I haven't done predictions in a couple of years, but I've decided that this is a good opportunity to do so. We'll review them next December and see how I've done.
So, folks, what do you think? Feel free to comment below, or offer your own predictions.
So much for objective journalism from Tingles -- not that we expect anything better from MSNBC hosts.
It comes right at the very beginning.
MATTHEWS: President Bush took six days according to the record to respond to the shoe bomber -- the president we have now, OUR president, took three days. . .
Got that -- Barack Obama is "OUR president" to Chris Matthews, while George W. Bush was not. I think that speaks volumes, don't you.
Which, of course, is why Matthews then lets his left-wing guest take a markedly different stance on dissent than Matthews and his fellow lefties did during the Bush years.
JOAN WALSH: . . . the climate right now is that Republicans do everything they can to undermine and delegitimize this president, and its actually un-American, its traitorous in my opinion. Do you want to give aid and comfort to our enemies? Continue to treat this president like he wasn't elected and he doesn't know what he's doing. . .
Interestingly enough, she has just described the tactics of the Left during the entire eight years of the bush Administration. is this a confession that the Left was engaged in treason when George W. Bush was president? Is it projection by a lefty on to her political opponents? Or is it a hypocritical double standard that liberal "journalists" like Matthews are willing to let pass because it conforms with their warped and biased view of reality?
H/T Weasel Zippers
On Christmas day, the following winners were announced in the latest Watcher's Council vote.
There is a certain arrogance to climate scientists who presume that the average temperature/sea level today (or in the recent past) is the ideal from which we ought to benchmark all changes, and that such changes are, by definition, both negative and caused by human activity.
Which brings me to this observation regarding the level of the ocean and the nature of certain islands.
Waterworld — I live on an island that is part of an atoll. An atoll is the coral ring around the place where a larger island used to be. Over the eons, the island eroded away but left behind the much sturdier reef, which is very similar to a solid band of concrete. Coral grows only under water, so at the time when this atoll was formed, the land I’m sitting on was at least a few inches under water at low tide. Right now, this land is a few feet above water at high tide.
Why is it above water now? Every coral isle dotted around the 154-mile circumference of the ancient island is the same height above water, and this is true for just about every atoll in Micronesia. It’s not likely that tectonic forces lifted the whole thing out of the water while keeping everything else level. The only reasonable conclusion is that sea levels were once much higher than they are now. From where I’m sitting, I’d say they were roughly 10 feet higher. And they had to be that high for quite a long period of time for the very slow-growing coral to build to this point.
While I’d hate for global warming to submerge my home, it does seem that would be the more common state of nature. — Jeff Wrobel
What? You mean that it was necessary for those atolls to have been underwater for them to have formed in the first place, because of the nature of the coral from which they were formed? And that somehow the water level dropped so as to expose these atolls and render them into land for people to live upon? How could this be?
The answer, for anyone who pays attention to the history of climate, is that there is a natural cycle to earth's climate and those atolls will naturally be above and below sea level based upon where the earth is in its natural climate cycle. And just as Greenland was once green land with an exposed coast line rather than a glacier -covered land form with its coastal areas hidden beneath ice, so it will be again in the natural course of things.
Does this mean we should not develop alternate sources of energy or take proper precautions to mitigate the effects of long-term rises in sea level? Of course not! But it does mean that we should be do so based upon valid concerns and not rigged scientific studies that are then manipulated for political purposes.
A comment from the European context.
Flemish comedian and singer Urbanus: “For years I have been saying that that the strongest weapon of the Left is a stamp with a swastika. They stamp that on the forehead of anyone who is not in the left-wing corner, so all those people will have the reflex: Oops, that’s what I’d better remain silent about. I cannot stand that.”
In America, that stamp has KKK on it -- but its use is the same. We've seen it applied over the last year against anyone on the right who dares to speak critically of Barack Obama and his policies, even when their words contain no reference to race.
H/T Gates of Vienna
Obama, the demigod!
Who apparently, according to one European commentator, is greater than Jesus.
If such a comparison were to be made, it would, of course, inevitably be to Obama’s advantage.
Today, his historic Health Reform is being passed through the American Senate – a welfare policy breakthrough that several of his predecessors have been unable to manage.
Despite all the compromises, it has finally been possible to ensure something so fundamental, as the right of every American not to be financially shipwrecked when their health fails them. Add to that the biggest ever financial support package in America’s history, a major disarmament agreement and the quickest-ever re-establishment of American reputation.
On the other hand, we have Jesus’ miracles that everyone still remembers, but which only benefitted a few. At the same time, we have the wonderful parables about his life and deeds that we know from the New Testament, but which have been interpreted so differently over the past 2000 years that it is impossible to give an unequivocal result of his work.
Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus – if we have to play that absurd Christmas game. But it is probably more meaningful to insist that with today’s domestic triumph, that he has already assured himself a place in the history books – a space he has good chances of expanding considerably in coming years.
But this does raise a question for me. Given the level of religious devotion shown Obama by his supporters, doesn't the Establishment Clause kick in to make him ineligible to serve as president due to the requirements of the separation of church and state?
After all, as a criminal defendant, he has the right to remain silent and cannot be interrogated without his attorney present -- and/or a grant of immunity.
[W]e also don't get to interrogate him to find out who he was working with and what other plots are out there. If he were treated as an enemy combatant and transferred to military commission system, we could use Army Field Manual techniques without Miranda (not as effective as enhanced techniques, of course, but much better than standard police practice). We could use his non-Mirandized statements against him in military commissions, so long as the statements were not forcibly coerced and were otherwise reliable. Instead, it's three squares a day, the best legal defense the ACLU can provide, and maybe the chance for parole before the kids he was trying to kill on that plane even make it out of college.
And yet some people wonder why closing Gitmo and treating its denizens as civilian criminals is a bad idea.
And why so many of us do not consider Barack Obama to be serious about keeping America safe from jihadi terror.
George W. Bush was sharply criticized when, on 9/11, he decided to allow a group of children to have a last few minutes of normalcy after being informed of the WTC attacks.
However, we now know what will get the Obama's immediate attention and cause him to leave the golf course during his vacation.
President Obama has left a golf course abruptly while vacationing in Hawaii on Monday for a "personal matter," and an ambulance was seen speeding to the first family's compound.
CBS 2 has learned that the incident does not involve any member of the first family, and that a young family friend traveling with them has suffered a minor injury. Sources say a child friend was injured by a surfboard while playing on the beach, but no additional details on the injury were reported just yet.
Journalists when they returned to the secured neighborhood where Obama was staying saw an ambulance speed past with its lights on. The ambulance then left the neighborhood with a black sedan trailing.
* * *
After a brief delay, Obama returned to the course.
Isn't it good to know that our president has his priorities straight?
In a stunning reversal of decades of American policy and a century of American political tradition, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced that the US has adopted the definition of human rights espoused by the Communist regime that enslaved much of Eastern Europe during the twentieth century.
That isn't my analysis -- that is the position taken by the Washington Post in a stunning editorial.
The Obama administration, she said, would "see human rights in a broad context," in which "oppression of want -- want of food, want of health, want of education, and want of equality in law and in fact" -- would be addressed alongside the oppression of tyranny and torture. "That is why," Ms. Clinton said, "the cornerstones of our 21st-century human rights agenda" would be "supporting democracy" and "fostering development."
This is indeed an important change in U.S. human rights policy -- but the idea behind it is pure 20th century. Ms. Clinton's lumping of economic and social "rights" with political and personal freedom was a standard doctrine of the Soviet Bloc, which used to argue at every East-West conference that human rights in Czechoslovakia were superior to those in the United States, because one provided government health care that the other lacked. In fact, as U.S. diplomats used to tirelessly respond, rights of liberty -- for free expression and religion, for example -- are unique in that they are both natural and universal; they will exist so long as governments do not suppress them. Health care, shelter and education are desirable social services, but they depend on resources that governments may or may not possess. These are fundamentally different goods, and one cannot substitute for another.
As the editorial goes on to note, this seems to be the basis for putting a higher value on economic development around the world rather than human freedom and the right to choose one's own government leaders. It is likely, therefore, that we will continue to see the Obama Regime continue its weak support of democracy around the world, its relative silence on the oppression of those aspiring to have American-style freedom in such nations. In short, the human rights agenda for the twenty-first century espoused by Obama and his surrogates is likely to look more like the agenda of Stalin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev than that of Truman, Kennedy, and Reagan.
According to a law enforcement source, the first failure came on Nov. 19, 2009, the very same day Abdulmutallab father’s, Dr. Umaru Mutallab, a prominent banking official in Nigeria, expressed deep concern to officials at the U.S. Embassy in Abjua, Nigeria, that his 23-year-old son had fallen under the influence of "religious extremists" in Yemen.
The second failure to flag an active visa belonging to Abdulmuttalab occurred the very next day in Washington, after Mutallab's concerns were forwarded to officials there. It was only after the Christmas Day terror attack in Detroit that U.S. officials learned that Abdulmuttalab had been issued a visa by the U.S. Embassy in London valid from June 16, 2008, through June 12, 2010.
Now some leftards have tried to blame the Bush Administration for the original issuance of the visa in 2008. However, the reports that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had become involved with religious extremism were not made until November of 2009, nearly a year and a half after the visa was issued. The Crotch-Bomber should have been caught by two different checks, but was not.
Hillary Clinton, as head of the State Department, ought to be fired over this failure -- as should the incompetent Janet Napolitano over at TSA, whose performance since the attack has been nothing short of mind-bogglingly inept.
Seriously. That is the implicit message here.
(Israelnationalnews.com) The United States has demanded clarifications from Israel after IDF special forces killed three terrorists Saturday who murdered a civilian, Rabbi Meir Chai, on Thursday.
Calls were made to National Security Adviser Prof. Uzi Arad, apparently by senior U.S. Administration officials, in which he was asked to provide clarifications.
The proper answer, if Israel deigns to respond at all to such an insulting demand, should be that Israel is a nation that takes its security in the face of Islamic terrorism much more seriously than the US does -- and which still has leaders who have functioning testicles.
H/T Atlas Shrugs
The assessment proposed in the Senate is not a new tax; it is the elimination of an existing tax break that is provided to exactly these firms. Under current law, if workers are paid in wages, they are taxed on those wages. But if they receive the same amount of compensation in the form of health insurance, they are not taxed. As a result, the tax code has for years provided a large subsidy to the most expensive health plans -- at a cost to the U.S. taxpayer of more than $250 billion a year. To put this in proportion, the cost of this tax subsidy to employer-sponsored insurance is more than twice what it will cost to provide universal health coverage to our citizens.
The excise tax on generous insurance plans would simply offset this bias for the most expensive health insurance plans -- and only on a partial basis. To understand how, consider two firms. One has an average insurance cost per family of $13,000, the national average. The other spends twice that much, $26,000 -- perhaps because its workers are older or perhaps because it provides much more generous coverage. Under today's system, a typical middle-income worker at the first firm gets a tax break of $4,550 while a worker at the second gets a $9,100 break. Taxpayers are literally sending twice as much money to the second firm simply because its insurance is more expensive -- regardless of the reason.
The most amusing part of the argument on why the new tax on health care benefits is not a tax is that the liberal idiot making the argument cannot even discuss it without calling it a tax.
Not to Professor Gruber of MIT -- when you can't explain why a tax is not a tax without calling it a tax, then it is a tax.
Not to students of Professor Gruber of MIT -- if you are signed up for this guy's class next term, drop it immediately. if you have taken his classes in the past, round up your classmates and a couple of attorneys and file a class action suit to get your tuition money back, because he clearly lacks the qualifications to teach economics on any level.
1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.
3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.
6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:
14 “ Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”
16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.
18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
Col. Robert Howard -- America's most decorated hero of the modern era.
What a pity that we have not heard more about the passing of this man.
I'll let Brian Williams of NBCNews provide a send-off that honors this man better than I could ever hop to do.
BRIAN WILLIAMS: We have a brief special word tonight about a very special man whose story you should know about, in part because his story will be told for generations to come. Robert Howard might have been the toughest American alive while he was among us. Bob was the only man ever to be nominated for the Medal of Honor three times for three separate acts of staggering heroism in combat. But you can only receive one Medal of Honor per lifetime, and so that's what he got in 1971 from President Nixon. That's not all he got, though. He received eight Purple Hearts, eight of them. There were Silver Stars, four Bronze Stars, two Distinguished Service Crosses. It's believed Bob Howard was the most heavily-decorated American veteran of the modern era, period.
He was a proud product of Alabama, and he let you know it. He was a Green Beret, Special Forces. While technically he fought in the Vietnam War, he fought in Laos and Cambodia and all kinds of other places where we were once told U.S. forces weren't fighting at the time. In one 54-month period he was wounded 14 times. He served five tours of duty in Vietnam. And in recent years, he loved his trips to Iraq and Afghanistan to visit the men and women in uniform and in the fight there.
Bob had two master's degrees, but for the most part he was a soldier with only one employer. When he retired from service back in 2006, as a full colonel, he'd been an employee of the US government in all for 50 years. That old expression, "They don't make them like him anymore," well, they don't. Bob Howard died today. He was 70 years old. Cancer did what the enemy never could do. It got him and brought him down. He leaves behind three children, several grandchildren, a lot of us who were proud to be his friend. In addition, Bob Howard leaves behind a grateful nation.
May God grant eternal rest and peace to this man who dedicated his life to the defense of our nation.
What Obama has wrought with his policies and programs.
This is a comparison of what Obama said would happen under his policies against what happened when we followed his policies. And given how well he has done with unemployment, do you really want to allow him to implement his policies regarding your health care?
There is still time -- Contact your congresspeople and senators, Write the local paper and call the talk radio shows. There is still time to scuttle this mess if the American people speak in a voice loud enough to make it clear -- we reject the legislation passed by the House and the legislation passed by the Senate.
No, not that president.
This is the best Christmas address from the man who will always hold that title in my heart -- the one holder of that office in my lifetime who I would argue has best lived up to what that office ought to be.
I give you Ronald Reagan's 1981 Christmas message to the American people.
Today we find both faith and freedom under attack in this country. Take comfort and hope from these words from a great man of our nation's recent past, and resolve once more to devote yourself to holding on to both and working to secure them in the months and years ahead.Continue to be enlightened while reading "The President's Christmas Address" Â»
At Christmas time, every home takes on a special beauty a special warmth. And that’s certainly true at the White House where so many famous Americans have spent their Christmases over the years. This fine old home—the people’s house—has seen so much, been so much a part of all our lives and history.
G.K. Chesterton once said that “The world would never starve for wonders, but only for the want of wonder.” At this special time of year we all renew our sense of wonder in recalling the story of the first Christmas in Bethlehem nearly 2,000 years ago.
Some celebrate Christmas as the birthday of a great and good philosopher and teacher. Others of us believe in the Divinity of the child born in Bethlehem, that He was, and is, the promised Prince of Peace.
Yes, we’ve questioned why He, who could perform miracles, chose to come among us as a helpless babe. But maybe that was His first miracle; His first great lesson that we should learn to care for one another.
Tonight, in millions of American homes the glow of the Christmas tree is a reflection of the love Jesus taught us. Like the shepherds and wise men of that first Christmas, we Americans have always tried to follow a higher light—a star if you will. At lonely campfire vigils along the frontier, in the darkest days of the Great Depression, through war and peace, the twin beacons of faith and freedom have brightened the American sky.
At times our footsteps may have fallen, but trusting in God’s help we’ve never lost our way. Just across the way from the White House stand the two great emblems of the holiday season: a Menorah, symbolizing the Jewish festival of Hanukkah and the National Christmas Tree, a beautiful towering blue spruce from Pennsylvania.
Like the National Christmas Tree, our country is a living, growing thing planted in the rich American soil. Only our devoted care can bring it to full flower. So let this holiday season be for us a time of rededication.
Christmas means so much because of One special child.
But Christmas also reminds us that all children are special; that they are gifts from God; gifts beyond price that mean more than any presents money can buy. In their love and laughter, in our hopes for their future, lies the true meaning of Christmas.
So, in a spirit of gratitude for what we’ve been able to achieve together over the past year, and looking forward to all that we hope to achieve together in the years ahead, Nancy and I want to wish you all the best of holiday seasons.
As Charles Dickens, who said it so well in A Christmas Carol, “God bless us, every one.”
Â« All done with "The President's Christmas Address"?
I've been remiss in posting these Watcher's Council results, so let them appear as the ghosts of voting past.
December 18, 2009
December 11, 2009
There's some great stuff here -- take a look and enjoy!
That was the question in a recent poll.
58 percent of Americans believe that decisions by the Obama administration have been “bad for America,” as opposed to 37 percent who think Obama’s decisions have been “good for America.”
And yet somehow we are supposed to believe that only a racist fringe opposes Obama.
It seems to me that some of our so-called representatives in Washington have forgotten a founding principal of this nation.
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. . . .
Has the time come to take a page from an earlier era's playbook?Continue to be enlightened while reading "A Proper Response?" Â»
Â« All done with "A Proper Response?"?
No, not the aged Kluxer who sits three heartbeats from the presidency thanks to the the ascendancy of the Democrats. I mean the corpse of a dead Senator dragged through the pages of the Washington Post by his allegedly grieving widow in an effort to pass legislation rejected by the American people.
My late husband, Ted Kennedy, was passionate about health-care reform. It was the cause of his life. He believed that health care for all our citizens was a fundamental right, not a privilege, and that this year the stars -- and competing interests -- were finally aligned to allow our nation to move forward with fundamental reform. He believed that health-care reform was essential to the financial stability of our nation's working families and of our economy as a whole.
* * *
The bill before Congress will finally deliver on the urgent needs of all Americans. It would make their lives better and do so much good for this country. That, in the end, must be the test of reform. That was always the test for Ted Kennedy. He's not here to urge us not to let this chance slip through our fingers. So I humbly ask his colleagues to finish the work of his life, the work of generations, to allow the vote to go forward and to pass health-care reform now. As Ted always said, when it's finally done, the people will wonder what took so long.
Who gives a rat's hindquarters what the drunken sod would have wanted? The American people are overwhelmingly against this legislation, or anything resembling it.
Do we peasants need to descend upon the Capitol and White House carrying torches and pitchforks to get our message across?
What will it take to get our so-called representatives to actually represent us on this issue and put a stop to the monstrosity being foiset upon us by Obama, Pelosi and Reid?
'Twas the first day of Christmas break,
And all through the land
Teachers needed not to wake
To grade or to plan.
And I in my boxers
And my spouse in her gown
Were snuggled up toasty
And still drowsing around.
A planned implosion of a Pasadena chemical plant prompted several reports of explosions early this morning.
The implosion of the Sunoco Inc. plant at 9802 Fairmont Parkway in Pasadena took place at 7:30 a.m. Officials say there is no threat to the public.
Whose bright idea was it to blow the thing up at 7:30 in the morning on the Saturday before Christmas?
Heck -- whose bright idea was it to blow it up at 7:30 in the morning any day of the week, but especially on the weekend?
As the crow flies, we are talking about a place that is probably less than 6 miles from our house. And given that there was an explosion and fire at a chemical plant merely 1 1/2 miles away less than two weeks ago, it was a particularly unpleasant way to start the day.
A message to progressives: By all means, hang Senator Joe Lieberman in effigy.
Could you imagine the howls of outrage if a conservative columnist were to suggest that it would be acceptable for conservatives to “hang President Barack Obama in effigy” over policy differences? And would there not be screams of “raaaaacism” from the Left, demands for hate crime prosecutions and Secret Service investigations if those conservatives actually did it?
But then again, we all know that the rules on political speech and dialog differ for liberals and conservatives.
Initially, this looks bad.
The Department of Homeland Security improperly gathered intelligence on the Nation of Islam for eight months in 2007 when the leader of the black Muslim group, Louis Farrakhan, was in poor health and appeared to be yielding power, according to government documents released Wednesday.
The intelligence gathering violated domestic spying rules because analysts took longer than 180 days to determine whether the U.S-based group or its American members posed a terrorist threat. Analysts also disseminated their report too broadly, according to documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group.
Sounds damning, doesn’t it.
But then I came across this little detail that I think makes all the difference in the world.
Charles E. Allen, who was DHS undersecretary for intelligence and analysis at the time, said that although violations were unintentional and inadvertent -- only publicly available information was collected -- the report should never have been issued.
Hold on. Only public information was gathered. In other words, only what was available in libraries anon the internet. That does not rise to the level of spying in my book – unless the research paper I just assigned my college students requires them to “spy” on government agencies and lobbying special interest groups like the NRA and MADD.
Frankly, if the law prohibits the collection and retention of such information by government agencies, then the law is an ass.
It looks like creating jobs was not the criteria for distribution of the funds. It was who voted Democratic in recent elections.
A new analysis of the $157 billion distributed by the American Reinvestment and Recovery act, popularly known as the stimulus bill, shows that the funds were distributed without regard for what states were most in need of jobs.
“You would think that if the stimulus money was actually spent to create jobs, there would be more stimulus money spent in high unemployment states,” said Veronique de Rugy, a scholar at the Mercatus Center who produced the analysis. "But we don't find any correlation."
Even more damning was the assessment that “We find no correlation between economic indicators and stimulus funding. Preliminary results find no statistically significant effect of unemployment, median income or mean income on stimulus funds allocation.”
But there is a clear relationship between the partisanship of congressional districts and the dollars spent there. Democrat districts nearly doubled the spending of Republican districts, and having a Republican representative was likely to result in a district receiving nearly 25% less funding than comparable Democrat districts.
And people wonder why the stimulus bill was looked at as partisan pork by so many conservatives.
They are scared, they are angry, and they want law enforcement to quit engaging in standard law enforcement tactics to stop their co-religionists from killing and maiming the people of the United States!
The anxiety and anger have been building all year. In March, a national coalition of Islamic organizations warned that it would cease cooperating with the F.B.I. unless the agency stopped infiltrating mosques and using “agents provocateurs to trap unsuspecting Muslim youth.”
* * *
“There is a sense that law enforcement is viewing our communities not as partners but as objects of suspicion,” said Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America, who represented Muslims at the national prayer service a day after President Obama’s inauguration. “A lot of people are really, really alarmed about this.”
Sadly, there are too many terrorists among the followers of the teachings of Muhammad. Here and abroad, there are large numbers of Muslims who believe that their faith requires them to kill Americans and other infidels in the name of Allah. To find them and stop them, that means that Muslims are going to be objects of suspicion. It isn’t fair, but it is irresponsible for the government to act otherwise. And as we saw at Fort Hood, ignoring signs of Islamist radicalism has deadly consequences for innocent victims.
That said, I understand the feelings of those Muslims who object to such things – and I am prepared to bid them a tearful farewell as they depart our country for a nation where they will be more free and subject to less official oppression.
And I have no doubt that such a nation will not be found in the Muslim world.
Victor David Hanson offers these five “green commandments” for those who publicly champion extreme greenism in order to stop climate change. They certainly seem reasonable to me.
1) No green public advocate shall have personal business interests predicated on climate-change remedies.
(2) No green public advocate shall fly in a private jet.
(3) No green public advocate shall ride in a limousine.
(4) No green public advocate shall live in a mansion.
(5) Every green advocate shall limit transcontinental jet trips to one per year.
Let’s think about these, shall we.
The first is basic conflict-of-interest stuff. After all, Al Gore makes money off of “carbon offsets”. That makes it hard to tell if his advocacy is to save the earth or line his pockets.
The next three seem equally reasonable. If you want to impose draconian lifestyle restrictions on the rest of us, why don’t you actually live it first?
And as for number five, I’d like to take it a step beyond what Hanson proposes. I’d include intercontinental trips as well. And make it clear that the restriction does not allow for a round-trip – that is one trip, one way.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) today barred Republican members of the congressional delegation to Copenhagen for the U.N. “climate change” conference from participation in the official congressional press conference at Bella Center. Sources at the event told HUMAN EVENTS that Republicans were not initially informed of the event then were subsequently barred from participation. The Bella Center is the base for the U.S. Delegation in Copenhagen.
Around 3:45 pm local time today, Republican members of Congress and their staffs were rounded up for transport back to their hotels on busses just as the press conference began. They were not allowed to hold their own press conference.
It is possible that the Republican members of the delegation may be permitted to hold a press conference tomorrow.
But only if Queen Bitch deigns to grant dissenting voices the privilege of being heard.
Does such an individual have any legitimate place in any public office in America?
In closing, a little tribute to Speaker Pelosi.
If it had been any ordinary citizen, that individual would have been escorted from the plane and charged with a federal offense. Somehow, Senator Chuck Schumer got away with conduct that was well-beyond what his constituents would be allowed.
Schumer and his seatmate, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), were chatting on their phones before takeoff when an announcement indicated that it was time to turn off the phones.
Both senators kept talking.
According to the GOP aide, a flight attendant then approached Schumer and told him the entire plane was waiting on him to shut down his phone.
Schumer asked if he could finish his conversation. When the flight attendant said “no,” Schumer ended his call but continued to argue his case.
He said he was entitled to keep his phone on until the cabin door was closed. The flight attendant said he was obliged to turn it off whenever a flight attendant asked.
“He argued with her about the rule,” the source said. “She said she doesn’t make the rules, she just follows them.”
When the flight attendant walked away, the witness says Schumer turned to Gillibrand and uttered the B-word.
Right there, most of us would have been off the plane. But then it got worse.
But moments after the flight attendant had told Schumer to shut it off, the phone rang again.
“It’s Harry Reid calling,” the source quoted Schumer as saying. “I guess health care will have to wait until we land.”
Got that – complete refusal to comply with things that are required of ordinary citizens, and potential endangerment of his fellow passengers. Why no arrest? Why no charges?
Whether or not the Democrats’ risky health care scheme can be stopped, Americans should at least begin getting benefits from the legislation when they start paying the bill for it.
n an effort to stem billions of dollars in tax increases that would begin in several weeks and to improve transparency in the health care debate, U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) today introduced a motion with U.S. Senator John Thune (R-SD) that would send the government-run health care legislation back to the Senate Finance Committee with instructions that no taxes or fees be imposed on American families and businesses until the supposed benefits of the bill have begun.
"The Democrats' government-run health care proposal will levy taxes on virtually every American and business in this country during a time when we're in one of the worst economic downturns in recent memory," Senator Hutchison said. "In an attempt to mask the massive cost of this legislation, the Democrats impose these taxes on prescription drugs, medical devices, and business as soon as next month. But astoundingly, it's only after four years of these taxes that the supposed reforms to the health insurance market will take effect. This is a classic example of a bait and switch," Hutchison said. "I'm outraged the Democrats would even attempt to tax the American people without offering anything in return for four years, and my motion is a critical step in making sure that doesn't happen."
Hutchison’s proposal would also require that the proposal be deficit neutral.
Kay has it exactly right on this one. If we are going to be sucked dry by Obama’s new taxes to pay for health care, then let us get an immediate return for our money. After all, we keep being told that there are people dying because of lack of access to health care – why should we be forced to wait for four years before we get that access? After all, liberals tell us that tens of thousands die annually because of this – why are they willing to sacrifice so many more lives by making those folks wait?
Is the Obama Regime really threatening to degrade national security if a Senator won’t vote for Democrat’s risky health carte scheme?
According to a Senate aide, the White House is now threatening to put Nebraska's Offutt Air Force Base on the BRAC list if Nelson doesn't fall into line.
Offutt Air Force Base employs some 10,000 military and federal employees in Southeastern Nebraska. As our source put it, this is a "naked effort by Rahm Emanuel and the White House to extort Nelson's vote." They are "threatening to close a base vital to national security for what?" asked the Senate staffer.
Offutt is the home of the US Strategic Command, and is so centrally located in the country for reasons of both national security and geographic reality. For the White House to play politics with this location is not merely disgusting and irresponsible, but also un-American and arguably grounds for impeachment if the threat was made with the knowledge and consent of the president.
When a Catholic bishop dared to call into question whether or not Rep. Patrick Kennedy was a good Catholic and urged him not to seek to receive communion, we heard all sorts of wailing and gnashing of teeth about the separation of church and state. For that matter, we even heard suggestion that the Catholic Church should be stripped of tax exempt status because of bishops lobbying against taxpayer-funded insurance coverage of abortion.
But now, we are seeing a different approach from folks regarding the religious faith of Senator Joe Lieberman.
"Because he invokes his Jewish identity and Jewish values so frequently, we, as a community, should speak to what he is saying," Rabbi Ron Fish from Congregation Beth El, a Conservative synagogue in Norwalk, said about his decision to pen an open letter to Lieberman calling him out on his opposition to the health care bills.
But The Forward reports that local rabbis are also using quiet diplomacy, trying to get 25 of the state's 50 pulpit rabbis to sign on to a private letter to Lieberman to convince him to change his stand. The more liberal rabbis--Lieberman himself is Orthodox--apparently prefer a more confrontational approach. "There is a good cop, bad cop routine," one of them told the paper. "On the one hand, there are demonstrations outside his home; on the other, there are people trying to reach out behind the scenes."
Interestingly enough, I’ve not encountered a single liberal who finds anything untoward about religious leaders attempting to get Lieberman to change his position based upon religious principles. No one is complaining that such effort amount to an entanglement of synagogue and state, or that there should be IRS investigations or revocations of tax exempt status. Presumably this is because the rabbis are acting in the service of a cause supported by the liberal opponents of the Catholic bishops.
And interestingly enough, many of the members of the chattering class who found it horrendous that anyone would question Kennedy’s Catholic bona fides have no problem with similar questions being raised about the Jewish faith of Senator Lieberman. But then again, it is simply one more application of the usual liberal hypocrisy on religious faith – said faith is supposed to be private unless it serves the cause of liberalism. From this hypocrisy has grown a coalition that reaches across the ideological divide – neo-Nazis like the folks from Stormfront are now favorably quoting liberals about the need to get rid of Lieberman the murderous Jew. One would hope that perhaps this would lead liberals to recognize the repulsiveness of their own position – but I’m not counting on it.
That would be another Obama campaign promise.
On the campaign trail, Barack Obama vowed to take on the drug industry by allowing Americans to import cheaper prescription medicine. "We'll tell the pharmaceutical companies 'thanks, but no, thanks' for the overpriced drugs -- drugs that cost twice as much here as they do in Europe and Canada," he said back then.
On Tuesday, the matter came to the Senate floor -- and President Obama forgot the "no, thanks" part. Siding with the pharmaceutical lobby, the administration successfully fought against the very idea Obama had championed.
The saddest thing is that this was one of the Obama promises that I saw as a good idea. But as seems to have been the case with a great many Obama pledges that were significant parts of his platform last year, this one has now been dispensed with for reasons that are quite unclear.
President Obama told Oprah Winfrey on Sunday night he gives himself a "good, solid B-plus" for his first 11 months in the Oval Office.
On what was billed as Oprah's "White House Christmas Special," Obama credited his administration with getting the economy on track, winding down the Iraq war and making the right call for a temporary surge in Afghanistan.
He also said America has "reset" its prestige in the world and made progress toward halting development of nuclear weapons in Iran and North Korea.
Passage of health care reform would boost his grade to an A-, he said. Until Americans get back to work, he said, "I can't give myself the grade I'd like."
The economy is not back on track – otherwise we would not be hearing talk of another stimulus package.
The only reason the Iraq war is winding down is because of policies put in place by the Bush Administration – policies Obama opposed when he was in the Senate. He certainly cannot take credit for them now.
Obama dithered on Afghanistan for months, after calling it the war we must fight. He certainly can’t expect full credit for an assignment completed so late – especially when he included what amounts to a surrender date in the proposal.
Stopping the development of nukes in Iran and North Korea? Not done – especially with regards to Iran.
And given that Obama is on his way to becoming as big a joke internationally as he has become at home, I have some serious doubts about the idea of his having “reset” any sort of US prestige.
On the other hand, we’ve seen US unemployment soar through the roof, and a failure on his signature health care initiative caused by Obama’s failed strategy of letting the Democrat Congressional leadership write the legislation and attempt to ramrod it through over the objections of the American people.
So back to my suggestion that Barack Obama is a ninth grader. His assessment of the grade he deserves sounds just like what I hear from the segment of students who have failed tests, neglected to complete assignments, and turned others in weeks late – kids who then argue that they deserve at least a B “because I was in class every day.” He seems to think he gets a high B just for showing up, even though his actual average is perhaps a D.
What next? Is he going to ask for a crossword puzzle or word search to raise the grade to an A before the first anniversary of his inauguration on January 20?
It seems that pornographer Larry Flynt has won a partial victory over other family members using the family surname in the production and promotion of their own porn products. I wouldn’t note this case at all, but for this remarkable line in the article.
Flynt's attorney, Mark Hoffman, said all his client wanted was to maintain his good name in the porn community, adding that he never asked the jury for monetary damages.
His good name in the porn community?
This is a matter of settled law – settled, indeed, for nearly half a century. Why are we even dealing with it now?
Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell believes in ending the death penalty, conserving water and reforming government — but he doesn't believe in God. His political opponents say that's a sin that makes him unworthy of serving in office, and they've got the North Carolina Constitution on their side.
Bothwell's detractors are threatening to take the city to court for swearing him in, even though the state's antiquated requirement that officeholders believe in God is unenforceable because it violates the U.S. Constitution.
Yes, there is a 200 year old provision of the state constitution in North Carolina that would seem to preclude Bothwell from holding office. However, a 1961 Supreme Court decision held that the Fourteenth Amendment incorporated the US Constitution’s ban on religious tests for public office into the restrictions that are placed upon states. As such, the mere fact that the provision remains in the printed text of the state document is irrelevant – just as a provision forbidding voting by African-Americans would be unenforceable, or one forbidding interracial marriage requiring segregated schools.
Here’s hoping that any suit filed in this matter is immediately dismissed, and all involved in bringing it hit with severe sanctions by the court – including the disbarment of attorney involved in challenging Bothwell’s eligibility for office.
And for the record – I cannot imagine voting for Cecil Bothwell because of his stances on the issues. I’d work against him, and seek to defeat him at the ballot box. But that said, I cannot support such an unprincipled – and un-American – effort as this one.
We are told that there must be enough women on college campuses for learning to go on. We are told that there must be a sufficient number of members of different minority groups – and that the failure to meet such balance is prima facie evidence of discrimination. So why the uproar over this?
Civil rights investigators will soon begin reviewing admissions data from a sampling of colleges in the Washington region to determine whether, after decades of progress toward sexual equity, female students have become so plentiful in higher education that institutions have entered a new era of discrimination against them.
* * *
Women apply in greater numbers than men to most colleges in the D.C. area. They make up at least three-fifths of the applicant pool at a number of schools, including the College of William and Mary in Virginia, Goucher and St. Mary's colleges in Maryland and American University in the District.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that some schools are favoring men by admitting them at higher rates than women to try to preserve a male-female balance on campus. Conventional admissions-office wisdom dictates that colleges dominated by either sex are less appealing to applicants in general.
Odd. Isn’t that called affirmative action when used to make sure that there are enough women and minorities on campus? Isn’t that exactly the sort of admissions game-playing that goes on to make sure that there are enough of some groups and not too many of other groups in each class? Don’t colleges do that to make sure that the entering freshman class includes the required number of left-handed Lutheran lesbians? Why the angst over making sure there are enough men – well, other than the fact that men are supposed to be disfavored under affirmative action plans, and the over-representation of women and minorities is supposed to be proof of success and non-discrimination.
Here’s a thought – take the top candidates for admission, regardless of what boxes they check for race and gender, and let the chips fall where they may. Maybe it will inspire some folks to work hard in school and get the grades they need to be admitted to these schools without preferences being shown. But for that to happen, we as a society need to overcome the fetish of proportional representation that has become so prevalent in academics and business over the last few decades, based upon a hundred court decisions and government regulations. Are we really prepared to focus on merit, come what may?
My wife attended seminary in the town where Steven King and his wife live. I won’t go into details about what she had to say about the couple, aside to note that it was generally uncomplimentary. That said, she and I both admire this move by the couple.
Author Stephen King and his wife are donating money so 150 soldiers from the Maine Army National Guard can come home for the holidays.
King and his wife, Tabitha, who live in Bangor, are paying $13,000 toward the cost of two bus trips so that members of the 3rd Battalion, 172nd Infantry Unit can travel from Camp Atterbury in Indiana to Maine for Christmas. The soldiers left Maine last week for training at Camp Atterbury. They are scheduled to depart for Afghanistan in January.
Quirky as ever, though, the couple donated only $12,999 because of the unlucky significance of that 13 – but their personal assistant kicked in a buck to make up the difference. But what matters is that there will be families together this holiday season who would otherwise be apart because of military necessity. And for that I am grateful – even though I don’t like the man’s books.
A good chunk of the American public does, it would appear. Indeed, 44% of Americans would like him back.
Given the horrendous approval ratings Bush showed during his final term that’s somewhat of a surprise and an indication that voters are increasingly placing the blame on Obama for the country’s difficulties instead of giving him space because of the tough situation he inherited. The closeness in the Obama/Bush numbers also has implications for the 2010 elections. Using the Bush card may not be particularly effective for Democrats anymore, which is good news generally for Republicans and especially ones like Rob Portman who are running for office and have close ties to the former President.
Personally, I'm not surprised. After the way that Obama and the Democrats have constantly hearkened back to the previous administration in order to excuse their own shortcomings, why wouldn't folks prefer the return of a man who was generally a pretty decisive leader?
Because of a protected species of bat.
U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus ruled that Chicago-based Invenergy can complete 40 windmills it has begun to install on an Appalachian ridge in Greenbrier County. But he said the company cannot move forward on the $300 million project -- slated to have 122 turbines along a 23-mile stretch -- without a special permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"Like death and taxes, there is a virtual certainty that Indiana bats will be harmed, wounded, or killed imminently by the Beech Ridge Project," Titus wrote in a 74-page opinion. "The development of wind energy can and should be encouraged, but wind turbines must be good neighbors."
Just call them “snail darters with wings”. Humans be damned – we must protect some niche species. Seems to me that we have a great case for repealing a huge chunk of our laws on endangered species.
With this move by the Democrats, you and I will be paying for him for DECADES.
In a bold but risky year-end strategy, Democrats are preparing to raise the federal debt ceiling by as much as $1.8 trillion before New Year’s rather than have to face the issue again prior to the 2010 elections.
“We’ve incurred this debt. We have to pay our bills,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told POLITICO Wednesday. And the Maryland Democrat confirmed that the anticipated increase could be as high as $1.8 trillion — nearly twice what had been assumed in last spring’s budget resolution for the 2010 fiscal year.
This isn’t Bush spending. This isn’t Republican spending. This is Obama Democrat spending. And they are not done with the record spending yet.
After all, passing health care “reform” is allegedly every bit as important as those two great accomplishments. Harry Reid told us so. And he even insisted that the Senate would work weekends to get health care “reform” passed before Christmas. But something seems to have become a higher priority for the unpopular Senator from Nevada.
The Senate has been working at a breakneck pace (for the Senate) on the health reform legislation. Lawmakers worked all last weekend on Democrats' health reform bill and they worked the Saturday before Thanksgiving and all signs indicated they would work this coming weekend too. But Reid, who wants to get a healthcare bill finished by Christmas, urged Republicans on the Senate floor to forego a debate on several conference reports this weekend in order to give Senators and staffers the weekend off.
"I understand the Republican leader doesn't want us to do health care. I appreciate that. He and I have different positions on that," said Reid. "I see no reason to punish everybody this weekend and I hope the minority will give strong consideration to the proposal that I've made."
But the reality is that the reason Reid wants off is that he is holding a fundraiser in Louisiana. Yeah, that’s right – he not only wants to set aside the people’s most pressing business in half a century (or longer – do you want to count from the Civil Rights Acts of the 1950s and 1960s, or all the way back to the Civil War?) in order to raise campaign funds, he isn’t even going to do so in the state he allegedly represents in the Senate (I say allegedly because Nevadans oppose ObamaCare).
When a chemical plant explodes near one’s home, there is a hope and a presumption that there will be an outside investigation of the event.
Explosions at two Houston-area industrial plants in the last week, including Wednesday's chemical plant blast in Seabrook, killed one person and injured four others, but the federal agency charged with investigating such incidents won't probe either one, federal officials confirmed Wednesday.
The reason: chronic shortages of staff and money, said John Bresland, chairman of the U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. The board will investigate a manufacturing plant accident in Illinois that killed a truck driver.
Bresland said his 40-person, $10.6 million-a-year investigative agency does not have enough people to handle more than the 16 investigations that are already under way — a fraction of the dozens of accidents at refineries and chemical plants each year.
“We would like to investigate more accidents but that would require additional resources from Congress,” Bresland said in a telephone interview.
Let’s see – Democrats have been running Congress since the 2006 election. Barack Obama is in the White House. Somehow, they have managed to avoid funding an agency that investigates serious threats to public and workplace safety. At the same time, they expect us to believe that they will more than adequately fund a government takeover of the health care industry without rationing our medical care.
Well, at least my house (1 ½ miles from the Seabrook plant explosion) is still standing and there has not been (as far as we have been told) any release of dangerous chemicals.
A lot of really great entries this time around, with some particularly outstanding winners. Congratulations to all involved in the most recent competition!
CNSNews.com asked Mikulski: “Is it morally right to take tax money from pro-life Americans and give it to health insurance plans that cover abortion?” Mikulski said: “I think it’s morally wrong to vote against health care, because if you really are pro-life--or as Richard Rick Warren says, “whole-life”--then universal access to health care that would guarantee maternity health, sound wonderful deliveries for children, and so on, I think that’s what we want to do. I believe voting for universal access, ending the punitive practices of insurance companies, particularly their discrimination against women, is morally wrong.”
In other words, the ultra-liberal pro-abort Senator from Maryland has decided that in this case HER view of what is morally right gets to trump the moral beliefs of her Senate colleagues – and the rest of Americans.
Ditto Senator Diane Feinstein.
As the Senate was debating the Nelson amendment Tuesday, CNSNews.com asked Feinstein: "Is it morally right to use tax dollars from pro-life Americans to cover insurance plans that cover abortion?" Feinstein said: "Is it morally correct? Yes, I believe it is. Abortion is legal, and there (are) certain very tragic circumstances that a woman finds herself in. Married, with an unborn baby that’s unable to survive outside of the womb, her doctor tells her it’s a threat to her health. I think she ought to have a policy available to her."
CNSNews.com asked: "So it’s morally right for pro-life taxpayers to have to help pay for plans that cover abortion?"
Feinstein responded: "Please. We pay for a lot of things that we may or may not agree with, and taxpayers pay for it, for those things, as well."
In other words, it is wrong to impose pro-life views on pro-abortion Americans, but hunky-dory to impose pro-abortion values on the pro-life.
So remember – when they tell you that it is wrong to use the law to impose someone’s moral values on others, what liberals really mean is that it is wrong to use the law to impose someone else’s values on others. However, it is a moral imperative to use the law to impose liberal values on others.
If we have a government that has the time and authority to regulate in this area, we clearly have too much government.
A House subcommittee has approved legislation aimed at forcing college football to switch to a playoff system to determine a national champion. The bill would ban the promotion of a postseason NCAA Division I football game as a national championship unless that title contest is the result of a playoff. The measure passed by a voice vote Wednesday by a House Energy and Commerce Committee subcommittee.
Such a law is clearly neither necessary nor proper for federal action.
Time to call the Congresscritters and tell them it is time to adjourn until after the 112th Congress is sworn in. They have obviously finished all of the pressing business of the people, and need to go home and start looking for real jobs. And if you want to see just how insane this legislation is, just look at what one of its supporters has to say in its defense.
The regulatory state tells Congress “do as we say or we’ll make laws without you.”
The Obama administration is warning Congress that if it doesn't move to regulate greenhouse gases, the Environmental Protection Agency will take a "command-and-control" role over the process in a way that could hurt business.
Odd, I thought that the legislative branch made the law and the executive carried out the law. It seems that today the matter has changed, with Obama and his merry band of commissars declaring that they have the right to make law if Congress won’t. It seems to me that the proper response would be for the leadership of the House and Senate to jointly and publicly inform Barack Obama that any attempt by the EPA to unilaterally exercise such authority will result in Obama’s impeachment and removal from office.
And if Congress lacks the will to do so, and the Obama regime insists upon taking this fascist course of action, it might be time for Americans to alter or abolish a form of government which has become an usurper of our unalienable rather than their protector and guarantor.
Moreover, this is indicative that he lacks the emotional toughness to hold any high public office – much less the one to which he was elected.
President Barack Obama recently called Rep. John Conyers Jr. to express his frustrations with the Judiciary Committee chairman’s criticism. In an interview with The Hill, Conyers said his opinions of Obama’s policies on healthcare reform and the war in Afghanistan have not sat well with the president.
According to the lawmaker, the president picked up the phone several weeks ago to find out why Conyers was “demeaning” him.
Barack Obama has not been subjected to even one tenth of the demeaning statements that George W. Bush faced during any one of his eight years in office. Bush, however, did not call critics on the phone to bitch, whine, and complain about the criticism. Seems to me that Obama lacks the testicular fortitude necessary to deal with the ordinary criticism that a leader in a democratic society faces – or maybe he started to believe his own press clippings.
It would appear that three or four such incidents happen a year – most of them not any more serious than what we saw with the Salahis.
A summary of a secret 2003 report obtained by The Washington Post, along with descriptions of more recent incidents by federal homeland security officials, places Tareq and Michaele Salahi squarely in a rogues' gallery of autograph hounds, publicity seekers, unstable personalities and others identified by the Secret Service as defeating its checkpoints at least 91 times since 1980.
The document, the most complete accounting of recent Secret Service security breakdowns, includes officers mistakenly admitting to the White House grounds a family in a minivan, a man believed to be a delivery driver, and a woman previously known to agents after she had falsely claimed a "special relationship" with Bill Clinton.
In other words, mistakes and breaches happen. What happened at the state dinner, while not common, is not something that is unprecedented. And yes, we have been fortunate that there have been no serious incidents arising from such occurrences – but for us to be in an uproar because this particular incident happened with these particular people involving this particular president is an overreaction.
And it does make me laugh to think that I have been involved in my own little brush with security for a presidential candidate. Back in the 1980s, a group of College Republican buddies and I attended an event at which several candidates were speaking. We had staked out a deserted corridor as a meeting point during breaks and before breakout sessions. After one speech, we had all met to go have lunch – only to have Pat Robertson and his security round the corner and come to an immediate halt as the discovered that the security corridor had been penetrated by about a dozen college kids. It turned out that the hotel staff had failed to lock a door that should have been closed off. Somehow I doubt that a similar group today would get handshakes and autographs from the candidate – more likely there would be handcuffs and interrogations. It is a sad commentary on the world we live in.
Or so it seems as I wistfully remember accounts of the Inaugural festivities for Andrew Jackson and visitors without appointments waiting on benches in the hallway in the hopes of getting a moment of Abraham Lincoln’s time during the Civil War. Has our obsession with security served to isolate our presidents from We the People?
Mehmet Ali Agca, the gunman who tried to kill Pope John Paul II nearly 30 years ago, is to be released from a Turkish prison in January after 28 years in Italian and Turkish jails. He plans to pray at the late pontiff's tomb in Rome.
It was reported in Italy that he hoped to move to the country after he is released on January 18, 2010 from Yenikent prison in Ankara, where he is serving a sentence for crimes committed before the attack on the Pope.
La Repubblica said that Agca's first wish was to pray at the tomb of the Polish-born Pope in the crypt of St Peter's Basilica.
Some folks may be taken aback by this story. Others may argue that Agca should never walk as a free man again. I don’t know that I agree with that sentiment – especially if his conversion to Christianity is real.
Let me explain.
When I was young, I was struck by a story that I read in a book on the lives of saints that was a gift from my parish priest. The story was of a young girl, Maria Goretti. A devout youngster young girl, she resisted the sexual advances of an older boy who, in a fit of rage, stabbed her to death. Much like John Paul II would do with Agca, young Maria forgave her assailant. The young man experienced a conversion of heart during his time in prison, and eventually became a monk – and was present as an old man when his victim was canonized as a saint. Could we yet see something similar with Agca and the pope?
Megan McArdle just doesn’t seem to get it, even though she explicitly states what the problem is.
When voters think about the health care plan, they're not thinking public option + Medicare advantage cuts + etc. They're making a judgment about what the entire package will mean. And the entire package has risks as well as benefits: higher taxes, less generous health coverage for the majority of Americans who already have it.
Got that – it is going to cost more and the overwhelming majority of us are going to get less. And while McArdle then tries to explain it all in terms of risk aversion and how some folks would rather have a sure thing rather than take the uncertainty of betting on better and possibly getting worse. But the problem that argument is that virtually every analysis shows that the probability of most Americans getting better is significantly lower than the probability of their getting something worse. It isn’t it isn’t like the odds are 70% that things will be better and 30% they will be worse – or even a 50/50 split. No, it seems more likely that the odds are that we have a 25% chance of seeing our own personal circumstances improve and a 75% chance of their getting worse, which makes it a sucker bet. That is why the Left has moved away from the “making health care better for all Americans” as their argument into the “we have a moral responsibility to provide for the less well-off” argument that implicitly tells us to drop our drawers and clutch our ankles.
That it was HIS PARTY that clung to slavery – and to segregation.
Indeed, it is HIS PARTY that has currently put a former leader of the KKK -- the only man to vote against BOTH African-Americans to serve on the Supreme Court -- in the line of succession to the presidency.
It was HIS party that nominated and confirmed the only Kluxer to ever sit on the Supreme Court.
So how dare this despicable bastard make such an outrageous slur against the majority of Americans who oppose his favored legislation?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took his GOP-blasting rhetoric to a new level Monday, comparing Republicans who oppose health care reform to lawmakers who clung to the institution of slavery more than a century ago.
The Nevada Democrat, in a sweeping set of accusations on the Senate floor, also compared health care foes to those who opposed women's suffrage and the civil rights movement -- even though it was Sen. Strom Thurmond, then a Democrat, who unsuccessfully tried to filibuster the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and it was Republicans who led the charge against slavery.
Senator, it was REPUBLICANS who supported women’s suffrage and Republicans who led the charge on every bit of true civil rights legislation in US history. It was the GOP that tried to pass a law against lynching, only to have Democrats in Congress and the White House act to stop any such law from making it on the books.
What’s more, Senator, there is good reason for men and women of good will to disagree in good faith on whether or not this legislation, not to mention the concept behind it, is necessary or proper – or even constitutional. There are good faith disagreements over the size and scope – and necessity – of ANY health care reform. To state that opposition to this legislation is akin to supporting slavery is nothing less than intellectually dishonest and morally bankrupt, and degrades the institution in which you are a leader. I’ll go even further – such a claim, and those who make it, are objectively immoral and un-American.
In closing, I’d like to summon from the past the words directed at another demagogue who dared to slander his opponents --Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?
Excellent comments on the right abound.
Power Line: Maybe Reid hasn't noticed that according to poll data, most of his constituents join Republican Senators in opposing the Democrats' health care schemes. I suspect Reid did his re-election chances no favors by impugning Nevadans as pro-slavery and anti-women's rights.
Michelle Malkin: But don’t confuse Harry Reid with history while he invokes slavery to lambaste the GOP for opposing the government-run health care takeover.
Hot Air: In fairness to Dingy, if you strain hard you can make an argument that he’s not drawing a precise moral equivalence here. His point is that, like slavery, leaving the uninsured without insurance is a moral wrong that requires urgent redress, not that it’s necessarily as wrong. But let’s be real: If he didn’t want to imply that, he would have used a less incendiary historical example, like social security, wouldn’t he?
Doug Powers: Harry Reid is a leader in a party that wants to control every aspect of our lives and rigidly enforce our compliance, and he’s comparing the side that wants to keep these chains off to supporters of slavery? This is kind of like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad calling you homophobic.
Gay Patriot: Recall when White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said those comparing Democrats to Nazis were standing “on thin ice”. Wonder if he’ll offer a similar reprimand to Ol’ Harry?
Grand Old Partisan: [I]t was the Republican Party that freed the slaves and that it was the Democrats who wanted to keep African-Americans in chains. Democrats denounced President Abraham Lincoln (R-IL) for his Emancipation Proclamation, and congressional Democrats voted unanimously against the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery. In fact, so long as the GOP appreciated its heritage, the Democrats was known as the ‘Slaveocrat Party.’
Legal Insurrection: Sometimes the foolishness speaks for itself, so I'll say nothing more, for the moment. Let it sink in. This is the Majority Leader of the Senate.
Let me say for the record that Michael Steele has gotten it EXACTLY RIGHT in his public comments:
“Harry Reid wandered far out of bounds with his absurd and offensive comments,” Steele said in a statement. “This is inexcusable, deeply insulting and an arrogant abuse of the Democrat Party's unchecked power in Congress. This is an elected official saying anything, doing anything, running roughshod over any citizen who opposes his left-wing effort to jam big-government run health care down our throats.”
* * *
“Having made this disgraceful statement on the floor of the United States Senate, Mr. Reid should immediately apologize on the Senate floor to his colleagues, to his constituents and to the American people. If he is going to stand by these statements, the Democrats must immediately reconsider his fitness to lead them,” Steele said. “To suggest that passing this horrible bill is anything akin to ridding our country of slavery is terribly offensive and calls into question Mr. Reid’s suitability to lead.”
Moreover, the Senate needs to IMMEDIATELY set aside any and all consideration of health care until such time as it has debated and passed a resolution of censure against Reid for his unAmerican hatemongering statement about his fellow citizens made on the Senate floor.
UPDATE: More great reactions!
Dan Riehl: Okay, so you don't support public health care. What does that equate to in Harry Reid's battered little mind? Well, obviously, you'd be all for slavery were this 1957 all over, again. Naturally, what he fails to mention is, that would also make you a Democrat.
What a disgusting irresponsible comment. And people wonder why there are racial divisions remaining in this country. Reid and the Democrats can't resist playing the race card every time.
The Other McCain: Maybe Harry Reid is angry because Bob Byrd has gone wobbly on health care?
But the best of all, needing to be specially highlighted, is Richard McEnroe:
Democrats upheld slavery in the US... and killed 600,00 Americans in the attempt.
Democrats created the Klan.
Democrats created Jim Crow.
Democrats took the vote away from the freed blacks.
Democrats turned the dogs loose on the Selma marchers.
Democrats stood in the schoolhouse door.
Democrats murdered the Freedom Riders.
Democrats filibustered the Voting Rights Act.
Democrats beat Kenneth Gladney in the street.
And be sure to read Jonah Goldberg's excellent take on Reid's comments.
Earlier this week, I took on Nick Kristof over a column in which he used an ill man in Oregon as the poster child for ObamaCare. In that piece, Kristof claimed that his subject had no access to health care and was not covered by any sort of government health program that could help him.
Michelle Malkin has now investigated and discovered that Kristof lied, and his subject has been under medical care for several weeks at a major hospital in Oregon, with the tab being picked up by Oregon taxpayers.
Seems to me that we have more journalistic fraud at the Gray Lady.
And while the policies it supports may have been modified or changed from time to time, I believe this message to be the truth -- America's greatest misfortunes have most often come at the hands of the Democrats.
"The most open administration in history", which has chosen to use executive privilege to prevent Congress from getting testimony from the incompetent friend Barack and Michelle Obama picked to be social secretary. Well now, one of the many "objective journalists" of the mainstream media has rushed to Desiree Rogers defense -- and oh, did I mention that said journalist just happens to be ANOTHER Obama crony?
On several occasions, he has practically climaxed over Barack Obama on national television. He has declared the United States Military Academy as "the enemy camp" when the president has gone to speak there.
Now he has described Dick Cheney as a "troll" and an "ankle-biter" for daring to criticize Barack Obama's
Oddly, this is the same Chris Matthews who used to defend dissent from the military policies set forth by the President of the United States as patriotic.
So to me it seems that Chris Matthews has clearly become Barack Obama's man-whore -- and if Dick Cheney is an ankle-biter, then Matthews is surely a c*ck-sucker.
Just another one of those things that makes me ashamed to admit that I was born in San Francisco.
Public sex tents? Now there's an idea that should have been shot down the second it was announced from the mouth of a member of the "leather community" in response to complaints about public sex at Folsom Street Fair and its smaller sibling fair, Up Your Alley.
Instead, it appears that at least one of our local leaders (Supervisor Bevan Dufty) has agreed to take the matter "under advisement.
Excuse me? Public street festivals with designated locations for public sex? Folks have complained for years about the lewdness at some gay events in many cities, but only in San Francisco would folks give consideration to such an outrageous suggestion.
And no, I'm my reference in the title is not an assault on the dignity of gay people. I've got too many gay friends and family members to engage in such rhetoric. But public sex acts (gay or straight) are aberrant behavior, and the fact that too many sensitive souls have been willing to overlook such misconduct out of fear of being labeled intolerant of homosexuals has made an idea that ought to be dismissed out of hand open to consideration by public officials.
By the way, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Supervisor Bevan Duffy is toying with supporting this idea. This gay elected official is building his campaign for mayor in 2011 on his GLBT political constituency and seeking to solidify his support in that community. And while tehre is absolutely nothing wrong with such participation in the political process, I'd like to think that even the bulk of that political base has a sense of decency and propriety, and will act to shoot down this once unthinkable idea.
“Don’t let anybody tell you that religious people don’t support choice,” [Rev. Carlton] Veazey said at the gathering in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. “You not only have a constitutional right for abortion, but you have a God-given right.”
Now remember -- the Left has been telling us on the rght for years that using ministers (or anyone else) engaged in God-talk on what the law should be in America is a violation of the separation of church and state and signs that we are all seeking to transform our democracy into a theocracy. Indeed, thee have been calls for stripping the congregations and denominations of abortion-opposing pastors of their tax exemptions because those members of clergy have dared to try to influence public policy on abortion (indeed, one member of Congress did so at this very rally). Will the supporters of pre-birth infanticide explain why they have associated themselves with this guy and invited him to speak at their rally? Or is hypocrisy just another one of the choices that these people favor?
Remember how the folks in the MS(U)M told America that there was a huge increase in threats against Barack Obama compared to his predecessors? Remember how the Left-o-sphere insisted it was a sign of how the right wing was really a bunch of un-American racist fundamentalist savages who were no different than al-Qaeda and the Taliban? Guess what – THEY LIED!
"The threats are not up," Sullivan said, adding that they receive about the same amount of threats against Obama as they did for presidents Clinton and Bush.
I somehow doubt that conservatives will be hearing any apologies any time soon.