criticizes Democrats' Health Reform Measures," The Washington Post, July 16, 2009(9)Montgomery, Lori, "CBO Chief Criticizes Democrats' Health Reform Measures," The Washington Post, July 16, 2009

When asked whether or not he felt that there had been a "successful effort" to reign in the long-term costs of health care, Elmendorf answered "No."Montgomery, Lori, "CBO Chief Criticizes Democrats' Health Reform Measures," The Washington Post, July 16, 2009(9)Montgomery, Lori, "CBO Chief Criticizes Democrats' Health Reform Measures," The Washington Post, July 16, 2009

In October 2009, there was only one version of the health care bill still in committee. The Senate Finance Committee had a plan that proposed nonprofit cooperatives in place of the more controversial, public insurance option. Despite much debate on how much the bill would cost, the CBO scored it favorably. The agency's preliminary analysis showed that the committee's bill would cost $829 billion over ten years, while decreasing the deficit by $81 billion. The proposal would insure 29 million people who are currently uninsured.Letter by CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf to Senator Max Baucus regarding the Senate Finance Committee Health Care Bill, Oct. 7, 2009(10)Letter by CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf to Senator Max Baucus regarding the Senate Finance Committee Health Care Bill, Oct. 7, 2009
The Network
Elmendorf has spent years working in government, and has had an opportunity to work closely with a variety of senior officials in the Obama administration. In the waning years of the Clinton administration, Elmendorf worked under Clinton Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers — Summers now heads Obama’s National Economic Council (NEC).

In 2002, Elmendorf moved to the Fed, working under Alan Greenspan.

While at Harvard, Elmendorf worked closely with Martin Feldstein, former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Reagan. In 2007, Elmendorf moved to the Brookings Institution. Obama Deputy Director of the NEC Jason Furman also worked at Brookings when Elmendorf started.

Elmendorf has followed in Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag’s career footsteps twice now. Elmendorf took over as director of the Hamilton Project a few years after Orszag stepped down in order to join the CBO as its director. Now, Elmendorf has replaced Orszag as CBO head.
Campaign Contributions
Elmendorf donated $1,000 to President Barack Obama’s campaign in June 2008.Center for Responsive Politics
 (11)Center for Responsive Politics
SideBar Footnotes
1.“Pelosi and Spratt Statement on New Director of the Congressional Budget Office” Press Release, Dec. 30, 2008

2.Pulizzi, Henry J., "OMB's Orszag:CBO Figures Reflect Worsening Econ, Fiscal Outlook," Dow Jones News Service, March 20, 2009

3.A Preliminary Analysis of the HELP Committee’s Health Insurance Coverage Provisions," Congressional Budget Office, July 2, 2009

4.Douglas Elmendorf’s resume

5.Montgomery, Lori, "What Would a Health Overhaul Cost? All Eyes on the CBO," The Washington Post, June 11, 2009

6.Faler, Brian, "House Approves $410 Billion ‘Omnibus’ Spending Bill," Bloomberg News, Feb. 25, 2009

7.Baily, Martin Neal; Elmendorf, Douglas and Litan, Robert E., “The Great Credit Squeeze,” The Brookings Institution, May 21, 2008

8."A Preliminary Analysis of the HELP Committee’s Health Insurance Coverage Provisions," Congressional Budget Office, July 2, 2009

9.Montgomery, Lori, "CBO Chief Criticizes Democrats' Health Reform Measures," The Washington Post, July 16, 2009

10.Letter by CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf to Senator Max Baucus regarding the Senate Finance Committee Health Care Bill, Oct. 7, 2009

11.Center for Responsive Politics


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4047  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / buchanan:Traditional Americans are losing their nation on: October 20, 2009, 10:04:50 AM
We didn't mind sharing our nation.  But giving it all away to people and peoples who don't share our beliefs and values?
"With black voters going 24 to 1 for Obama, he almost surely won more votes than he lost because of his race."

This is so totally ironic.  The blacks who are so proud to finally have one of their own in the White House.  So what does he do - give away everything that could be theirs!  This should and must be a political theme for Repubicans going forward.  I don't know if any let alone many Blacks will buy into it, but it certainly is the truth.

Traditional Americans are losing their nation

Posted: October 20, 2009
1:00 am Eastern

© 2009 

In the brief age of Obama, we have had "truthers," "birthers," tea party activists and town-hall dissenters.

Comes now, the "Oath Keepers." And who might they be?

Writes Alan Maimon in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Oath Keepers, depending on where one stands, are "either strident defenders of liberty or dangerous peddlers of paranoia."

Formed in March, they are ex-military and police who repledge themselves to defend the Constitution, even if it means disobeying orders. If the U.S. government ordered law enforcement agencies to violate Second Amendment rights by disarming the people, Oath Keepers will not obey.

"The whole point of Oath Keepers is to stop a dictatorship from ever happening here," says founding father Stewart Rhodes, an ex-Army paratrooper and Yale-trained lawyer. "My focus is on the guys with the guns, because they can't do it without them.

"We say if the American people decide it's time for a revolution, we'll fight with you."

Prediction: Brother Rhodes is headed for cable stardom.

And if the Pelosi-Reid progressives went postal over town-hall protesters, calling them "un-American," "Nazis" and "evil-mongers," one can imagine what they will do with the Oath Keepers.

It's not too late to rescue the nation! Read how in "Save America Now! The New Revolution to Save Freedom and Liberty"

As with Jimmy Carter's long-range psychoanalysis of Joe Wilson, the reflexive reaction of the mainstream media will likely be that these are militia types, driven to irrationality because America has a black president.

Yet, the establishment's reaction seems more problematic for the republic than anything the Oath Keepers are up to. For our political and media elite seem to have lost touch with the nation and to be wedded to a vision of America divorced from reality.

Progressives are the folks who, in the 1960s, could easily understand that urban riots that took scores of lives and destroyed billions in property were an inevitable reaction to racism, poverty and despair. They could empathize with the rage of campus radicals who burned down the ROTC building and bombed the Pentagon.

The "dirty, immoral war in Vietnam" explains why the "finest generation we have ever produced" is behaving like this, they said. We must deal with the "root causes" of social disorder.

Yet, they cannot comprehend what would motivate Middle America to distrust its government, for it surely does, as Ron Brownstein reports in the National Journal:

"Whites are not only more anxious, but also more alienated. Big majorities of whites say the past year's turmoil has diminished their confidence in government, corporations and the financial industry. ... Asked which institution they trust most to make economic decisions in their interest, a plurality of whites older than 30 pick 'none' – a grim statement."

Is all this due to Obama's race?

Even Obama laughs at that. As he told David Letterman, I was already black by the time I was elected. And he not only got a higher share of the white vote than Kerry or Gore, a third of white voters, who said in August 2008 that race was an important consideration in voting, said they were going to vote for Obama.

With black voters going 24 to 1 for Obama, he almost surely won more votes than he lost because of his race.

Moreover, the alienation and radicalization of white America began long before Obama arrived. He acknowledged as much when he explained Middle Pennsylvanians to puzzled progressives in that closed-door meeting in San Francisco.

Referring to the white working-class voters in the industrial towns decimated by job losses, Obama said: "They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Yet, we had seen these folks before. They were Perotistas in 1992, opposed NAFTA in 1993 and blocked the Bush-Kennedy McCain amnesty in 2007.

In their lifetimes, they have seen their Christian faith purged from schools their taxes paid for, and mocked in movies and on TV. They have seen their factories shuttered in the thousands and their jobs outsourced in the millions to Mexico and China. They have seen trillions of tax dollars go for Great Society programs, but have seen no Great Society, only rising crime, illegitimacy, drug use and dropout rates.

They watch on cable TV as illegal aliens walk into their country, are rewarded with free educations and health care and take jobs at lower pay than American families can live on – then carry Mexican flags in American cities and demand U.S. citizenship.

They see Wall Street banks bailed out as they sweat their next paycheck, then read that bank profits are soaring, and the big bonuses for the brilliant bankers are back. Neither they nor their kids ever benefited from affirmative action, unlike Barack and Michelle Obama.

They see a government in Washington that cannot balance its books, win our wars or protect our borders. The government shovels out trillions to Fortune 500 corporations and banks to rescue the country from a crisis created by the government and Fortune 500 corporations and banks.

America was once their country. They sense they are losing it. And they are right.

4048  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Buchanan: Copenhagen on: October 19, 2009, 07:41:26 PM
Fox and anyone else better keep up the noise about what a serious blunder Bama is going to commit and how he is going to continue to destroy our nation as he continues his personal revolution:

Comments The Second Battle of Copenhagen
by  Patrick J. Buchanan


Before President Obama even landed at Andrews Air Force Base, returning from his mission to Copenhagen to win the 2016 Olympic Games, Chicago had been voted off the island.

Many shared the lamentation of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, "What has become of America, when Chicago can't steal an election?"

A second and more serious battle of Copenhagen is shaping up, in mid-December, when a world conference gathers to impose limits on greenhouse gases to stop "global warming." Primary purpose: Rope in the Americans who refused to submit to the Kyoto Protocols that Al Gore brought home in the Clinton era.
The long campaign to bring the United States under another global regime -- the newest piece in the architecture of world government -- has been flagging since 2008. Then, it seemed a lock with the election of Obama and a veto-proof Democratic Senate.

Why has the campaign stalled? Because global warming has stalled. The hottest year of modern times, 1998, came and went a decade ago.

As BBC climate correspondent Paul Hudson writes: "For the last 11 years, we have not observed any increase in global temperatures. And our climate models did not forecast it, even though manmade carbon dioxide, the gas thought to be responsible for warming our planet, has continued to rise."

What this powerfully suggests is that what man does and does not do is far less responsible for climate change, if it is responsible at all, than other factors over which he has no control.

Consider. Though the emissions of carbon dioxide rose constantly throughout the 20th century -- with the industrialization of the West, Japan, Southeast Asia and, finally, China and India -- global temperatures have not risen steadily at all. They have fluctuated.

John Sununu, writing in the St. Croix Review, says the Earth underwent "cooling in the 1920s, heating in the 1930s and 1940s, cooling in the 1950s and 1960s and 1970s, warming in the 1980s and 1990s, and cooling in the past decade."

But if there is no crisis, why are we even going to Copenhagen? And if there is no causal connection between carbon dioxide and global warming, what is the true cause of climate change?

Some scientists say that 98 percent of the Earth's temperature can be explained by the sun. When the sun's energy increases, a matter over which man has zero control, the Earth's temperature rises. When the sun's energy diminishes, the Earth's temperature falls.

One solar scientist, Piers Corbyn, claims to have found a link between solar charged particles hitting the Earth and global warming and cooling.

Others, like professor Don Easterbrook of Western Washington University, contend that the oceans explain climate change. As they heat and cool cyclically, the Earth heats and cools. And where the oceans were cooling for 40 years before the 1990s, they have lately been heating up. Easterbrook says these cycles tend to last for 30 years.

As Hudson notes, there are scientists who claim they have taken all these factors into consideration and insist that the Earth, over the long haul, is warming. But Hudson cites Mojib Latif of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who says we are in the first stage of a long-term cooling trend that will last another 10 to 20 years.

The anecdotal evidence almost daily contradicts Al Gore and the end-of-times environmentalists. Lately, there have been record-breaking cold spells in the Midwest and West. Snow came to Colorado this October, postponing a baseball playoff game. The hurricane season turned out to be among the mildest on record. Contrary to predictions, the polar bear population seems to be doing fine.

While the ice cap at the North Pole is receding, the Antarctic ice cap, which contains 90 percent of the world's ice, is expanding.

Moreover, receding ice in the Arctic is opening up a northwest passage from Europe to Asia. The Russians believe the immense mineral resources of the Arctic may soon be accessible. While we wring our hands, they are rushing to get them.

The mounting evidence that global warming has halted and man is not responsible for climate change has thrown the Kyoto II lobby into something of a panic. Barbara Boxer and John Kerry are re-branding the Senate cap-and-trade bill as a national security measure.

If, however, cap-and-trade, which the Congressional Budget Office says will be another blow to economic growth, can be stopped before the Copenhagen summit in December, the republic may have dodged another bullet. And the goal of the globalists -- an end to the independence and sovereignty of the United States, and the creation of a world government -- will have sustained yet another welcome postponement.

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."

4049  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Way Forward for Reps/Conservatives/the American Creed on: October 19, 2009, 11:40:09 AM
Personally I agree with you.
This statement though I am not sure:
Elected Republicans have had no real, observable tie to limited government for as long as any voter can remember, and no one is out front right now making a persuasive case for common sense conservatism.
What I am not sure about is how many Americans this really appeals to.
There is clearly a large number of Americans and those others who reside here who don't seem to have problem with bigger and bigger government.  Obviously they think this will help them get through their miseries.
I would suggest that any Contract with America which on face value is an excellent idea, has to address this point:
That bigger government is going to hurt all of us. That Obama is trashing 200 years of what made this country the greatest in the world.
These people cannot ID with Limbaugh and Hannity and the rest.   
4050  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The United Nations/ US Sovereignty on: October 19, 2009, 11:29:17 AM
Well as Marc Levin points out Obama is a counter revolutionary.
And as I've noted here liberal Jeffrey Sachs who spoke at my nephews commencement basically stated the view that the concept of country is "midevil" (sp?).  He also pointed out how Reagan was a destroyer of worlds more or less and Jimmy Earl Carter was correct.

Clearly we have a whole group of radical revolutionaries in the White House.

But 42% of the country seem to be for this.  Included apparently are many immigrants who don't come here as much for freedom and ideals but for benefits, handouts, and giveaways.

Independents either still don't get it, don't believe the bama is about this or don't feel this is enough of a priority I guess.
Do 95% of Blacks really believe this radical stuff?  I wonder.   Just when they are on the cuff of realizing their potential they are supporting a guy who is going to give it all away and change this country forever.

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