Thursday, October 15, 2009

Love for Limbaugh

I'm not a big Rush Limbaugh fan. He's on the Right, which is nice, but he's a blowhard and a hack who carried W's water for way too long.

That said, the way he's been blackballed by the NFL and kept from being part of a group set to by the St. Louis Rams -- after he'd received assurances from the ownership group that his participation was kosher with the league -- has been disgraceful. Supposedly, it was for "racist" comments he's made.

Racist comments? Limbaugh made one pretty tame (and fairly accurate) comment on Monday Night Football about folks in the media liking black QBs under center and one comment about wanting Obama's agenda to fail. Um, that's it. Nothing compared to the racist comments that have made Al Sharpton and Jeremiah Wright icons on the Left.

Oh, but Limbaugh's a conservative. So ganging up on him's alright, I suppose.

Give me a freaking break. These people are either dupes (90%) or shameless liars (10%).

"Deficit-neutral" health care reform now **OFFICIALLY** a lie

Congressional Democrats are trying to buy off the physicians lobby by shelling out a quarter-trillion dollars to make up for scheduled cuts in Medicare. That $250 billion isn't in the health care reform budget, though. Hence, any bill that comes out adds $250 billion to the deficit before it does anything else. Excellent.

Bob Laszewski sums it up quite well:
How many times have you heard the President say that any health care bill must be "deficit neutral?" How many times have you heard conservative and moderate Democrats say they won't vote for a health bill that isn't paid for?

What are the Democrats about to try?

Peeling out one of the biggest components of health care and quickly spending $245 billion to bolster physician fees over the next ten years, doing it separate from the "deficit neutral" health bill, and just adding the $245 billion cost of this to the deficit!
We always knew that Obama's claims about any bill he signs being deficit-neutral -- that is, not adding a penny to the deficit -- were lies. Now it's pretty much official.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Baucus bill, or "How government action makes bad things worse"

One of my favorite demotivator posters -- the cynical, pessimistic posters that mock motivational posters -- is the one for meetings. It's a picture of a bunch of hands put into a circle (sort of like what you'd do before a sports game), with a phrase below it that says, "None of us is as dumb as all of us."

I can't think of a more perfect description of most government planning: all of the bad ideas, few of the good ones.

That's the situation with Max Baucus's health care bill. He tries to split the difference between socialist-style bills like the ones in the House and bills put forth by the GOP. The result is a potential clusterf*ck of epic proportions. It would lead to the end of private insurance by 2025.

The House bill was terrible, but it was a bit more intellectually consistent. It required insurers to take everyone, regardless of health status, but it also required everyone to guy insurance or face stiff penalties of $1,500 per adult in the first year. With everyone in the system, the healthy would subsidize the unhealthy. Insurers weren't happy with having to take everyone, but they accepted the deal because everyone would have to buy their products.

Many people -- inside and outside Congress -- didn't like the idea of a hard mandate, though, so in his bill Senator Max Baucus, chair of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, ratcheted down the penalties for not buying insurance to $400 after 8 years. That's a huge difference. It also sets the stage for the kind of massive problems Massachusetts is having with their "leaky" mandate.

People over at Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan have said that people are gaming the system like crazy. They face a $900 fine for not buying insurance, but they can buy -- and cancel -- policies whenever they want. Usually, in the individual market, folks have to wait at least 6 months to get coverage for big-ticket items like pregnancy or cancer treatment to make sure that people can't just buy coverage when they need it and then drop it.

In Massachusetts, though, insurers have found that people buy coverage for less than 5 months on average, and cost the system 600% more than they would otherwise. That kind of situation is simply unsustainable. After too long, insurers will have to shut their doors; they simply won't be able to stay in business.

That's bad enough for one state. Senator Baucus wants to bring that scenario to the whole country, though. Besides driving insurers out of business, it would jack up the taxes that we pay to massive levels, and jack up the out-of-pocket expenses we'd pay on health care to 3 or 4 times what we currently pay in just 12 years.

The response from the Left has been pretty uninspiring (though quite revealing). They haven't denied that this would be the case. They've just claimed that it won't be such a big deal.

But it will be a big deal. A very big deal, indeed. God help us if this horrible bill becomes law.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Conversation About Race

This hour-long film by Colorado filmmaker Craig Bodecker is must-see viewing material. In it, he interviews about a dozen people trying to get at the definition and nature of "racism".

The point that shines through more than anything is that almost everyone who uses the term "racism" has no clear understanding of what racism really is, except that it's something that white people do. Some hilarious, and hilariously sad, comments in that hour of footage.

Definitely check it out.

Friday, October 9, 2009

If you look up "ridiculous" in the dictionary ...

You'll find this front-and-center:

Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize in Surprise Pick

President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, in a surprise pick from the Norwegian Nobel Committee that cited the president's creation of a "new climate in international politics" and his work on nuclear disarmament.
As if we needed more evidence that the Nobel Peace Prize was a meaningless piece of masturbatory Liberal self-congratulation, now we have the award given to a president who's done almost literally nothing to deserve it.

Obama hasn't done anything meaningful when it comes to nuclear disarmament. The only actions he's taken in his limited time in the White House have emboldened aspiring nuclear powers like Iran.

Even if he had taken decisive action that hadn't made the situation worse, he's been President less than a year. It would be hard for anything a US President does in his first year to be known to have had the lasting positive impact on world events that the Nobel Peace Prize used to be known for. Hence the Nobel Committee's vacuous statement that Obama's achievement has been the establishing of "a new climate in international politics", not anything concrete or empirically verifiable.

What a joke. Martin Luther King's Peace Prize just became less meaningful because of this nonsense.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fair & Balanced

Because it's necessary to remain open to criticism, posts like this are quite helpful:
Follies and lies of the MCM (mainstream conservative media)

About ten days ago I saw an episode of Sean Hannity's television program that was entirely devoted to Hannity's and his guests' responses to the speech President Obama had delivered to the UN General Assembly earlier that day. Unfortunately, one could not call it a discussion. It was a nonstop, high-intensity attack on Obama for his supposed put-downs of America, culminating in Hannity's long colloquy with Michelle Malkin in which the two of them, with an effortlessness obviously borne of long practice, skillfully fed off each other's animus against the president, each statement topping the last. I was struck by the way these conservative stars had become like the liberal media they despise--experts at generating endless amounts of furious moral indignation against the object of their dislike. The show was also frustrating, because, notwithstanding Hannity's and Malkin's roundhouse condemnations of Obama for his anti-Americanism, they provided almost no quotations from his speech to back up the charge. The exchange consisted almost entirely of overheated adjectives, not facts. The fact that Obama, like all leftist Democrats, believes that America has too much power relative to other countries does not automatically mean that every time he opens his mouth he is tearing down America. It is necessary to show that he is tearing down America.

There was however one passage from the speech that Hannity did quote, consisting of Obama's remark that "on certain critical issues, America has acted unilaterally, without regard for the interests of others." Hannity, backed by Malkin, must have repeated this line three or four times. And I had to agree with them, that was certainly an egregious thing for the president of the U.S. to have said.

Except, as I found our later that evening when I looked up the speech on the Web, Obama hadn't said it.

Here is the entire passage:

I took office at a time when many around the world had come to view America with skepticism and distrust. Part of this was due to misperceptions and misinformation about my country. Part of this was due to opposition to specific policies, and a belief that on certain critical issues, America has acted unilaterally, without regard for the interests of others. This has fed an almost reflexive anti-Americanism, which too often has served as an excuse for our collective inaction.

So, when Obama stated that "America has acted unilaterally, without regard for the interests of others," he was pointedly not expressing his own view, but describing the view of other people, a view that he associated with "an almost reflexive anti-Americanism" which he said has damaged international cooperation.

Either Hannity (with Malkin's energetic assistance) told a scurrilous lie about Obama, or he is so stupid that he can't tell the difference between Obama stating his own views and Obama discussing (and criticizing) other people's views.

While this episode of Hannity's program was especially bad, it was not unique. To a disturbing degree the mainstream conservative media have become a mirror image of the liberal media, a generator of vitriol without facts.

Monday, October 5, 2009

A legend in his own mind

Steve McCann over at American Thinker may have uncovered the explanation of much of Obama's naive and thoughtless behavior as President.
President Obama apparently wants to do only half of his job -- the part that is the most fun. ...

It appears that Barack Obama views himself as the head of state only. As such he cannot be bothered with the day to day responsibility of governance. He is, in his narcissistic world, above all that; thus he delegates the writing of the Stimulus, health care and other major bills to Nancy Pelosi, puts off any decisions on Iran and Afghanistan, appoints czars with power to spend and set policy and prefers to spend his time on television speaking to the huddled masses.

His responsibilities as the head of government have been assigned to others, who in many cases are not answerable to the American people. This has created untold chaos in Congress and apprehension among the citizenry. Yet the President appears not to care, as his interests lie elsewhere. ...

Notwithstanding the determination of the founding fathers to avoid having a monarch, we now have one, at least in his own mind.

Amateur hour at the U.N.

I didn't know it was this bad. I truly didn't.

According to Charles Krauthammer Obama deliberately didn't talk about Iran while he was at the Security Council meeting -- despite pleas by France and Britain to do so. Why? To not spoil his image as global reconciler. Seriously. As Krauthammer explains:

Don't take it from me. Take it from Sarkozy, who could not conceal his astonishment at Obama's naivete. On Sept. 24, Obama ostentatiously presided over the Security Council. With 14 heads of state (or government) at the table, with an American president at the chair for the first time ever, with every news camera in the world trained on the meeting, it would garner unprecedented worldwide attention.

Unknown to the world, Obama had in his pocket explosive revelations about an illegal uranium enrichment facility that the Iranians had been hiding near Qom. The French and the British were urging him to use this most dramatic of settings to stun the world with the revelation and to call for immediate action.

Obama refused. Not only did he say nothing about it, but, reports the Wall Street Journal (citing Le Monde), Sarkozy was forced to scrap the Qom section of his speech. Obama held the news until a day later -- in Pittsburgh. I've got nothing against Pittsburgh (site of the G-20 summit), but a stacked-with-world-leaders Security Council chamber it is not.

Why forgo the opportunity? Because Obama wanted the Security Council meeting to be about his own dream of a nuclear-free world. The president, reports the New York Times citing "White House officials," did not want to "dilute" his disarmament resolution "by diverting to Iran."

Diversion? It's the most serious security issue in the world. A diversion from what? From a worthless U.N. disarmament resolution?

Yes. And from Obama's star turn as planetary visionary: "The administration told the French," reports the Wall Street Journal, "that it didn't want to 'spoil the image of success' for Mr. Obama's debut at the U.N."

I continue to be stunned by this Second Coming of Carter. I honestly don't know what to say.

I won't go the Bush Derangement route that the Left went the last 8 years and say "He isn't my President!" Because he clearly is. I'm a US citizen and he's the legitimately elected US President.

All I can say is that I am flabbergasted and ashamed by my President. He is truly doing real harm to the country. And, as Krauthammer shows, to the world.

Politicizing the EPA

One of the really infuriating things about the Left is how they really perpetrate the crimes that they blame on others.

For example, Fascism is an inherently Leftist phenomenon because it is an openly statist phenomenon. There is nothing conservative (in the sense of American conservatism -- not neo-conservatism, which is just Right-Liberalism) about Fascism. The common understanding of Fascism, however, is that it is inherently conservative -- and this is because the Left has spread this lie for the past 60 years. The Left created Fascism and openly promoted it for a generation. Then, when the Nazis made Fascism politically radioactive, the Left started a blatantly revisionist campaign to distort the popular understanding of Fascism. The Left did it, but they blamed it on conservatism.

Another example of this phenomenon is the "politicization of science". It came out last week that much of the data on which several key studies claiming to prove the reality of anthropogenic (that is, human-caused) global warming (AGW) was fudged. Tree ring data from Siberia (played up because it tracks the changes in global climate over tens of thousands of years) indicating that modern temperatures were much higher than the have been in millions of years were blatantly cherry-picked from a much larger data set. The scientists who had this data were, in a stunning failure of the peer-review process, never asked to disclose their data so that other scientists could test it.

The IPCC (the UN commission studying climate change), made up almost entirely of Leftists, based its recommendations in large part on these flawed studies, but apparently didn't even question whether they were legitimate. Why? Because the studies reinforced their own political beliefs. In other words, because they had no problem politicizing the relevant science -- a frequent accusation by the Left about conservatives. Again, the Left did it, but they blamed it on conservatism.

Now comes word from the Journal that the EPA is working in concert with Democrats to twist the arms of big business to promote the Left's "cap-and-trade" program currently up for debate in Congress.

"How else," says the Journal,
to explain the coordinated release on Wednesday of the EPA's new rules that make carbon a dangerous pollutant and John Kerry's cap-and-trade bill? Ms. Jackson is issuing a political ultimatum to business, as well as to Midwestern and rural Democrats: Support the Kerry-Obama climate tax agenda—or we'll punish your utilities and consumers without your vote.
Even better, the EPA is ignoring the plain meaning of laws like the Clean Air Act (CAA) to focus its partisan ire on larger companies.

The CAA was clearly not meant to regulate CO2, a fact that Democrats and Obama's EPA are ignoring. Their ignoring that fact puts them in trouble, though, because the CAA requires that the EPA regulate any entity emitting more than 250 tons of any hazardous gasses covered by the act. This would require the EPA to directly regulate tens of thousands of businesses, though, from major factories to your local Starbucks. The EPA only wants to target the major factories, however, so it's issued a new rule that only entities that emit 25,000 tons of CO2 will be affected -- something it has no statutory authority to do.

This is about as blatantly partisan as a regulatory agency can get, folks.
  • The EPA intends to regulate CO2 because of Leftist ideology, not sound science.
  • So, even though it doesn't have authority to do so absent an act of Congress, it issues a revisionist interpretation of the Clean Air Act to include CO2 (which was intentionally left out of the Clean Air Act, both in 1970 and when it was revised in 1990).
  • Then, when its revisionist interpretation would lead to an impracticable policy situation because of the plain language of the CAA, the EPA ignores that plain language and comes up with its own standards.
And yet, in true Leftist fashion, the EPA is blaming politicization of the EPA on conservatives.

Just last week the EPA chief, Linda Jackson, gave a speech in San Francisco where she said, "In recent years, many Americans have had cause to wonder whether decisions made at EPA were guided by science and the law, or whether those principles had been trumped by politics."

We can answer that question for Obama's EPA very easily. Those principles have been trumped by politics. Such is the case with the Left.

Cash for Clunkers: official 2009 entrant for Bad Ideas Hall of Fame

Observing that automobile sales have fallen off a cliff since the "Cash for Clunkers" program stopped, a development predicted by that program's critics, the Journal gets right to the heart of the issue:

The basic fallacy of cash for clunkers is that you can somehow create wealth by destroying existing assets that are still productive, in this case cars that still work. Under the program, auto dealers were required to destroy the car engines of trade-ins with a sodium silicate solution, then smash them and send them to the junk yard. As the journalist Henry Hazlitt wrote in his classic, "Economics in One Lesson," you can't raise living standards by breaking windows so some people can get jobs repairing them.

In the category of all-time dumb ideas, cash for clunkers rivals the New Deal brainstorm to slaughter pigs to raise pork prices.
That would be the same New Deal that so many Liberals are calling for a return to. Will the Left ever learn? (Sorry for the rhetorical question.)