Friday, August 21, 2009

White House approved of The Death Book for Veterans?

This doesn't help the death panel talk. This is the sort of book that should not be pushed by the government.

If President Obama wants to better understand why America's discomfort with end-of-life discussions threatens to derail his health-care reform, he might begin with his own Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). He will quickly discover how government bureaucrats are greasing the slippery slope that can start with cost containment but quickly become a systematic denial of care.

Last year, bureaucrats at the VA's National Center for Ethics in Health Care advocated a 52-page end-of-life planning document, "Your Life, Your Choices." It was first published in 1997 and later promoted as the VA's preferred living will throughout its vast network of hospitals and nursing homes. After the Bush White House took a look at how this document was treating complex health and moral issues, the VA suspended its use. Unfortunately, under President Obama, the VA has now resuscitated "Your Life, Your Choices."

Who is the primary author of this workbook? Dr. Robert Pearlman, chief of ethics evaluation for the center, a man who in 1996 advocated for physician-assisted suicide in Vacco v. Quill before the U.S. Supreme Court and is known for his support of health-care rationing.

.....I was not surprised to learn that the VA panel of experts that sought to update "Your Life, Your Choices" between 2007-2008 did not include any representatives of faith groups or disability rights advocates. And as you might guess, only one organization was listed in the new version as a resource on advance directives: the Hemlock Society (now euphemistically known as "Compassion and Choices").

This hurry-up-and-die message is clear and unconscionable. Worse, a July 2009 VA directive instructs its primary care physicians to raise advance care planning with all VA patients and to refer them to "Your Life, Your Choices." Not just those of advanced age and debilitated condition—all patients. America's 24 million veterans deserve better.

NHS: " Alzheimer's is not a 'health condition' "

Your government controlled health care at work.

NHS Worcestershire ruled that Judith Roe, 74, did not qualify for NHS funding because her condition was a "social" rather than "health" problem, even though she was so ill she could not make a cup of tea and regularly left the stove on.

She was forced to sell her £200,000 home to pay her £600-a-week nursing home fees, which would have been funded if she had been categorised correctly.

Mrs Roe's family appealed to the Health Service Ombudsman, which ruled that Mrs Roe's assessment had been incorrect and her treatment should have been funded by the NHS. NHS Worcestershire has now reimbursed them for six years of care.

.....Throughout this time Mr Roe wrote dozens of letters to the PCT asking them to re-assess his mother.

He said: "I wanted to know just how ill my mother had to be before her condition was deemed a health issue.

"The NHS doesn't want to admit elderly people have health issues because then it falls to them to pay for their care."

Stephen Ross turning the Dolphins into a circus.

As a long suffering Dolphins fan I would prefer Ross just sign the checks and not bring in every celebrity he can find to get a piece of the team.

"Ross has also said he wants the franchise to reflect South Florida’s diversity. Having Hispanic and African-American minority partners is part of that process. He has brought in celebrity investors like the musicians Gloria and Emilio Estefan, and Marc Anthony. Venus and Serena Williams are reportedly close to announcing an ownership stake in the team.

....Not everyone is convinced that such theatrics are necessary. Jim Mandich, who played for Shula’s Dolphins and is now a local broadcaster, said that on trips to the Giants, the Steelers and the Packers, he noticed “no Ferris wheels, no jugglers, no faces getting painted.”

The quieter concern is that the cult of celebrity may alienate the Dolphins’ dominant cult figure: Parcells. The announcement of the members-only game-day club at Land Shark Stadium mentions special sideline access, the type of thing Parcells would seemingly abhor. Parcells is not talking about any of the new ventures, but he is a fierce protector of the sanctity of his team.

Coach Tony Sparano, a Parcells protégée, said he, Parcells and the general manager, Jeff Ireland, had been clear about the boundaries of the football team.

“If we win, I might sing,” Sparano said.

Ross, with Anthony sitting beside him, was quick to note that he was keeping his hands off Parcells’s turf.

“I keep saying to people, ‘What do you want me to do, start working with Bill Parcells?’ ” Ross said. “Then for sure we won’t be winning. All we’re doing is all on the margins. Owning a football team is about winning. Fans really want to see you winning games.”"

I hope he keeps it that way. He can get on my good side by firing the idiot who approved that godawful autotuned garbage version of the team song done by T-Pain.

If you like this song, I hate your guts.

NYTIMES: A-list stars bombing at the box office

Overt the last 10 years the movie business has gone from star driven to the movie itself driving the audience to the theaters. The studios are just now figuring they are overpaying their A-listers compared to box office results. Its going to take a couple of studios to pump out box office hits without the established stars continuously before the pay cut becomes deep and permanent. The only star right now that is worth the $20 million is Will Smith.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Coward Scotland releases Bomber over oil deals and Muslim terrorist fears.

Forget all this bullshit spewing out of Kenny MacAskill, their justice minister about compassion and humanity. Its mainly about Scotland and its coward officials being scared of this monster dying in jail and making Scotland and its interest aboard targets by Muslim terrorists.

The man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing will be released today on compassionate grounds but Libya has given an undertaking that there will be no "triumphalism".

The Herald understands that one compelling reason for allowing the Libyan to return to Tripoli is to avoid him dying as a "martyr" in prison and putting Scotland on the map for all the wrong reasons.

The public announcement will be made at 1pm by Kenny MacAskill, the Justice Secretary, who has been considering an application for prisoner transfer and for Megrahi's release on compassionate grounds.

He got a Hero's welcome back in Libya.

Anger has been compounded by claims that the release was brokered by Tony Blair during a meeting with Gaddafi two years ago - just hours before BP unveiled a £500million oil contract.

The former Prime Minister has been accused of a 'blood money' deal to protect Britain's oil interests.

Relatives of some of the British victims, who believe Megrahi is innocent, had backed his release.

But they are upset that he dropped his second appeal against conviction - an appeal they believed would lead to a public inquiry and the truth finally emerging.

A lawyer for the Libyan government said al-Megrahi was being “rightly released” on compassionate grounds, as he is suffering from terminal cancer.

When asked whether British oil companies could benefit from his release, lawyer Saad Djebbar said: “The SNP government has done the UK a great favour because Britain and Scotland will grow in the eyes of the Arab street.”

Coward Scotland gets its wish.

Obama will fund abortions under his health care plan.

Since Obama is getting all religious on us and saying people are bearing false witness, he is bearing harder than anyone else as summed up by Guy Benson on NRO Corner.

President Obama recently conducted a conference call with Christian leaders, during which he repeated several questionable-to-false claims about his health care overhaul plan. Adopting religious language, Obama accused opponents of "bearing false witness" regarding various details of the legislation. One of the so-called "lies" being perpetuated, he explained, involves abortion:

"We've heard that this is all going to mean government funding of abortion. Not true."

Not true? The Associated Press doesn't seem to agree.

Gov't Insurance Would Allow Coverage For Abortion

Health care legislation before Congress would allow a new government-sponsored insurance plan to cover abortions, a decision that would affect millions of women and recast federal policy on the divisive issue.

Neither does Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), who bragged to constituents that taxpayer-subsidized abortion is, and should be, in the bill:

Here are the videos

This is Obama speaking at a Planned Parenthood campaign stop.

Honestly, do you think a liberal President like Obama who fought in 2002 against a law in Illnois that protect babies that were still alive after a medical abortion attempt would not include abortion has a health right to be paid by taxpayers?

Ex-Im Bank disputes Palin attack over Obama sending $2 billion to Brazil.

Its not a smart attack.

The government-run U.S. Export Import Bank is disputing Sarah Palin's attack this morning on a proposed $2 billion loan to the Brazilian oil company Petrobras.

Palin complained that "the Obama White House is prepared to send more than 2 billion of your hard-earned tax dollars to Brazil so that the nation's state-owned oil company, Petrobras, can drill offshore and create jobs developing its own resources" and that Obama "chooses to use American dollars in Brazil that will help to pay the salaries and benefits for Brazilians to drill for resources when the need and desire is great in America."

A spokesman for the bank, Phil Cogan, noted to POLITICO that the bank does not rely on tax money and that Palin's statement ignores the bank's central function: To lend money to foreign companies for the purchase of American goods and services.

"It has to be produced by U.S. workers," Cogan said. Palin's statement refers to "creat[ing] jobs and health benefits in the U.S."

"That's exactly what a purchase financed by the U.S. government would do," Cogan said.

In this case, Cogan said, the proposed loan would likely finance engineering services, sales of ships to service oil platforms, or drilling equipment.

"This is the government doing what it's supposed to do: Create jobs and make sure that Americans get a fair shot at selling goods and services — not the British or the French or anyone else — and to help American workers compete on a level playing field," Cogan said, noting that most developed countries have similar credit-export agencies.

It doesn't rely on tax money? By its creation and function it is dependent on American taxpayer dollars, so that was a stupid response. As for creating jobs for American workers, this isn't a deal with Air India and Boeing which directly helps most jobs for people here.

What has people ticked off is this $2 billion for Brazil's off shore drilling which will then be sold to us for fuel consumption. Palin's point is why not use the money to help further drilling off shore on America's coasts which in turns create a far longer lasting effect for American workers regarding job creation. Now that longer lasting effect will created with Petrobras which is majority owned by the Brazilian Government just rubs people the wrong way.

Then you have the Soros connection which makes the whole deal seem highly unethical.

Obama and Dems to split health bill, screw the public's feelings.

The rules are there and they are going to use every single one of them, public opinion be damned.

The White House and Senate Democratic leaders, seeing little chance of bipartisan support for their health-care overhaul, are considering a strategy shift that would break the legislation into two parts and pass the most expensive provisions solely with Democratic votes.

The idea is the latest effort by Democrats to escape the morass caused by delays in Congress, as well as voter discontent crystallized in angry town-hall meetings. Polls suggest the overhaul plans are losing public support, giving Republicans less incentive to go along.

....Most legislation in the Senate requires 60 votes to overcome a filibuster, but certain budget-related measures can pass with 51 votes through a parliamentary maneuver called reconciliation.

In recent days, Democratic leaders have concluded they can pack more of their health overhaul plans under this procedure, congressional aides said. They might even be able to include a public insurance plan to compete with private insurers, a key demand of the party's liberal wing, but that remains uncertain.

Other parts of the Democratic plan would be put to a separate vote in the Senate, including most of the insurance regulations that have been central to Mr. Obama's health-care message.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Obama and God are partners in health care reform.

I believe it, I have been calling him Black jesus for a long time now so of course he is in tight with the big man above.

In a morning conference call with about 1000 rabbis from across the nation, Obama asked for aid: “I am going to need your help in accomplishing necessary reform,” the President told the group, according to Rabbi Jack Moline, who tweeted his way through the phoner.
“We are God’s partners in matters of life and death,” Obama went on to say, according to Moline’s real-time stream.

MSNBC edits out black man with guns to push white racist yarn.

This is so stupid its laughable.

On Tuesday, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer fretted over health care reform protesters legally carrying guns: "A man at a pro-health care reform rally...wore a semiautomatic assault rifle on his shoulder and a pistol on his hip....there are questions about whether this has racial overtones....white people showing up with guns." Brewer failed to mention the man she described was black.

Following Brewer’s report, which occurred on the Morning Meeting program, host Dylan Ratigan and MSNBC pop culture analyst Toure discussed the supposed racism involved in the protests. Toure argued: "...there is tremendous anger in this country about government, the way government seems to be taking over the country, anger about a black person being president....we see these hate groups rising up and this is definitely part of that." Ratigan agreed: "...then they get the variable of a black president on top of all these other things and that’s the move – the cherry on top, if you will, to the accumulated frustration for folks."

Not only did Brewer, Ratigan, and Toure fail to point out the fact that the gun-toting protester that sparked the discussion was black, but the video footage shown of that protester was so edited, that it was impossible to see that he was black. The man appeared at a health care rally outside of President Obama’s speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Phoenix, Arizona.

Conservatives need to learn Alinsky's Rules for Radicals

Obama loves him. Buy the book or better yet get it off the web, learn from it and use it. Here are the main rules with the meanings behind them if its not openly apparent. The right needs to grab these rules as their own from now on. These are his power tactics.

RULE 1: "Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have." Power is derived from 2 main sources - money and people. "Have-Nots" must build power from flesh and blood. (These are two things of which there is a plentiful supply. Government and corporations always have a difficult time appealing to people, and usually do so almost exclusively with economic arguments.)

RULE 2: "Never go outside the expertise of your people." It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone. (Organizations under attack wonder why radicals don't address the "real" issues. This is why. They avoid things with which they have no knowledge.)

RULE 3: "Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy." Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)

RULE 4: "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules. (This is a serious rule. The besieged entity's very credibility and reputation is at stake, because if activists catch it lying or not living up to its commitments, they can continue to chip away at the damage.)

RULE 5: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." There is no defense. It's irrational. It's infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions. (Pretty crude, rude and mean, huh? They want to create anger and fear.)

RULE 6: "A good tactic is one your people enjoy." They'll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They're doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones. (Radical activists, in this sense, are no different that any other human being. We all avoid "un-fun" activities, and but we revel at and enjoy the ones that work and bring results.)

RULE 7: "A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag." Don't become old news. (Even radical activists get bored. So to keep them excited and involved, organizers are constantly coming up with new tactics.)

RULE 8: "Keep the pressure on. Never let up." Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new. (Attack, attack, attack from all sides, never giving the reeling organization a chance to rest, regroup, recover and re-strategize.)

RULE 9: "The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself." Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist. (Perception is reality. Large organizations always prepare a worst-case scenario, something that may be furthest from the activists' minds. The upshot is that the organization will expend enormous time and energy, creating in its own collective mind the direst of conclusions. The possibilities can easily poison the mind and result in demoralization.)

RULE 10: "If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive." Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog. (Unions used this tactic. Peaceful [albeit loud] demonstrations during the heyday of unions in the early to mid-20th Century incurred management's wrath, often in the form of violence that eventually brought public sympathy to their side.)

RULE 11: "The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative." Never let the enemy score points because you're caught without a solution to the problem. (Old saw: If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem. Activist organizations have an agenda, and their strategy is to hold a place at the table, to be given a forum to wield their power. So, they have to have a compromise solution.)

RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

"Alinsky emphatically states that the end justifies the means but cautions that extreme means are only justified in certain situations. Here are Alinsky's rules to test whether the means are ethical."

One's concern with the ethics of means and ends varies inversely with one's personal interest in the issue.

The judgment of the ethics of means is dependent upon the political position of those sitting in judgment.

In war the end justifies almost any means.

Judgment must be made in the context of the times in which the action occurred and not from any other chronological vantage point.

Concern with ethics increases with the number of means available and vice versa.

The less important the end to be desired, the more one can afford to engage in ethical evaluations of means.

Generally, success or failure is a mighty determinant of ethics.

The morality of means depends upon whether the means is being employed at a time of imminent defeat or imminent victory.

Any effective means is automatically judged by the opposition to be unethical.

You do what you can with what you have and clothe it in moral garments.

Goals must be phrased in general terms like "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity," "Of the Common Welfare," "Pursuit of Happiness," or "Bread and Peace."

Josh Marshall tries to push a new meme on the American Right.

Instapundit has the roundup on Marshall's amusing post about the supposed violent streak that being done by the American Right. This sounds like it was cooked up on the Journolist group and Marshall is the first to put it out there as a trial balloon.

But people are missing the true money paragraph.

Now, I know we'll likely get emails from right-wingers pointing out some animal rights activists who freed a bunch of gerbils, another fellow whose tires got slashed and no doubt a host of people with backwards Bs scrawled on their cheeks. But I think we all know the story here.

This isn't a matter of fear, though like all patriotic Americans we react strongly to veiled threats against our legitimately elected president. It's really more in the mode of the concern you show an old -- perhaps estranged -- friend or relative with a chronic alcohol problem or maybe one who just can't kick the crack pipe and always has it hovering in the background -- a threat to their well-being in moments of stress but also a constant temptation.

In a way you want to help. But mainly -- and at the end of the day -- you don't want to let their personal demons drag the whole family down.

This is adorable. He is pushing himself and the Dems as true patriotic American who are fearful for their "legitimately elected president" against those nasty right wingers in America who have some sort of political drug problem. It is the continuing Alinsky Rules for Radicals push to demonize half the country.

Lets see how fast this meme moves into the MSM. Olbermann is already doing his show prep.

House Dems bullies health insurers for info.

They can't win on merit so a good old fashion political strongarming will do in a pinch.

Democrats on a House committee are seeking detailed financial records from dozens of large insurance companies, officials disclosed Tuesday, part of an investigation into "executive compensation and other business practices" in an industry opposed to President Barack Obama's plan to overhaul health care.

The request included records relating to compensation of highly paid employees, documents relating to companies' premium income and claims payments, and information on expenses stemming from any event held outside company facilities in the past 2 1/2years.

The requests were made in letters signed by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who guided a portion of health care legislation through the House Energy and Commerce Committee last month as chairman, and Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., who heads the Energy and Commerce investigations and oversight subcommittee.

They wrote that the committee was "examining executive compensation and other business practices in the health insurance industry." The Associated Press obtained a copy.

Obama sucks up to Islamist parties in Pakistan

Wonderful, I wince at the type of concessions Obama will give to allow these parties more sway over American policy.

U.S. President Barack Obama has started reaching out to some of Pakistan's most fervent Islamist and anti-American parties, including one that helped give rise to the Taliban, trying to improve Washington's image in the nuclear-armed state.

Obama's special envoy, Richard Holbrooke, is initiating dialogue between the United States and religious parties previous administrations had largely shunned, both sides said.

"The purpose is to broaden the base of American relations in Pakistan beyond the relatively narrow circle of leaders Washington has previously dealt with," explained Vali Nasr, senior adviser to Holbrooke.

John Bolton, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Bush presidency, questioned Holbrooke's timing for trying to engage Taliban sympathizers on the eve of elections in neighboring Afghanistan, where U.S. forces are battling the hardline Islamic group.

"As a general proposition, democracy in Pakistan is fragile enough now that negotiating with people that some on the democratic side of the Pakistani spectrum would think themselves are terrorists strikes me as fairly risky," Bolton said.

"What we ought to be doing is making sure that our ties with the military are strong because the gravest risk is radical penetration of the military."

This will fail miserably with dire consequences for American interests and possible Pakistan's internal affairs.

5th person charged in New Jersey voter fraud case.

Anyone name one part of the New Jersey political system that isn't a corrupt cesspool?

NEWARK -- An ongoing investigation into the stuffing of ballot boxes in Essex County continues to widen, with a fifth person indicted today for election fraud.

The growing criminal probe by state Division of Criminal Justice and the Essex County prosecutor -- which has been focusing not only on campaign workers, but on county workers as well -- has been examining dozens of absentee ballots cast in the 2007 election of state Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex).

UK System! Blunders cost the NHS £807m

That is up from £661million the year before.

The amount paid out by the Health Service for serious medical blunders and other accidents has soared by almost a quarter in just one year.

Last year, the NHS paid out £807million - up from £661million the year before - after the number of claims against it rose.

Figures obtained by the Conservative Party show that the overall number of claims has risen by 11 per cent to almost 8,900 in 2008/09.

The 22 per cent surge in payouts mirrors a huge rise in the number of patients killed by hospital blunders.

Official records show that 3,645 patients died as a result of outbreaks of infections, botched operations and other mistakes in 2007/08. That was up 60 per cent from 2,275 two years before.

Critics say quality of care has suffered in the NHS over the past few years as doctors and nurses come under mounting pressure to meet Government waiting time targets.

Experts say the true toll is certain to be far higher, because many hospitals do not record all 'patient safety incidents'.

About a fifth of the total paid out - some £143million - went to lawyers, rather than as compensation to victims and the families of those who died.

Experts say increasing numbers of cases are being taken to court by 'no win, no fee' soliciaccidentstors, who even tout for business in A&E waiting rooms.

To cover their extra risk, these 'ambulance-chasing' lawyers get more in costs if they win than would be paid in legal aid cases.

Eric Holder's DOJ interfering with New Jersey's governor election?

Interesting timing that this investigation comes out in public now.

The top federal prosecutor in New Jersey is facing an internal ethics investigation over public comments that may have helped his ex-boss' campaign for governor, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press today.

The probe marks a particularly embarrassing turn for federal authorities charged with weeding out corruption in scandal-scarred New Jersey: An internal affairs investigation has been launched into their handling of a major corruption case just days after they filed charges in the case.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the probe, told the AP the Justice Department was examining whether acting U.S. Attorney Ralph Marra made inappropriate public comments that boosted Republican Chris Christie's political challenge to incumbent Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine. Before running for office, Christie was the U.S. attorney for New Jersey, and Marra was his top deputy.

Marra made the comments last month while announcing the corruption case against dozens of suspects.

Since the arrests, public corruption has become the dominant issue in the race for governor.

Obama or Holder wouldn't dare try to help out Corzine in his election campaign in such a brazen fashion. Imagine the outrage if the parties were reversed.

Bolivia's constitution legalizes stoning, burning and lynching,

What sort of backward yahoo would think this is a good thing to put into any constitution? Oh a Chavez lapdog..never mind.

While the government pushes ahead with implementing the charter, it faces widespread opposition. Almost half of the country's departments or states voted against it, including the economic powerhouse Santa Cruz and the natural gas-rich Tarija, near the border with Argentina. Critics say the government is pitting racial groups against each another and encouraging its indigenous followers to hate the mestizos and whites.

``There will come a time when no one will be able to control them,'' said Oscar Montes, the popular mayor of Tarija in southern Bolivia, a hotbed of dissent. But for now, he said, the Morales government is solidly in charge.

One of the more unpredictable aspects of the constitution is that it recognizes the right of indigenous communities to practice traditional ``communal'' justice. That can include stoning, burning and even lynching, and critics call it ``vigilante'' justice. Local campesino leaders say it's their way of controlling crime.

The constitutional structure is unique and ``does not exist anywhere in the world,'' said Carlos Hugo Molina, a lawyer and constitutional law expert in the southeastern city of Santa Cruz.

One of the biggest and most controversial changes under the constitution is that it allows Morales to run for another five-year term in elections scheduled for Dec 6. Opponents of an earlier draft unsuccessfully fought to prevent the change.

Morales is campaigning for reelection and, with the opposition deeply divided, he is widely expected to win.

Yet another article in the new constitution allows the national assembly -- not the people -- to amend the charter with a two-thirds vote. Morales has said he wants his MAS party to win 70 percent of both houses of the congress. If he is successful, he will be able to easily amend the constitution to allow indefinite rule.

This is the same nitwit people like Jon Stewart thought was an okay guy a couple of years ago FYI

Seattle Votes Down Fee on Bags

Sanity reigns in the liberal city.

A proposed 20-cent fee on plastic and paper bags at many retail stores in this city was headed for defeat in a voter referendum here late Tuesday.

The proposal, which was intended to reduce pollution by encouraging reusable bags, was rejected as the debate over shopping bags has become prominent in several cities and states.

“Why are we going to lose it?” Rob Gala, a city council staff member and a volunteer spokesman for those in support of the fee, said as initial returns showed the proposal failing by a wide margin. “We’re going to lose it because more people are concerned about their cost of living than what they take their groceries home in.”

“We see this is a disappointing setback,” Mr. Gala said, “but by no means the end of the larger effort to clean up consumer choices.”

The Tuesday vote, conducted by mail, came a year after the city council here approved a 20-cent fee. The council measure had been slated to become law but a petition drive, financed largely by the plastic bag industry, forced the issue onto the ballot. The industry spent $1.4 million in an advertising campaign in the weeks before the vote.

Obama has his butler pump up his basketballs.

Not just any basketballs but Obama branded basketballs. Now that is some ego.

White House Butler Von Everett pumps up a basketball for President Barack Obama in the Outer Oval Office of the White House, June 30, 2009.

Democrats /Obama to go it alone on health bill.

This fantasy world the Dems and Obama have created where the GOP is in a position to stop anything they want to pass in Congress can only be believed by stupid people. They have the votes but they want to have the CYA from the GOP.

Given hardening Republican opposition to Congressional health care proposals, Democrats now say they see little chance of the minority’s cooperation in approving any overhaul, and are increasingly focused on drawing support for a final plan from within their own ranks.

Top Democrats said Tuesday that their go-it-alone view was being shaped by what they saw as Republicans’ purposely strident tone against health care legislation during this month’s Congressional recess, as well as remarks by leading Republicans that current proposals were flawed beyond repair.

Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, said the heated opposition was evidence that Republicans had made a political calculation to draw a line against any health care changes, the latest in a string of major administration proposals that Republicans have opposed.

“The Republican leadership,” Mr. Emanuel said, “has made a strategic decision that defeating President Obama’s health care proposal is more important for their political goals than solving the health insurance problems that Americans face every day.”

The Democratic shift may not make producing a final bill much easier. The party must still reconcile the views of moderate and conservative Democrats worried about the cost and scope of the legislation with those of more liberal lawmakers determined to win a government-run insurance option to compete with private insurers.

On the other hand, such a change could alter the dynamic of talks surrounding health care legislation, and even change the substance of a final bill. With no need to negotiate with Republicans, Democrats might be better able to move more quickly, relying on their large majorities in both houses.

Democratic senators might feel more empowered, for example, to define the authority of the nonprofit insurance cooperatives that are emerging as an alternative to a public insurance plan.

Republicans have used the Congressional break to dig in hard against the overhaul outline drawn by Democrats. The Senate’s No. 2 Republican, Jon Kyl of Arizona, is the latest to weigh in strongly, saying Tuesday that the public response lawmakers were seeing over the summer break should persuade Democrats to scrap their approach and start over.

“I think it is safe to say there are a huge number of big issues that people have,” Mr. Kyl told reporters in a conference call from Arizona. “There is no way that Republicans are going to support a trillion-dollar-plus bill.”

Here is how asinine this thinking is for Obama and Dem leadership, you just made the blue dogs and moderate Dems more powerful than ever and the GOP if they are smart will point out the arrogance of Obama and the Dems to push thru an unpopular health care reform bill as a big middle finger to America.

Good job.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Obama gives $2 Billion to Brazil for offshore drilling.

We can't drill our own oil here in America off shore, but Obama is happy to lend $2 billion to Brazil to finance their national oil company. Last I checked I thought this country was broke. Why is Obama who talks up green tech and saving the planet happy to stop America from enjoying its own resources while giving money to Brazil.

You read that headline correctly. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration is financing oil exploration off Brazil.

The U.S. is going to lend billions of dollars to Brazil's state-owned oil company, Petrobras, to finance exploration of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil's Tupi oil field in the Santos Basin near Rio de Janeiro. Brazil's planning minister confirmed that White House National Security Adviser James Jones met this month with Brazilian officials to talk about the loan.

The U.S. Export-Import Bank tells us it has issued a "preliminary commitment" letter to Petrobras in the amount of $2 billion and has discussed with Brazil the possibility of increasing that amount. Ex-Im Bank says it has not decided whether the money will come in the form of a direct loan or loan guarantees. Either way, this corporate foreign aid may strike some readers as odd, given that the U.S. Treasury seems desperate for cash and Petrobras is one of the largest corporations in the Americas.

Washington Post: Obama's coverage keep promise = Lies and damn lies.

If you want to know why people have stopped believing Obama especially on health care because his arrogance when it comes to selling a false promise reeks of bullshit.

President Obama promises that, if health-care reform is enacted, people will be able to keep their current coverage.

"I keep on saying this but somehow folks aren't listening: If you like your health-care plan, you keep your health-care plan. Nobody is going to force you to leave your health-care plan," he said Saturday in a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colo., much as he said Friday in Belgrade, Mont., and earlier in the week in Portsmouth, N.H.

However, under legislation drafted by House and Senate Democrats, that would not necessarily be true.

Legislation written by three House committees and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions would allow eligible employers to move workers into a new marketplace for insurance, where they could choose from various coverage options.

In the marketplace, called an exchange or gateway, employees could end up with more and better options, analysts say. Even a top Republican staffer to the Senate committee, who is not authorized to speak for the record, agrees with that assessment. But Democratic legislative aides said there is no assurance that any of the options offered in the exchange would be the same as employees' current coverage.

Because coverage offered through an exchange would have to comply with new requirements, it could easily be different.

At a minimum, the exchanges would be open to small employers, but government officials would have the discretion to open the exchanges to larger employers.

"Over time, the Exchange will be opened to additional employers as another choice for covering their employees," the three House committees said in a July summary of the emerging legislation.

The legislation could also prompt some employers to drop coverage, congressional budget analysts say.

.....In a campaign to dispel alleged myths about health reform, the White House has posted a "Reality Check" on its Web site. "You can keep your own insurance," it declares.

Obama's promise is not just at odds with legislative proposals -- it is also at odds with reality. Under the current system, employers can drop coverage, alter benefit packages and switch insurers. In addition, as the president has noted, people who lose or leave their jobs can lose their health plans; that is one of the fundamental problems the legislative proposals address and one of the main arguments for reform.

But in the campaign to overhaul health care, Obama's promise may serve to reassure people anxious about change. As he said at a news conference on July 22, people may favor the devil they know over the devil they don't.

Obama's promotion of his health plan depends on people trusting him and not actually reading the plan and subsequent results that will come out of it. Problem is the opposite is happening.

Obama shifts focus to renting, not owning

$4.25 billion to building housing projects and section 8 places, what the hell could go wrong.

The Obama administration, in a major shift on housing policy, is abandoning George W. Bush’s vision of creating an “ownership society’’ and instead plans to pump $4.25 billion of economic stimulus money into creating tens of thousands of federally subsidized rental units in American cities.

The idea is to pay for the construction of low-rise rental apartment buildings and town houses, as well as the purchase of foreclosed homes that can be refurbished and rented to low- and moderate-income families at affordable rates.

Analysts say the approach takes a wrecking ball to Bush’s heavy emphasis on encouraging homeownership as a way to create national wealth and provide upward mobility for low- and working-class families, especially minorities. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan’s recalibration of federal housing policy, they said, shows that the Obama White House has acknowledged that not everyone can or should own a home.

In addition to an ideological shift, the move is a practical response to skyrocketing foreclosure rates, tight credit, and the economic crisis.

So going from one extreme to the other is not going to help. Look at the post below about Westchester County for an idea of how smart these people are in building "affordable housing" Put people in the name of diversity in places they can't afford to live without government intervening. Yet another future boondongle to put on Obama's plate.

Westchester County has no clue where nonwhite housing will go.

Just a followup on the HUD led forced racial marketing in Westchester County, this has the makings of a fiasco because the numbers do not add up.

The settlement sets a terrible precedent for the United States, said Jim Russell, a Republican from Hawthorne who ran unsuccessfully for Congress, because it allows "radical bureaucrats" to reconfigure the county.

"I don't think anyone can win when HUD is in charge," he said. "It's the worst kind of affirmative action."

A significant challenge will be finding properties in wealthy areas that tend to already be built up or too expensive to buy land, said Michael Genito, director for Pace University's Edwin G. Michaelian Institute for Public Policy and Management.

"There's not a lot of available land; a lot of it is built out," Genito said. "The amount of land in Rye, for example, is quite limited."

That also goes for Harrison, which has 1,400 two-family homes and 20 apartment buildings that are market-rate, said Supervisor Joan Walsh. She believes the town has a good diversity of people and incomes.

"I don't think there's any place in Harrison you can build an apartment," Walsh said. "I don't think there's room."

New Castle Supervisor Barbara Gerrard said she expects to meet with Westchester officials, including County Legislator Michael Kaplowitz, a Somers Democrat, by next week to learn the particulars.

She said New Castle encourages affordable housing and it's "been many, many supervisors' policy to try to find a good place for it."

"There are some potential places, but New Castle has very expensive real property costs," Gerrard said. "We certainly hope that the county will be willing to expend the money and to work with organizations such as A-HOME and the town to make this happen." A-HOME is a developer of affordable housing.

Half the units will be rentals for people earning at or below 50 percent and 65 percent of Westchester's median income, meaning a family of four would have to earn between $53,000 and $63,000 to qualify.

The other half will be for sale and set aside for households making 80 percent of the median income, or $84,200 for a family of four. Twenty-five percent will be set aside for senior citizens.

"These are people who are working. These are people earning money," Tolchin said. "These are people who cannot afford to live in Westchester County because the cost is too high."

Look at these numbers.

What is 'affordable' in Westchester?
• The average household income for a family of four in Westchester is $105,300. The median income for a two-person household is $84,250.

• Half of the planned 750 units will be rentals for households earning between 50 percent and 65 percent of the average, meaning families of four earning $52,650 to $63,180 will be eligible.

A two-person household would need to earn roughly between $42,000 and $51,000 to qualify.

• The other half of units will be for sale and set aside for households making 80 percent of the median income, or $84,200 for a family of four.

A two-person household would need to earn $67,400 to qualify.

Source: Westchester County Department of Planning

How would they be able to live in this area if they are not making the money for it? The government going to give them welfare checks to make up the difference?

Protesters want John Yoo fired

Dissent and protesting is un-american or something, I was told that by the Dems.

Anti-war activists protested Monday at the University of California, Berkeley to call for the firing of a law professor who co-wrote legal memos that critics say were used to justify the torture of suspected terrorists.
Campus police arrested at least four people who refused to leave the university's law school building.

The demonstrators said John Yoo should be dismissed, disbarred and prosecuted for war crimes for his work as a Bush administration attorney from 2001 to 2003, when he helped craft legal theories for waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques.

Shouting "war criminal," the protesters confronted Yoo as he entered a lecture hall on the first day of class at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall School of Law, where the tenured professor is teaching a civil law course this semester.

Yoo mostly ignored the demonstrators and waited for police to remove them from the classroom before he began teaching. Several officers then stood outside the lecture hall to prevent protesters and journalists from entering.

Demonstrators also staged a mock arrest of Yoo. Some dressed in black hoods and orange prisoner suits similar to ones seen in infamous photos of Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison, which was closed in 2006 following reports of detainee abuse.

"There is little doubt that John Yoo is a war criminal," said civil rights attorney Dan Siegel, speaking outside Boalt Hall. "John Yoo went to Washington and created the ideological, political and legal basis for the torture of innocent people."

More Are Hired to Speed Up the Clunker Reimbursements

Question after this bit of news.

The Obama administration is tripling the number of workers processing cash-for-clunkers transactions as some dealers complain the government has been slow to reimburse them for the incentives of up to $4,500 a vehicle.

An administration official said on Monday that the Transportation Department hoped to have 1,100 public and private sector workers processing the vouchers by the end of the week, up from a work force of about 350 through the end of last week.

When the Clunkers program ends, where do these extra workers go?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Kenneth Feinberg, US pay czar flexes his pay muscle.

Why is there no oversight on what this guy is doing? The way he is talking sounds more like old Eastern Europe than USA.

Kenneth Feinberg, the Obama administration's pay czar, said on Sunday he has broad and "binding" authority over executive compensation, including the ability to "claw back" money already paid, and he is weighing how and whether to use that power.

.....Feinberg said on Sunday that decisions he makes will be "binding," but the law limits his power over contracts signed before February 11, 2009.

He also said he has the authority to use a "clawback" provision to go after compensation for executives from any company that received money from the U.S. Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief (TARP).

"I have the discretion, conferred upon by Congress, to attempt to recover compensation that has already been paid to executives not only in these companies, but in any company that received federal assistance," Feinberg said during his remarks.

...Asked by Reuters if he could use that ability to target a firm like Goldman Sachs Group Inc, which paid back $10 billion in bailout money, Feinberg said: "Anything is possible under the law."
..Feinberg said the law requires him to take market forces into account, but also to consider performance and past deals between a company and an employee.

"The statute provides these guideposts, but the statute ultimately says I have discretion to decide what it is that these people should make and that my determination will be final," Feinberg said.

"The officials can't run to the Secretary of Treasury. The officials can't run to the court house or a local court. My decision is final on those individuals," Feinberg added.

I get the feeling he tries anything this third world dictatorial they will run to court to test these powers which seem above and beyond what they logical should be for a "czar"

CNN's Don Lemon: Obama's biggest media whore strikes again.

Another day and another diatribe by Don Lemon who on a network as almost pro-Obama as MSNBC stands out for sucking up to all things Obama. This point protesting that at least Obama is trying to reform health care and objecting to the term Real American.

Obama backing away from public option or someone misspoke?

Via Sebelius who is now talking up the nonprofit insurance cooperatives.

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's health secretary is suggesting the White House is ready to accept nonprofit insurance cooperatives instead of a government-run public option in a health overhaul plan. A Republican senator says that is worth looking at.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says Obama still believes there should be choice and competition" in the health insurance market — but that a public option is "not the essential element."

Obama has been pressing for the government to run a health insurance organization to help cover the nation's nearly 50 million uninsured. But he had not seen a not-for-profit co-op as sufficient to offer consumers choice and competition that would bring down the costs of private insurance.

Sebelius spoke on CNN's "State of the Union."

Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama says a potential administration shift from a government-run health insurance to a privately run cooperative is something that opponents like him should consider.

Update: Now the White House is saying Sebelius misspoke and this may have been a trial balloon. If that is the case it would be one of the dumbest ones in recent politics because how would they not know that the far left of the Dem party would react.

They have called jihad on the Whole Foods CEO for disagreeing with them. Be scared.

White House to change email rules after caught spamming.

Looks like Major Garrett deserves an apology from Robert Gibbs who was acting smary when the subject was brought up.

POLITICO: The White House said Sunday night that it will change its e-mail sign-up procedures after some recipients of a health-care e-mail complained that they had not asked to receive updates.

“We are implementing measures to make subscribing to e-mails clearer, including preventing advocacy organizations from signing people up to our lists without their permission when they deliver petition signatures and other messages on individual’s behalf,” spokesman Nick Shapiro said in a statement Sunday night.

After a few such recipients appeared on Fox News, White House officials determined that advocacy groups on the right or left could have sent in the names without the person knowing it.

Read more:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Canada's healthcare system is imploding says top doctor.

And boom goes the dynamite in our healthcare debate.

The incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association says this country's health-care system is sick and doctors need to develop a plan to cure it.

Dr. Anne Doig says patients are getting less than optimal care and she adds that physicians from across the country - who will gather in Saskatoon on Sunday for their annual meeting - recognize that changes must be made.

"We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize," Doing said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

"We know that there must be change," she said. "We're all running flat out, we're all just trying to stay ahead of the immediate day-to-day demands."

The pitch for change at the conference is to start with a presentation from Dr. Robert Ouellet, the current president of the CMA, who has said there's a critical need to make Canada's health-care system patient-centred. He will present details from his fact-finding trip to Europe in January, where he met with health groups in England, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands and France.

His thoughts on the issue are already clear. Ouellet has been saying since his return that "a health-care revolution has passed us by," that it's possible to make wait lists disappear while maintaining universal coverage and "that competition should be welcomed, not feared."

In other words, Ouellet believes there could be a role for private health-care delivery within the public system.

UK Foreign Secretary says terrorism can be justifiable

Note to David Miliband: Whenever a thought starts to form in your head and is coming out of your mouth, remember you are a government official with some standing that should probably think before you talk about saying terrorist acts can e justifiable.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband was accused last night of condoning terrorism after declaring that there were circumstances in which it was ‘justifiable’.

His remarks – made in support of the ANC’s armed struggle against apartheid in South Africa – were swiftly condemned by the Conservatives, who accused him of giving succour to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The military wing of the ANC carried out a number of terrorist attacks during its campaign, including the Church Street bombing in Pretoria in 1983 in which 19 people were killed and more than 200 wounded. Many of the victims were civilians.

I shudder to think what his answer would have been to necklacing.

Hamas takes out Al Qaeda offshoot group in Gaza.

How extreme is a group when Hamas is considered too liberal even for them.

Hamas says it has restored order in the southern Gaza Strip after crushing a rebellion by a radical Islamist group.

At least 24 people died in Friday's gun battle between Hamas and the Jund Ansar Allah (Soldiers of the Companions of God) group in a mosque in Rafah.

The group's leader, Abdul-Latif Moussa, blew himself up using a suicide belt. More than 100 people were injured.

Hamas launched the crackdown on the group after it declared an "Islamic emirate" in Gaza.