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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Offshore drilling

President Obama is supposed to announce today that he is approving the opening of the waters off of much of the East Coast and Alaska to offshore oil and gas drilling. This move is treated by the media as a very big deal and a wise decision. What a joke! In 2008, when the price of oil was soaring, then President Bush proposed opening coastal waters to drilling. Indeed, the first area to be opened was the acreage off Virginia which is now the first area that Obama is approving. Obama said that he was against off shore drilling in specific areas and was vague in general about it. Still, in 2008, Congress let the ban on offshore drilling expire and Bush set things in motion for drilling to proceed.

One of the first acts by Obama after he took office was to freeze off shore drilling. That was a year and a half ago. Now, Obama is opening up the same areas that bush did with the minor exception of a small area in Alaska. Of course, no Alaskan area will be the site of drilling for many years. The feds are first going to open Virginia and then move on to other areas. In other words, if the Alaskan area was so important, Obama and his flunkies could have determined this while the Virginia drilling went ahead. So the USA just lost a year and half of oil drilling, production and JOBS simply because Obama had to undo what Bush had done only to realize that Bush was right.

I think a more appropriate headline for this news should have been: "Obama realizes his mistake and tries to correct it, albeit belatedly". Good luck ever seeing that in print.

I do want to add that I am glad that this decision has been forthcoming finally. Obama does deserve credit for making the correct call. I do wonder, however, whether this is another Obama election year special which will be undone just after November. We will see then.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Nice to see for once

Last night Bill O'reilly had Al Sharpton on to discuss the racist "attacks" on Democrats following the passage of the healthcare law. Sharpton parroted the DNC talking points about what had happened. The best moment, however,came as Sharpton expressed outrage over congressman Lewis being called the N word by many in the crown outside the Capitol on the day of the House passage of the Senate bill. O'reilly asked Sharpton how he knew that this actually happened. Without missing a beat, Sharpton said that he had seen the video tape. O'reilly then told Sharpton that there was no tape. There were many vidoes of Lewis walking through the crowd, but not a single one contains the N word. There were a group of police walking along with Lewis and not a single one of them heard the N word. Even Lewis himself will not come forward on TV and tell his story that someone shouted the N word at him.

It was nice to see Sharpton, for once, treated apropriately as the charlatan that he truly is.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

It really is too much

The current campaign to villify opponents of the new healthcare law is hard to believe even for the Obamacrats. First, there appears to be no proof of any acts taken against any Democrat in connection with the issue. No one has been hit. No on has been injured. Nothing happened except that bricks were thrown through two windows and the perpetrators are unknown. There was a gun shot through the window of a congressional office, but there the victim was Republican Eric Cantor and the police determined that the shot was an accident. For all we know, the two broken windows were likewise accidental or they were done by Democrats looking for a new issue.

Even when it comes to threats, there seems to be a dearth of evidence of actual threats. When the Congressional Black Caucus decided to go for a stroll through the protesters outside Congress at the time of the House vote on healthcare, we heard that they were called the N word and spat upon. Strangely, even though they brought their own video cameraman along to tape the walk through, there is no evidence of anyone ever calling them any epithet. there are only chants of "kill the bill". Also, the spitting incident turns out to be an unintentional spraying of saliva by a guy who was busy chanting. This is hardly proof of any wrongdoing.

Second, the problem with this argument is that it has been tried before and failed. Last Summer, the Obamacrats called the people who came to town hall meeting to protest the bill everthing from Astroturf to evil-mongers to fascists to right wing nuts to --well you get the picture. The public, however, saw the pictures of those attending the meetings and realized how silly the attacks on these folks really were. The same thing will happen again, although the Obamacrats have tried to overcome this by claiming that the people making the threats are unknown and unseen. Nearly everyone, however, knows someone who is adamantly opposed to the healthcare law (after all, that is a majority of all Americans). It will be hard to view all of those folks as racist fascists.

Third, much of the nonsense being spewed by the media in support of the Obamacrat charges does more to undermine the charges than to support them. For example, Frank Rich of the New York Times, that bastion of even-handedness, today claims that the anger in regarding the bill is actually racism and not about the healthcare bill at all. While Rich is clearly an idiot, his columns do more to solidify opposition to the law than he can imagine. Average Americans do not like being told they are racists just because they oppose a healthcare law that will damage the country and undermine the healthcare system because the president (who they themselves chose for the office) happens to be black. In Rich's perverted world, anyone who opposes anything that Obama does is a racist. This kind of attack just increases the anger or the ordinary folks. After all, now when they exercise their right of free speech to oppose a bad law, they have epithets hurled at them from the pages of the New York Times. Maybe someone should tell me what the difference is between Rich calling these folks racists and someone at a rally outside the Capitol calling some black Congressman the N word. It is the same thing, except that Rich actually did this and no one has any evidence that any such thing happened at the Capitol.

And while we are discussing the acts of the liberals and supporters of the Obamacrats, why don't we recall what happened at the convention in St. Paul where John McCain was selected by the Republicans in 2008. At that time, far left protesters threw bricks through the windows of delegate buses which resulted in a number of hospitalizations. Other protesters dropped bags of sand and rocks from bridges onto highweays below, thanksfully not killing anyone in their attacks. Not a single Democrat cam forward to condemn this action. The media hardly covered it. Yet when two windows get broken, the media starts comparing it to the holocaust.

Fortunately, Americans are not to idiots the left thinks they are. I do not believe that they will fall for this garbage. Indeed, I expect a rather substantial backlash which will further harm the standing of the Obamacrats.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Just when you think nothing else can happen

The sinking of a South Korean navy vessel off the coast of North Korea today presents a great problem for the Obama administration. After all, if it turns out that the sinking was the result of a North Korean attack, we may soon see war between the North and South. Since the USA is an ally of South Korea and we have tens of thousands of troops along the border between the two Koreas, any conflict will involve the USA immediately. How will the Obamacrats react?

My best guess is that we will soon see the word coming from Washington that we do not know the cause of the sinking. I call this response "Dithering with a smoke screen". After all, the Obamacrats cannot support our ally even if it turns out that South Korea was attacked. We instead must understand the anger felt by the North Koreans when they see the wealth and power of their southern neighbor. Maybe Obama will try to convince the South Koreans that they need to send some of their wealth to the NOrth so that things will be more equal. Maybe Obama will suggest that some area of South Korea be kept free from South Koreans so that it will be available to be ceded to the North as a means of keeping the peace.

In short, I expect something other than the US standing up to the North Koreans. I expect something other than the US supporting our ally and confronting our common enemy. I expect more of the same from Obama after watching him deal with the other allies and enemies of the US.

I also expect that we will hear in the media from a host of foreign policy experts coming from either academia or the Brookings Foundation who will applaud this "reasoned and responsible" retreat from America's commitments.

I hope I am wrong, but I fear the worst. AND WITH GOOD REASON!!!!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

where do they get this nonsense?

This afternoon, the AP is reporting that an island that was the subject of a dispute between India and Bangldesh has sunk beneath the sea as a result of global warming. The article bemoans the fact that this island has disappeared due to rising sea levels. Only after reading half the article does one find that the sea levels in the area have been rising by the alarming rate of about an eighth of an inch each year (or so the AP claims). This means that the island has disappeared over the last decade due to a rise in sea level of slightly more than an inch.

to say the least, this must not have been much of an island. The AP talks about the island's rocky shores that are now submerged. Are we to believe that these rocky shores were a half in high? What about tides? What about storms? If the island was half an inch above sea level, it would have been submerged with each storm -- not just the typhoons, every little storm would have submerged the island.

In short, it seems that an island that appears to be some sort of sand bar is now a quarter inch under water at high tide rather than a quarter inch above water at that time. This is hardly the stuff of legends.

Stupak Impact

Late yesterday, I received the first of what will probably be many e-mails asking me to contribute to a fund designed to defeat Bart Stupak in the next election. that certainly did not take long. The upshot of the e-mail is that Stupak flipped his healthcare vote and those of the few Dems who followed him in exchange for federal grants to three Upper Peninsula airports. The story, if true, is reason enough for the Stupak's Michigan constituents to vote him out of office. Imagine! Mary Landrieu and Ben Nelson each got hundreds of millions of dollars for their votes. Even Chris Dodd got 100 million dollars for Connecticut and his vote was never in doubt. All Stupak could manage was three quarters of a million dollars. What a piker!

In choosing a Congressman, many people, myself included, want a person of honesty and morality who will stand for the principles on which he or she campaigned. Clearly, Stupak who voted for the first bill with federal funding of abortion to pass in 40 years, is not holding to his purported pro-life principles. ON the other hand, if you do not get a principled man, then at least you want someone who is good at getting things for the district. Here Stupak fails the test again. Stupak had the deciding votes that would determine whether or not Obamacare would pass. And he sold them for a few tiny airport grants in Michigan. He is a total failure. He needs to be replaced.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

a plan of action??

It is very interesting to see the reactions to the passage of the Obamacare bill in the House and its signing today. Many reactions are bizarre and others dishonest. For example, the rhetoric about starting immediately to repeal the law is truly foolish to the point of being couterproductive. There is no way that Congress will overturn this law that it just passed. Sure, maybe next session after the election the law could be repealed, but even that is a remote possibility given that it would require a two thirds majority to overturn the Obama veto. Only with the agreement of some Democrat senators could that point ever be reached. No, repeal is only a possibility after 2012 if Obama is defeated.

The Democrat mantra of how wonderful Obama was to get this passed is a good example of a dishonest reaction. Obama never was successful in convincing the American people of the merits of the bill. Indeed, Obama only managed to convince his own true believers, the Democrats in the House, to pass this bill on the slimmest of margins. This is not a mark of Obama's success, but rather of his obstinancy. He kept pushing for passage no matter the cost to his party and the remainder of his program. If, as is now expected, the Democrats pay a heavy price in 2010 for passing Obamacare despite opposition from the American people, Obama's great success will be the destruction of his majority.

The lawsuits by the various state attorneys general to overturn the statute will have no chance of success unless the Supreme Court decides to overturn decades of precedent concerning the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. While that could happen, it is highly, highly unlikely. These suits, in my opinion are another irrational response.

the only valid response that I see is to use Obamacare as a rallying cry against the continued ascendancy of the Democrats. "You elected them and they ignored your wishes" seems like a very effective point to use against those who voted for this mess. Hopefully, Obamcare will translate into a GOP majority in both House and Senate -- although the house seems like the only realistic possibility in 2010.

Imagine what will happen if the GOP takes control in 2011 and refuses to pass any bill that funds the efforts to enforce or progress the Obamacare plan moving forward. Imagine what will happen if the new GOP controlled House will only pass continuing resolutions at levels of 85% of the current budget or at levels set in the 2008 budget. Will Obama allow the government to shut down? It would be an extraordinarily high stakes poker game, but it might well rescue the public purse from those who think it is limitless.

We are living in interesting times!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

why people hate Washington and Congress

As I write this, we are waiting for Bart Stupak to come forward to announce if he is now voting for the health care bill in light of a deal that he has made with the President to get an executive order banning the use of federal funds for abortion. No one is sure if there is a deal or if Michigan Democrat Stupak will vote yes or no.

What is certain, however, is that if Stupak goes over to the yes side, he will be abandoning everything that he said for the last months about the Senate bill. Simply put, the Senate bill undermines established federal law that prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion. Stupak pointed that out and claimed the necessity for a change to the language in the bill before he could vote for it. It was a matter of principle!

Now, there is supposed to be an executive order limiting the expenditure of funds by the US government in cases of abortion. Stupak has been in Washington long enough to know that an executive order cannot stop expenditures autorized by law. That precedent was established by the Democrats when the got the Supreme Court to rule that President Nixon could not "impound" such expenditure by executive fiat. It is exactly the same as Obama stopping federal funding for abortion by executive fiat.

So what do we have? A purporteddly principled Democrat Congressman who may be in the process of flipping with only a lie for cover. The problem is that we all know that it is a lie. If Stupak flips, he looks worse than Pelosi. At least Nancy knows what she stands for and goes all out to get it. She may be a wacko lefty, but she is at least an open and consistent wacko lefty. Stupak, on the other hand, may be just another opportunistic congressman with no moral compass who just talks a good game.

No wonder people hate Washington and Congress.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The end is near -- or not so near

On Sunday, the House will vote on the healthcare bill and will bring this seemingly endless nightmare to an end. Or maybe not. The bill is sure to pass, or be defeated. It all depends on what you read. Few are unsure, they just do not agree. Pelosi is gaining converts or she is just having those who previously converted announce their positions so that victory looks inevitable. That is good/bad. Obama is staying home to enjoy the victory or to fight for the last vote in a futile effort.

The truth is that there is no truth here.

Tomorrow we will see who wins, unless the vote gets postposned once again.

The American people will triumph even though the politicians have basically ignored them. Or the whole thing will be a travesty that commences a soft tyranny in this country.

Isn't it great to understand!

Friday, March 19, 2010

polls, focus groups or reality

In today's America, we get a steady diet of poll results and summaries of focus group findings as if it actually means something. Often, the media ignores the need to explain what is in a proposal (like healthcare)and instead focuses on the pro/anti numbers from a poll of 500 adults chosen at random who have no idea at all what is in the proposal. Somehow, no one is thought to need to explain each idea and its benefits. Instead, we are to judge the idea solely based upon how unknowing people react to talking points manufactured to sell the idea. Ofter, as in the healthcare debate, ideas are sold based upon what can only charitably be called lies.

What a sorry state of affairs.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Leopards don't change their spots -- neither do idiots

Former president Jimmy Carter is back at his favorite pastime of bashing Israel. Just a few months ago, Carter issued a public apology stating that he did not mean to offend anyone in his criticisms of Israel and announcing his support for the Jewish state. At that time it was speculated that the letter was designed to help Carter's grandson in a political contest in a heavily Jewish district in Georgia. That election must be over, or else Carter just couldn't contain himself anymore. His latest -- "There's no doubt that in general the United States government has been much more attuned to the sensitivities of the Israelis and has yielded excessively to the circumstances in the Holy Land as Israel has confiscated several lands within Palestine," Carter said at the opening of a two-day conference on US-Arab relations.

What a schmuck! In the last month, the USA has criticized Israel for having the temerity to authorize construction of apartments for Jews in Jerusalem while saying nothing about the rocket attacks from Gaza that killed a worker in Israel. After all, what is more important, setting up Jew-free zones in Jerusalem or the sensibilities of Israelis who are distressed when innocent people are killed by terrorist attacks from Gaza. Clearly, Obama thinks that the apartheid regimen that creates Judenrein areas wins out. So does Carter. Let me say it again: What a schmuck (and I mean both Obama and Carter).

Monday, March 15, 2010

Misplaced outrage

In a move that seems right in line with the rest of American foreign policy, the obama administration is coming down hard on Israel for the decision to go ahead with the construction of 1600 homes in Jerusalem. This decision is right in line with the partial freeze on settlement construction announced by Prime Minister Netanyahu months ago. In that partial freeze construction Jerusalem was specifically exempted as the Israelis do not recognize their capital as a settlement, even though some portions of the city were under Jordanian control until 1967. Now we are treated to news articles in which unnamed administration sources call the decision to build homes for Jews in Jerusalem the cause of the greatest problem in American-Israeli relations in 50 years. This is unbelievable even for Obama and his minions.

First, it is crazy that the USA would support a policy that makes certain areas off limits to Jews. Imagine the outcry if someone tried to announce that certain areas of America were forbidden to Jews or Blacks or some other group! Imagine the apartheid outcry if Israel were to make areas of the country off limits to Moslems or Christians! No, Obama only supports limitations on Jews living in areas of their historic homeland and in Jerusalem no less. There is no other conclusion: Obama is clearly a racist in favor of apartheid for Jews in their own country.

Second, Obama is now seeing the result of his crazy intrusion into the Israeli-Palestinian dialogue. Clearly, Obama favors the Palestinian side. Otherwise, there was no reason for the US to get involved in the settlement issue when it was not a problem. Israelis and Palestinians were negotiating for years prior to the insertion of the settlement precondition by the US after Obama took office. At that point, the Palestinians were essentially forced to adopt this precondition since they could not be seen as being more forthcoming and agreeable than the Americans. So now, instead of negotiations we have US-Israeli friction over an issue that did not even exist prior to Obama.

Third, the US under Obama seems to forget who our friends are. Who indeed? Are the Palestinians who danced in the street in celebration after 9-11 our friends? Or is it the Israelis who have worked to help the USA time and time again? Clearly, Obama thinks we need to be closer to the Palestinians, so he takes their side. It is just like the US tilt away from the United Kingdom in the dispute over the Falklands. It is like the removal of missile defense from Eastern Europe in a sop to the Russians for which the US got nothing in return. The list goes on, but this is enough.

One can only hope that the Israelis hang tough on this. No one, not even someone as sure of himself as Barack Obama should be able to foist upon the Israelis a freeze in construction of homes for Jews in Jerusalem.

Friday, March 12, 2010

does she or doesn't she?

For the last few days we have been treated to pundits announcing that Nancy Pelosi does not have the votes to pass healthcare since she had not scheduled a vote. Now today we hear that a vote will take place next week. Is this a tactic or a reality? Does Nancy the dim witted frozen face have the votes or not? Who knows. Only time will tell.

Still, one can only hope that there remain enough intelligent people in the House to care about the desires of the American people and not just the pressure from the Democrat support groups that want a government take over of health care.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Massa not servant

The recent rantings of Congressman (or former congressman) Eric Massa of New York reveal the man to be either a pathological liar, a psychopath or someone suffering from short term memory loss. Massa has announced that he was not running for re-election due to illness, claimed that the possibility of an ethics investigation of him was a lie, resigned due to the ethics investigation but claimed that it was invalid, admitted that he improperly harrassed a male staffer, claimed that a naked Rahm Emanuel harrased him while he was showering in the Congressional gym, claimed that Rahm Emmanuel would sell his own mother for a vote, apologized to Rahm, claimed that the Democrat leadership had forced him out since he was against the healthcare bill, and many other stories. It is hard to believe any of the statements since they change each time that Massa repeats them.

What has not changed, however, is this revealing look inside the Democrats congressional caucus. These folks are not intelligent public servants trying to do good for the USA. Instead, if Massa is an example, they are self - centered, neurotic (or psychotic), and challenged by the concept of honesty.

Heads or tails -- it doesn't matter

In recent days the discussion of whether ir it better for the Democrats to pass healthcare or to see it defeated has been in vogue. the simple truth is that it does not matter. For the last year and a quarter, while the country has been concerned principally with the economy, voters have been treated to the sight of the Democrats concentrating like a laser on the various healthcare proposals -- only to come up with a melange of items that are wholly disliked by the majority of Americans. To make matters worse, after it became clear that the bill is disliked by the majority of Americans, the Democrats have continued pushing it while announcing that Americans just do not understand the benefits of the bill. In plain English the Democrats argument is in essence that they know better than the American people who are apparently too stupid to understand a bill that Obama has now explained in 695 or so speeches. This position is insulting to the people (they are too stupid to understand the plan). It is insulting to democracy (the Dems will pass the bill even though it is opposed by a consistent majority of the American people). It is tone deaf (rather than concentrating on jobs and the economy as the people want, the Dems focus has been on something else). Finally, it is wasting time on something that is not a big problem (healthcare is low on the priorities of most Americans according to recent polls, and the overwhelming majority is happy with their own health care.)

After a year and a quarter of this nonsense, there is little that the Obamacrats can do to redeem themselves from the demerits they have earned from the voters. Indeed, it will take an enormous effort for Dems to recover even part of the credibility that they have sacrificed in the health care debacle. Only an assist from clumsy Republicans will enable the Dems to make any headway. In an election years, this is unlikely. As a result, November is going to be a disaster for the Dems. In truth, it could not happen to a nicer group.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

shilling for corruption

Joan Walsh of Salon has never been one of my favorite people, but at least I used to respect her. Now she has moved on to a new role as a shill for Democrats which removes any credibility that she might otherwise have had. In her new role, Walsh has solemnly pronouced the current corruption scandals plaguing Democrats as being nothing when compared to the corruption of Republicans in 2006. This is such a dopey argument that even Chris Matthews of MSNBC called Walsh a flack when she attempted to make the distinction on his show. Since Chris never met a Democrat he did not like or a Republican he did like, this condemnation speaks louder than any other.

Walsh actually compares the resignation of Massa in 2010 with that of Foley in 2006. Let's see, Foley sent rather lurid text messages to a male staffer/page while Massa is accused of physically confronting and coming on to one of his male staffers. That does not seem to different to me. Then there is the difference between Tom DeLay and Charlie Rangel. Both are accused of wrongdoing although neither has admitted it. while the money details are different, both are accused of using their positions for personal benefits (although Rangel's are more towards the personal and DeLay's are more towards the campaign funds side). Then there are those who Walsh leaves out. A good example is Chris Dodd who (1)got a sweetheart mortgage from Countrywide that saved the Dodd's over half a million dollars in interest and (2) got ownership of a seaside estate in Ireland which was paid for principally by a "partner". The fact that both Countrywide and the "partner" had major business before the banking committee of which Dodd is chairman was supposedly a mere coincidence. It probably was a coincidence that Senator Landrieu voted for the healthcare bill only after the $300 million special deal for her state in the Louisiana Purchase.

Walsh needs to rethink her actions if she is not to be just a laughing stock.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A new low -- even for Harry

Senator Harry Reid actually went on the floor of the Senate and announced that today was a really good day for America since only 36,000 people lost their jobs today. It is hard to imagine how the Democrats could have made a worse choice for majority leader of the senate. Maybe if they somehow got an axe murderer or perhaps someone in a coma to replace Reid, they could upgrade their leadership.

To call Reid tone-deaf does not do it justice. I think that the only proper desription is brain dead.