Saturday, August 22, 2009

Obama The Lightworker Helping You Evolve Your Cars



Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul. (Mark Morford June 2008)

The US car industry in trouble? No problem – enter the Lightworker, speaking to the soul:

The Obama administration has declared the wildly popular 'Cash for Clunkers' program a success, saying it has revived the country's ailing auto industry and taken polluting vehicles off the road.

Only an “attuned being” could work such a miracle – but, of course, it depends on how effective is the tuning...

But the data shows that the program, which ends Monday, has apparently benefited foreign automakers more than their U.S. counterparts.
Smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles like the Toyota Corolla are top sellers, while buyers are trading in SUV's like the Ford Explorer to be scrapped, turning the already dwindling number of American car owners into the growing ranks of foreign car drivers.

Toyota vehicles accounted for 19.2 percent of the 489,269 sales, while General Motors had the second spot at 17.7 percent.

The Honda Civic was the second best-selling vehicle, followed by the Ford Focus in the third spot. Foreign cars occupied eight of the 10 spots on top-selling vehicle list. The Ford Explorer was the most traded-in vehicle under the program, with U.S. cars occupying all top 10 spots on the list.

But at least cars were sold and the production lines were moving so the $3 billion govt funded stimulus provided a great launch pad for the revival of the US auto industry – yet another Lightworker miracle, a green light for cars?

Not quite.

But many auto analysts questions whether the program will have a lasting impact, robbing sales from the final months of 2009 and 2010. A slight auto industry recovery in July and August could be offset by declining sales in September and October and wipe away the bump in consumer confidence.
"We've got inventories tight, prices going up, incentive activity dropping, new cars coming out in October at even higher prices," said Jeremy Anwyl, CEO of the auto Web site Edmunds.com. "There's not going to be much momentum that's going to drive sales to the levels that we've seen."

That's the problem with artificially creating demand by giving away taxpayers money. It gives a mistaken impression of security, a feeling that things are now going to be just fine – but instead it often proves to be a false dawn and a disappointment to all involved.

At present the American economy seems still to be on the slide – but as Mark Steyn points out elsewhere in this so called global downturn things are looking up:

Meanwhile, in Brazil, India, China, Japan and much of Continental Europe the recession has ended. In the second quarter this year, both the French and German economies grew by 0.3 percent, while the U.S. economy shrank by 1 percent. How can that be? Unlike America, France and Germany had no government stimulus worth speaking of, the Germans declining to go the Obama route on the quaint grounds that they couldn't afford it. They did not invest in the critical signage-in-front-of-holes-in-the-road sector. And yet their recession has gone away. Of the world's biggest economies, only the U.S., Britain and Italy are still contracting. All three are big stimulators, though Gordon Brown and Silvio Berlusconi can't compete with Obama's $800 billion porkapalooza. The president has borrowed more money to spend to less effect than anybody on the planet.

But as Mark Morford observed Lightworkers “actually help us evolve” and it would appear that Sarah Palin agreed with Morford on the “evolve” bit. As she said to Sean Hannity back in June:

And this many months into the new administration, quite disappointed, quite frustrated with not seeing those actions to rein in spending, slow down the growth of government. Instead Sean it is the complete opposite. It’s expanding at such a large degree that if Americans aren’t paying attention, unfortunately our country could evolve into something that we do not even recognize. [emphasis added]

On second thoughts maybe Lightworkers are not always such a good thing, Mr Morford....

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Saturday Night Open Thread



Lots of requests for this video:



Also highly recommended (by me), Thomas Sowell's recent columns on health care titled, "Whose medical decisions?" In four parts: part one, part two, part three, and part four.

And, finally, some college football news that should make JR happy (and annoy the rest of us): Florida is the AP's preseason No. 1.

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Black Preacher Echoes Palin's Sentiments on ObamaCare



I want to know why it's okay for President Obama to use religious talk when he wants to get a health care bill passed, but if Sarah Palin simply whispers "God," haters rant and rave that she's trying to evangelize the nation! The craziest part of that is I have never heard Sarah use politics to preach. Her recent statements have been on issues involving health care and energy. However, some people continue to attack her simply because they know she is a woman of faith.

While Sarah Palin cannot say, "God bless you" to someone who sneezes without being accused of forcing her religion on people, President Obama conducts a conference call with 1,000 religious leaders so he can try to gain support for his government health care proposal. It amazes me how easy it is for people to talk the talk when they have something to gain from it. The National Day of Prayer comes, and the president refuses to acknowledge it. He goes to Georgetown to speak and asks them to cover the name of Jesus so it won't be seen. But he lapses into religious jargon when he stands to benefit from it.

Andrea Tantaros wrote about this in an article she entitled "Obama Plays the God Card." Isn't that what politicians do? They always know their crowd, and they work that crowd to receive the desired response. Then you have a public servant, a Sarah Palin, who simply lives the life, who speaks as she does because that's who she is.

But President Obama may have gone too far this time. I'd like to believe that something didn't settle right for some of these religious leaders when he said, "We are God's partners in matters of life and death." It's this very mindset that gives people concerns about rationed health care. The government does NOT partner with God when making these kinds of decisions.

Tantaros wrote:

Further, Pastor Obama said that many were "bearing false witness" and took a shot at his opposition calling the pushback to date: "fabrications that have been put out there in order to discourage people from meeting what I consider to be a core ethical and moral obligation: that is that we look out for one another, that I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. In the wealthiest nation on earth right now, we are neglecting to live up to that call.

I pray these leaders are smart enough to know that anyone can quote Scripture and blur the issues in an attempt to get what they want. To suggest that you are doing God's work by pushing through a health care bill that will determine who is and is not worthy of care and who does and does not have the "level of productivity" in society to warrant that care is, well, to quote Sarah Palin, "downright evil."

Bishop Harry Jackson, a minister in DC who works closely with Martin Luther King's niece, Dr. Alveda King, puts this whole health care debate in proper perspective. I encourage you to listen to what he has to say about the issue, including his own personal story about how ObamaCare would have affected his life. He also puts abortion into the mix because the truth is, although President Obama continues to say that abortion is not in the health care bill, he's being disingenuous. Obama knows what some people do not know: unless the bill specifically states that abortion is NOT to be covered, it MUST be covered. Bishop Jackson exposes how this health care bill will affect the unborn--particularly Black babies. He calls the bill as it stands "ungodly and evil." Hmmm...Seems he's come to the same conclusion as Governor Palin. Watch it for yourself below.



UPDATE by Stephen: Bishop Jackson spoke at the National Black Pro-Life Union & Priests for Life Health Care Press Conference, held Tuesday, August 18, 2009. You can watch more from the event here.

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Death panels are killing Obamacare



Erik Erickson, editor of Redstate.com, writes about Gov. Palin's role in the sinking of Obamacare:

ABC News reporter Jake Tapper summed up the situation best when he said, “[I]f the president finds himself at a town hall meeting telling the American people that he does not want to set up a panel to kill their grandparents … perhaps, at some point, the president has lost control of the message.”

Sarah Palin won the health-care debate with her use of the phrase “death panels.” The national press corps, never having rushed to defend Republicans routinely accused of wanting to cut Medicare, starve children and jail people because of their skin color, raced to defend Democrats against Palin’s charge. Democrats ran away from their “end of life” solution just as quickly.

Read the rest of his column here.

NRO's Andrew McCarthy shares Erickson's analysis about the importance of Gov. Palin's intervention, but he warns that the battle is far from over:

Earlier this week, some of my National Review colleagues recoiled from Sarah Palin’s bracing allegation that Obamacare would foist government “death panels” on vulnerable Americans. I recoiled from the recoil, which I thought exemplified the same sort of “hysteria” the editorial in question, “Rationing and Rationality,” condemned. There followed a debate (see The Corner archives for August 17 and 18), largely a fine parsing of how — rationally, of course — the term “death panel” ought to be defined. As we went back and forth, I kept having this nagging thought: We could still blow this thing.

Obamacare and its proponents have taken a drubbing in the polls. Americans are passionate about matters of life and death and who gets to decide them. Unlike appropriations for the F-22 or another billion or so in “stimulus” so the NEA can underwrite simulated-sex dances, the health-care issue aroused the public. Citizens read the bill (something their legislators haven’t been anxious to do) and blew a gasket. Saul Alinsky’s bag of tricks doesn’t say what to do when the opponent to be smeared in the public mind is the public itself. So our organizer-in-chief is adrift at sea, and sinking. But this battle is far from over.

(...)

That’s why I found our “death panel” debate so disconcerting. The editorial that pooh-poohed the label acknowledged, as my friend Rich Lowry later emphasized, that the legislation gave great reason (I’d say grave reason) to be concerned about “government rationing and a general slide toward euthanasia.” The editorial’s contention was that there wouldn’t “literally” be death panels. To me, that’s not much different from quibbling over “what the meaning of ‘is’ is.” The stakes here couldn’t be higher, time is short, and “death panel” cuts to the chase.

(...)

Obama, of course, wanted health-care “reform” done — all 1,000-plus pages of it — before the summer recess. In essence, Democrats want to repeal individual liberty; move one-sixth of the private sector into the same government-controlled model that has produced bankruptcy in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; add additional trillions to the already exploded national debt; and they want to do it all right now — no discovery, no settlement negotiations, no five-week trial, no delays. Given this Democratic whirlwind, I don’t see why we owe them better than “death panels.” They are what we’re sure to get if Obamacare isn’t killed first.

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Hillbuzz: Sarah Palin Will Single-Handedly Bring Down ObamaCare Using Only Facebook To Do It



From our friends at HillBuzz:

This is remarkable…truly, truly remarkable.

But, Sarah Palin is almost single-handedly bringing down Obamacare using only Facebook.

Let that sink in for a moment. The woman the Loony Left demonizes as Anita Bryant 2.0 and Tina Fey lampoons as some sort of space cadet, the woman the Lefties in Chicago constantly make the butt of their jokes or use as a straw (wo)man for whatever they need a villain for, posts remarks on Facebook that fuel Americans’ anger and resentment over the way Democrats are rushing through healthcare reform so recklessly.

The woman these Lefties claim is so, so stupid sure seems mighty smart to us.

Here’s her latest posting on Facebook…it is spot-on, perfect. If anyone doesn’t believe this woman is running for president, we just don’t know what to tell you…she is doing exactly what Republicans need to do…she is stirring up the lawyers, the ambulance chasers, and threatening the Democrats’ insurance-company-suing-trial-lawyer-donations-ATM in the process. If Republicans can drive that wedge between the Democrats and their trial lawyer sugar daddies…man alive, 2010 could make 1994 look like a day at the beach for Democrats.

Read the rest here.

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Saturday Open Thread



Blackfive: Marine Awarded Navy Cross

Hugh Hewitt talks to Mark Steyn and Michael Yon.

The Economist: The state of Afghanistan

VDH: The Strange Case of the Obama Meltdown

AP: Poll: Americans losing confidence in Obama

Reuters: Obama to raise 10-year deficit to $9 trillion

Nat Hentoff: I am finally scared of a White House administration

Bloomberg: Pelosi Says ObamaCare Needs Public Option

Politico: Hoyer Says ObamaCare May Have to Lose Public Option

WaPo: Key Senators Discuss Trimming ObamaCare

Bloomberg: Autoworkers See Help From $10 Billion Fund in U.S. Health Plan

Andy McCarthy: Killing Obamacare

WSJ: Geithner Says No Tilt to Goldman During Financial Crisis

WSJ: Deep in the Wilderness, Power Companies Wade In

Iowahawk: U.S. Government Unveils Health Care Partnership With God Inc.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Neil Cavuto Discusses Gov. Palin's Statement on Legal Reform



On Fox News Channel's “Your World with Neil Cavuto” today, Neil Cavuto discussed Governor Palin's statement on legal reform with the Washington Examiner's JP Friere. Here's the video:



(h/t terri)

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Palin-phernalia



If I had a dollar for each time someone asked me why Sarah Palin resigned, I'd have, well, I'd have a lot of dollars.

Today I drove two and half hours to Rome, NY to speak at a Youth Camp at Delta Lake. As I made the journey, I was reminded of the last time I traveled that road. It was almost three months ago when I went to Auburn, NY to meet Governor Palin. Read and see pictures of that weekend here, here, and here.

In Rome, I was introduced to a fellow conservative, and we began a conversation about politics which included some sharing of my recent month-long trip to Alaska. He asked if I had ever met the governor, and when I told him I had, I got the question I have been asked all too often: "So why did she resign?"

The first couple times I was asked that question, I broke into a lengthy explanation. I no longer do that. Instead, I respond with some questions of my own.

The first one is, "Did you see her resignation announcement?"

When I hear, "Yes," as I did today, I move on to my second question.

"What did she say?"

Here they explain to me what Governor Palin said. Then they look at me, and I know they're expecting something more. There's a Yeah, but what's the REAL reason? kind of silence. I was reminded of this today.

I have experienced this several times, and at first I didn't get it. As far as I was concerned, Governor Palin made herself quite clear during her press conference. I have since come to a conclusion for the apparent difficulty to take her at her word.

People are so accustomed to politicians who speak out of both sides of their mouths that they cannot wrap their brains around the existence of a person who calls it like it is. That person, of course, is Sarah Palin. They heard what she said. They fully understand what she said. However, something simply won't let them believe what she said, so...they're waiting for the real story.

"No, that can't be it."

"Okay, but what else?"

"No...really."

This is their reaction to a person like Sarah Palin because most have never seen a politician like her. One definition of politician is "a schemer who tries to gain advantage in an organization in sly or underhanded ways." Although there are other more honorable definitions, this is the one we have come to believe. We expect the usual political paraphernalia: a forked tongue, a wandering eye, and a hidden agenda--and usually we are not disappointed. The result? Distrust and/or an unfulfilled desire to discover more when there's nothing more to discover. I suppose it's understandable. After all, how often does someone step into the political arena who says what she means and means what she says? Where do we find a person who is willing to sacrifice a title and a position of prestige because it's the right thing to do for her state? When was the last time we encountered someone who would exchange the governor's mansion for Facebook freedom? In fact, "self-sacrifice" and "politician" in the same sentence is oxymoronic, isn't it?

Enter Sarah Palin--the same Sarah Palin who took on her own Party in the state of Alaska, desiring simply to boot out corruption, the same Sarah Palin who is nothing if not the antithesis of "politics as usual." She came armed with paraphernalia some have not come to expect from politicians and therefore could not recognize in her: the simple truth.

But some of us do get it--and we like it.

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Rick Perry: Sarah Palin is the Face of America



In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Texas governor Rick Perry had this to say about Governor Palin:

Recently, Republican Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio complained that the GOP is "being taken over by Southerners." Mr. Perry responds with a laugh. "He's a piece of work, isn't he? 'You Southerners!'" he points his finger in imitation. The political divide, the governor insists, is between "mushy, middle of the road" Republicans and clear, devoted fiscal and social conservatives, like himself and Sarah Palin.

On that last point, he states emphatically, "I love Sarah Palin, I love her positions, I think she was a good governor. . . . I want her to be engaged in this rebuilding of the Republican Party. . . . She is substantially more the face of this country than some other people who might want to be the face of the Republican Party. To me she's the face of America. I mean she's a hard worker, she didn't come from money, she didn't come from privilege, she just worked hard. . . . I have not seen another person who invigorated the Republican base [like she did] with the possible exception of Ronald Reagan in 1976—the speech he made at the Republican Convention. People were looking around and saying, 'we nominated the wrong dude.'"

You can read the entire interview here.

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DNC Controlled Public Policy Polling Conducts Survey to Smear Palin as a "Birther"



PPP:

The birthers love them some Sarah Palin. She's the most popular politician in the mix with them at 66% favorability. Next is Mike Huckabee at 58%, followed by Newt Gingrich at 46%, and Mitt Romney at 43%.

[...]

Remember when W. said 'some people call you the elites, I call you my base?' Swap out birthers for elites and you've got the makings of a great Palin speech.

Disgusting. Here is the contact info for the author of the post:

Contact Tom Jensen at tomj@publicpolicypolling.com


C4P Contributor Stephen gives us this reminder:

The problem, Republicans say, is that PPP is no impartial observer. The firm makes its money by serving as the pollster to an exclusively Democratic roster of clients, ranging from members of Congress to dozens of state legislative and city council candidates. And CEO Dean Debnam has given generously to North Carolina Democratic candidates — including in races where his firm has conducted independent polling.

In the heat of last year’s competitive Senate race between former Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) and Democrat Kay Hagan, Debnam donated $5,400 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. He also made two $2,300 contributions to Hagan’s campaign.

Update by Hal: Apparently PPP has been getting hammered with emails about this ridiculous poll and one or more of our loyal readers made them aware of this post because we got linked back in this tweet I received from them a little while ago:
uh oh made the Palin people mad- http://tinyurl.com/l7dths - already getting nutty e-mails, will post on blog over the weekend

So now Palin supporters are nutty and send nutty emails? Maybe it's just the fact that Palin has a strong army of supporters on the net who think this is a really stupid poll. This snarky tweet clearly is an indication of where PPP's alliances are -- deep in the pockets of the Democrat Party. It will be interesting to see what their "blog post" about this will be over the weekend.

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Olbermann Finally Gets the Show Title He Deserves



(H/T kjanlady)

Via Andrew Malcolm's LA Times blog:

Newspaper corrects 'Jackass'-Keith Olbermann mix-up

Thank goodness The Times is the forthright, ethical institution that it is.

And when a mistake happens, it rushes to set the journalistic record straight with an honest repair.

Here is an actual correction from Page A4 of today's print edition:

FOR THE RECORD

TV listings: The Prime-Time TV grid in Thursday's Calendar section mistakenly listed MTV's "Jackass" show on the MSNBC cable schedule at 7 and 10 p.m. where instead MSNBC's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" should have been listed.

It's not the Worst Mistake in the World.

But without this kind of correction, online too, a few thousand people might have tuned into MSNBC, the Obama administration's favorite cable channel, expecting to see a "Jackass" show, and instead they'd have found Olbermann.

Worse, what if nobody noticed the difference?

-- Andrew Malcolm

Any MSNBC "coverage" will be posted along with this picture:

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Krauthammer Tells Palin to "Leave the Room"





A bizarre article from Charles Krauthammer in today's Washington Post.

In the second sentence he trashes Palin:

We might start by asking Sarah Palin to leave the room. I've got nothing against her. She's a remarkable political talent. But there are no "death panels" in the Democratic health-care bills, and to say that there are is to debase the debate.


And by the third paragraph he is explaining that Obamacare will basically create a "death panel":

We also have to tell the defenders of the notorious Section 1233 of H.R. 3200 that it is not quite as benign as they pretend. To offer government reimbursement to any doctor who gives end-of-life counseling -- whether or not the patient asked for it -- is to create an incentive for such a chat.

What do you think such a chat would be like? Do you think the doctor will go on and on about the fantastic new million-dollar high-tech gizmo that can prolong the patient's otherwise hopeless condition for another six months? Or do you think he's going to talk about -- as the bill specifically spells out -- hospice care and palliative care and other ways of letting go of life?

I may be repeating myself on this, but Governor Palin never said that a specifically named "Death Panel" existed in Obamacare. She clearly made the point that such a government entity would be the natural result of a government run, rationed health care system. In fact, "Death Panels" appeared in quotations in her very first Facebook note on the subject, signifying that it was being used as a metaphor.

The Senate even went so far as to take out any language that could be remotely connected to a "death panel."

Just last night, on Special Report, Krauthammer basically repeated Palin's concerns over a federal government loan to a Brazilian state run oil company. However, Krauthammer never gave credit to Palin for pointing these concerns out.

I just don't understand the behavior of these so-called "intellectuals."

The Conservative Comeback has more here.

Dan Riehl's take.

And, what does "leave the room" mean, exactly?

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Sarah Palin: No Health Care Reform Without Legal Reform



Via Facebook:

President Obama's health care "reform" plan has met with significant criticism across the country. Many Americans want change and reform in our current health care system. We recognize that while we have the greatest medical care in the world, there are major problems that we must face, especially in terms of reining in costs and allowing care to be affordable for all. However, as we have seen, current plans being pushed by the Democratic leadership represent change that may not be what we had in mind -- change which poses serious ethical concerns over the government having control over our families’ health care decisions. In addition, the current plans greatly increase costs of health care, while doing lip service toward controlling costs.

We need to address a REAL bipartisan reform proposition that will have REAL impacts on costs and quality of patient care.


As Governor of Alaska, I learned a little bit about being a target for frivolous suits and complaints (Please, do I really need to footnote that?). I went my whole life without needing a lawyer on speed-dial, but all that changes when you become a target for opportunists and people with no scruples. Our nation’s health care providers have been the targets of similar opportunists for years, and they too have found themselves subjected to false, frivolous, and baseless claims. To quote a former president, “I feel your pain.”

So what can we do? First, we cannot have health care reform without tort reform. The two are intertwined. For example, one supposed justification for socialized medicine is the high cost of health care. As Dr. Scott Gottlieb recently noted, “If Mr. Obama is serious about lowering costs, he'll need to reform the economic structures in medicine—especially programs like Medicare.” [1] Two examples of these “economic structures” are high malpractice insurance premiums foisted on physicians (and ultimately passed on to consumers as “high health care costs”) and the billions wasted on defensive medicine.

Dr. Stuart Weinstein, with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, recently explained the problem:

”The medical liability crisis has had many unintended consequences, most notably a decrease in access to care in a growing number of states and an increase in healthcare costs.
Access is affected as physicians move their practices to states with lower liability rates and change their practice patterns to reduce or eliminate high-risk services. When one considers that half of all neurosurgeons—as well as one third of all orthopedic surgeons, one third of all emergency physicians, and one third of all trauma surgeons—are sued each year, is it any wonder that 70 percent of emergency departments are at risk because they lack available on-call specialist coverage?” [2]


Dr. Weinstein makes good points, points completely ignored by President Obama. Dr. Weinstein details the costs that our out-of-control tort system are causing the health care industry and notes research that “found that liability reforms could reduce defensive medicine practices, leading to a 5 percent to 9 percent reduction in medical expenditures without any effect on mortality or medical complications.” Dr. Weinstein writes:

“If the Kessler and McClellan estimates were applied to total U.S. healthcare spending in 2005, the defensive medicine costs would total between $100 billion and $178 billion per year. Add to this the cost of defending malpractice cases, paying compensation, and covering additional administrative costs (a total of $29.4 billion). Thus, the average American family pays an additional $1,700 to $2,000 per year in healthcare costs simply to cover the costs of defensive medicine.
Excessive litigation and waste in the nation’s current tort system imposes an estimated yearly tort tax of $9,827 for a family of four and increases healthcare spending in the United States by $124 billion. How does this translate to individuals? The average obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) delivers 100 babies per year. If that OB-GYN must pay a medical liability premium of $200,000 each year (which is the rate in Florida), $2,000 of the delivery cost for each baby goes to pay the cost of the medical liability premium.” [3]


You would think that any effort to reform our health care system would include tort reform, especially if the stated purpose for Obama’s plan to nationalize our health care industry is the current high costs.

So I have new questions for the president: Why no legal reform? Why continue to encourage defensive medicine that wastes billions of dollars and does nothing for the patients? Do you want healthcare reform to benefit trial attorneys or patients?

Many states, including my own state of Alaska, have enacted caps on lawsuit awards against health care providers. Texas enacted caps and found that one county’s medical malpractice claims dropped 41 percent, and another study found a “55 percent decline” after reform measures were passed. [4] That’s one step in health care reform. Limiting lawyer contingency fees, as is done under the Federal Tort Claims Act, is another step. The State of Alaska pioneered the “loser pays” rule in the United States, which deters frivolous civil law suits by making the loser partially pay the winner’s legal bills. Preventing quack doctors from giving “expert” testimony in court against real doctors is another reform.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry noted that, after his state enacted tort reform measures, the number of doctors applying to practice medicine in Texas “skyrocketed by 57 percent” and that the tort reforms “brought critical specialties to underserved areas.” These are real reforms that actually improve access to health care. [5]

Dr. Weinstein’s research shows that around $200 billion per year could be saved with legal reform. That’s real savings. That’s money that could be used to build roads, schools, or hospitals.
If you want to save health care, let’s listen to our doctors. There should be no health care reform without legal reform. There can be no true health care reform without legal reform.

- Sarah Palin

[1] See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204409904574350370729883030.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
[2] See http://www.aaos.org/news/aaosnow/nov08/managing7.asp
[3] Id.
[4] See http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/new_laws_and_med_mal_damage_caps_devastate_plaintiff_and_defense_firms_alik/print/
[5] See http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/OpEd-Contributor/Tort-reform-must-be-part-of-health-care-reform-8096175.html

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Sarah Palin Talks Energy Independence



For those who claim that Sarah Palin has "nothing substanative to say" listen to her talk about energy and America's dependence on foreign oil...

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Charlie Cook: Dem situation has 'slipped completely out of control'



From The Politico's Scorecard:

Charlie Cook, one of the best political handicappers in the business, sent out a special update to Cook Political Report subscribers Thursday that should send shivers down Democratic spines.

Reviewing recent polling and the 2010 election landscape, Cook can envision a scenario in which Democratic House losses could exceed 20 seats.

"These data confirm anecdotal evidence, and our own view, that the situation this summer has slipped completely out of control for President Obama and Congressional Democrats. Today, The Cook Political Report’s Congressional election model, based on individual races, is pointing toward a net Democratic loss of between six and 12 seats, but our sense, factoring in macro-political dynamics is that this is far too low," he wrote.

"Many veteran Congressional election watchers, including Democratic ones, report an eerie sense of déjà vu, with a consensus forming that the chances of Democratic losses going higher than 20 seats is just as good as the chances of Democratic losses going lower than 20 seats."

Cook scrupulously avoided any mention that Democratic control of the House is in jeopardy but, noting a new Gallup poll showing Congress’ job disapproval at 70 percent among independents, concluded that the post-recess environment could feel considerably different than when Congress left in August.

"We believe it would be a mistake to underestimate the impact that this mood will have on Members of Congress of both parties when they return to Washington in September, if it persists through the end of the Congressional recess."

This is good news for our side. While I don't agree with some of the things Charlie Cook says at times, his political predictions are usually very good in terms of raw numbers. This is why, I believe, the Democrat party is pushing so hard for things like ObamaCare and cap and tax. They know their ranks will be diminished after the mid-terms and it will be even more difficult, if not impossible, to pass their disastrous bills after 2010.

Governor Palin can really help Cook's predictions become reality in the upcoming mid-terms and, at the same time, collect plenty of political IOUs for 2012 should she run.

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Pat Buchanan: "Sarah and the Death Panels"



From Pat Buchanan via Vdare.com:

Of Sarah Palin it may be said: The lady knows how to frame an issue.

And while she has been fairly criticized for hyperbole about the end-of-life counselors in the House bill, she drew such attention to the provision that Democrats chose to dump it rather than debate it

And understandably so. For if Congress enacts universal health care coverage, we are undeniably headed for a medical system of rationed care that must inevitably deny care to some terminally ill and elderly, which will shorten their lives, perhaps by years.

[...]

What if, in 2050, Palin and her husband are not here. And 42-year-old Trig, with Down syndrome, has been in an institution for years, and the cost of his care and that of hundreds of thousands like him with Down syndrome is draining the resources of the health care system?

Will there not be voices softly suggesting a quiet and merciful end?

In Oregon, the law permits doctors to assist in the suicide of terminal patients who wish to end their lives. Let us assume numerous patients have Alzheimer's and, so, cannot be part of the decision to end their lives. Who then makes the decision to continue or end life? Would it be unfair to call the decision-makers in those cases a death panel?

More here.

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Friday Open Thread





Staunton News Leader: Behold the Jackalope

AP: Britain publishes more UFO files, but few answers

NPR: The cookie tree

Telegraph: Urban animals

WSJ: Fifty Works for Fifty States

Big Hollywood: Waiting for the GOP

Paul Shanklin: 'American Lie'

Times Recorder: County Fair: Riders don't mind mud and dust

Olathe News: Local woman receives national Good Samaritan award

U.S. Army: Two days of hell, nine men of valor

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bill O'Reilly: Gov. Palin Remains a Rock Star



From tonight's Reality Check segment on The O'Reilly Factor:



Gateway Pundit has more here.

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Obama: "All Wee-Weed up"; What?



While speaking to former campaign volunteers today about the less than enthusiastic reception of Obamacare, President Obama tried to reassure them by recounting another time he was in trouble:

And then last year just about this time, you'll recall that the Republicans had just nominated their Vice Presidential candidate, and everybody was -- the media was obsessed with it, and cable was 24 hours a day, and "Obama's lost his mojo." (Laughter.) You remember all that? (Laughter.) There's something about August going into September -- (laughter) -- where everybody in Washington gets all wee-weed up. (Laughter.)

Wee-weed? Kathy Kiely at USA Today has a thought:

Or maybe it's whee-wheed. We're not sure what it means but we think you should be informed when our president invents a new verb.

Here's Michelle Malkin:

Is this some Chicago phrase I don’t know about?
Is it just a nonsensical scatalogical reference?
Is this the teleprompter’s fault?
Maybe it’s some sort of SEIU code phrase?
Or is it a Hawaiian thing?
Can someone clue the unwashed masses in, please?

Even though the drones in the audience were laughing at Obama's stand-up act, it's seems to me that Governor Palin is on his mind. Despite David Axelrod's assurance that he and his political friends don't discuss her, we've seen Obama and his press secretary go into full damage control to try to thwart her effectiveness in exposing the disaster that is Obamacare.

It's no coincidence that Obama brought up Governor Palin as a threat to his political career during the election, because it's happening again. Only this time she's in control of her message, and as Tammy Bruce observed she's wrecking Obama's agenda with a few statements posted on Facebook.

As Obama continues to "wee-whee" (or is it "wee-wee"?) around instead of governing, Governor Palin is working hard to fight for smaller government, lower taxes, energy independence, and free market solutions.

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Michelle Malkin on Treatment of Sarah Palin by the Media and Lefties



This is interesting listening. One of the local conservative radio talk show hosts in my area (Vicki McKenna) did an interview with Michelle Malkin on her new book, the TEA parties and such on the radio yesterday. Near the end of the interview, Vicki and Michelle speak on Sarah Palin and her treatment by the media, lefties and all of the rest of the goofballs.

Michelle states:

"What Sarah Palin saw, I don't think most any other elected politician in public life has ever had to bear..."

Click here to listen to the full interview. The portion about Governor Palin is below:

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Facebooking the revolution





This graph was published on Techpresident.com in a post called 'Palin's Facebook Megaphone: Big and Getting Bigger':

Here's a metric that might get your attention. Here in these doggiest of August days, Sarah Palin's Facebook page has accumulated roughly the same number of brand new supporters in the last week as Mitt Romney and Bobby Jindal each have in total. That's gotta sting.

By the way: on the 4th of November 2008, Barack Obama had just over 2.5 million followers on Facebook. Gov. Palin is currently on 806,300 and counting - fast.

H/t: Tangles Thorns

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Pawlenty Should Pay Closer Attention



In an interview with Politico published today, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty responded to a question about Governor Palin's influence on the national health care debate:

POLITICO: Do you think that Sarah Palin is driving the conversation on health care?

PAWLENTY: Well I think she was focused on one aspect of it, I think that the debate is much broader than that. But I think that the concern that she raised got a lot of attention, and of course people responded to it.

Actually, Governor Palin's takedown of Obamacare is much broader than Pawlenty realizes. Perhaps if he had actually taken the time to read her thoroughly researched statements, he would recognize that they exposed a wide range of problems with Obamacare. Here's a brief summary:

1) On Section 1233 of HR 3200, entitled “Advance Care Planning Consultation.”:

With all due respect, it’s misleading for the President to describe this section as an entirely voluntary provision that simply increases the information offered to Medicare recipients. The issue is the context in which that information is provided and the coercive effect these consultations will have in that context.

[...]

These consultations are authorized whenever a Medicare recipient’s health changes significantly or when they enter a nursing home, and they are part of a bill whose stated purpose is “to reduce the growth in health care spending.” [5] Is it any wonder that senior citizens might view such consultations as attempts to convince them to help reduce health care costs by accepting minimal end-of-life care?

As as result of the attention that Governor Palin brought to this troubling provision, the Democratic controlled Senate Finance Committee has decided to drop it.

2) On rationing:

The president is busy assuring us that we can keep our private insurance plans, but common sense (and basic economics) tells us otherwise. The public option in the Democratic health care plan will crowd out private insurers, and that’s what it’s intended to do. A single payer health care plan has been President Obama’s agenda all along, though he is now claiming otherwise. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s what he said back in 2003:

“I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care plan.... A single payer health care plan – universal health care plan – that’s what I would like to see.”
[3]

A single-payer health care plan might be what Obama would like to see, but is it what the rest of us would like to see? What does a single payer health care plan look like? We need look no further than other countries who have adopted such a plan. The picture isn’t pretty. [4] The only way they can control costs is to ration care. As I noted in my earlier statement quoting Thomas Sowell, government run health care won’t reduce the price of medical care; it will simply refuse to pay the price. The expensive innovative procedures that people from all over the world come to the United States for will not be available under a government plan that seeks to cover everyone by capping costs.

Our senior citizens are right to be wary of this health care bill. Medical care at the end of life accounts for 80 percent of all health care. When care is rationed, that is naturally where the cuts will be felt first.

3) On the cost:

There is one aspect of this bill which I have not addressed yet, but it’s a very obvious one. It’s the simple fact that we can’t afford it. But don’t take my word for it. Take the word of Doug Elmendorf, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. He told the Senate Budget Committee last month:

“In the legislation that has been reported we do not see the sort of fundamental changes that would be necessary to reduce the trajectory of federal health spending by a significant amount. And on the contrary, the legislation significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs.” [7]

Dr. Elmendorf went on to note that this health care legislation would increase spending at an unsustainable rate.

Our nation is already $11.5 trillion in debt. Where will the money come from? Taxes, of course. And will a burdensome new tax help our economy recover? Of course not. The best way to encourage more health care coverage is to foster a strong economy where people can afford to purchase their own coverage if they choose to do so. The current administration’s economic policies have done nothing to help in this regard.

Health care is without a doubt a complex and contentious issue, but health care reform should be a market oriented solution. There are many ways we can reform the system and lower costs without nationalizing it.

4) On one of President Obama’s key health care advisors:

The rationing system proposed by one of President Obama’s key health care advisors is particularly disturbing. I’m speaking of the “Complete Lives System” advocated by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of the president’s chief of staff. President Obama has not yet stated any opposition to the “Complete Lives System,” a system which, if enacted, would refuse to allocate medical resources to the elderly, the infirm, and the disabled who have less economic potential. [1] Why the silence from the president on this aspect of his nationalization of health care? Does he agree with the “Complete Lives System”? If not, then why is Dr. Emanuel his policy advisor? What is he advising the president on? I just learned that Dr. Emanuel is now distancing himself from his own work and claiming that his “thinking has evolved” on the question of rationing care to benefit the strong and deny the weak. [2] How convenient that he disavowed his own work only after the nature of his scholarship was revealed to the public at large.

I'll assume that Governor Pawlenty meant well, but didn't have all the facts at his disposal. Hopefully in the future he'll be more informed.

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The Death Book for Veterans



The Wall Street Journal's Jim Towey has done our country a service (in a piece linked today by Sarah Palin on her Facebook page) by calling attention to a document recently re-promulgated by the Obama administration's Department of Veterans' Affairs called "Your Life, Your Choices." This is a 52-page document for end-of-life planning which was first drafted by the Clinton administration—by an advocate of physician-assisted suicide and health-care rationing, Dr. Robert Pearlman. When the Bush 43 administration got a look at it, they ordered the VA to stop using it; as Towey describes it,

"Your Life, Your Choices" presents end-of-life choices in a way aimed at steering users toward predetermined conclusions, much like a political "push poll." For example, a worksheet on page 21 lists various scenarios and asks users to then decide whether their own life would be "not worth living."

The circumstances listed include ones common among the elderly and disabled: living in a nursing home, being in a wheelchair and not being able to "shake the blues." There is a section which provocatively asks, "Have you ever heard anyone say, 'If I'm a vegetable, pull the plug'?" There also are guilt-inducing scenarios such as "I can no longer contribute to my family's well being," "I am a severe financial burden on my family" and that the vet's situation "causes severe emotional burden for my family."

When the government can steer vulnerable individuals to conclude for themselves that life is not worth living, who needs a death panel?

One can only imagine a soldier surviving the war in Iraq and returning without all of his limbs only to encounter a veteran's health-care system that seems intent on his surrender. . . .

This hurry-up-and-die message is clear and unconscionable.

In my book, George W. Bush did the only decent and honorable thing in pulling this invidious document; for the Obama administration to start using this again with VA patients—all patients, mind you, not even just those who are clearly dying—is nothing short of despicable. Thank you, Mr. Towey, for writing about this; and thank you, Gov. Palin, for using your platform to call it to our attention.

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New PPP poll out today



Mixed bag for Gov. Palin in today's PPP poll. To start with the bad parts:

- there's a negative shift in her overall favorable ratings: from 47-45 last month to 40-49 today. She's also lost ground in her personal matchup with Obama (from -8 to -14)
- compared to last month's poll, she's lost ground among Democrats (-10) and independents (-8)
- the single biggest loss is among Hispanics (-18). This accounts for almost half the negative shift in her overall favorable ratings. Anybody got an explanation for that one?


Now for the upsides:


- she continues to be the most favored candidate among the main Republican primary constituencies, and her leads among the core groups of conservative voters and all Republican voters more or less remained what they were last month
- She leads among McCain voters (76% versus 69% for Huckabee and 56 % for Romney and Gingrich)
- Also among conservatives (68% versus 61% for Huckabee, 52% for Gingrich and 49% for Romney)
- And among all Republicans (72% versus 66% for Huckabee, 56% for Gingrich and 52% for Romney).


All in all, she continues to be well positioned for the Republican nomination in 2012 - should she wish to enter that particular race of course.

UPDATE by Stephen: This recent PPP poll is just dust in the wind. These guys are Democrat operatives and this poll is just DNC disinformation. From Politico earlier this summer:

The problem, Republicans say, is that PPP is no impartial observer. The firm makes its money by serving as the pollster to an exclusively Democratic roster of clients, ranging from members of Congress to dozens of state legislative and city council candidates. And CEO Dean Debnam has given generously to North Carolina Democratic candidates — including in races where his firm has conducted independent polling.

In the heat of last year’s competitive Senate race between former Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) and Democrat Kay Hagan, Debnam donated $5,400 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. He also made two $2,300 contributions to Hagan’s campaign.

In my view, this poll has no significance except as further evidence of a desperate DNC effort to target, isolate, and discredit Gov. Palin.

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J.R. Dunn: Palin v. ObamaCare



J.R. Dunn, in an article in today's American Thinker, wrote the following:

Once again we're presented with evidence that the health-care debate is occurring without adequate attention being paid to the record of established nationalized health-care systems overseas.

This has arisen as a result of Sarah Palin's superb maneuver in forcing the administration to drop Section 1233 of the ObamaCare act, entitled "Advance Care Planning Consultation." Section 1233, which we might as well call the "Let's Wrap it Up" clause, calls for "planning sessions" for Medicare clients in which the "continuum of end-of-life services and supports available" would be explained in detail. This "continuum" includes "palliative and hospice care", but is unlikely to be limited to that. Palin accused the administration of opening the door to euthanasia, with Section 1233 amounting to a first step toward "death panels" making life-and-death decisions amounting to such action.

Last week Section 1233 was dropped in toto. Palin forced this result through a single Facebook posting, a stroke that if carried out by anyone else but Lady Deerslayer would have been praised far and wide as masterful. But instead we got the usual attacks on Palin's personality, intelligence, and motives. In large part this involved such usual suspects as the mass media, Huffington Post-type blogs, and Obama himself. But center-right figures were also heard from, including (inevitably) David Frum. If Palin were to save the planet from alien invasion, Frum would have something kind to say for the invaders. But the editors of National Review were also critical in their customary indirect way:

To conclude... that President Obama's favored legislation will lead to "death panels" deciding whose life has sufficient value to be saved - let alone that Obama desires this outcome - is to leap across a logical canyon.

In fact, it's no leap whatsoever, as would be apparent to anyone who has been paying serious attention, as opposed to media-level attention, to the problem of health care. The British National Health Service, the mother of all nationalized health systems, has had what amounts to a "death panel" system since 2005. Under the terms of the Mental Capacity Act, patients unable to communicate with hospital personnel are considered to be "due to die" and are removed from all forms of life support, including food and water. In other words, given the same treatment meted out to Terry Schiavo.

[...]

"Such a system," to quote Governor Palin, "is downright evil." The connection between the Mental Capacity Act and Section 1233 are easily grasped. In this country today, a simple line exists. There are certain things you are not allowed to do. Once that terminus is erased, there is nothing to stop society from sliding into straightforward euthanasia, as has occurred in the UK. Forget any talk about "guidelines" or "safeguards"; they did not help Terry Schiavo, they did not help Ellen Westwood, they did not help the unnamed retarded man dying of starvation in his lonely bed. Quite simply, they are not meant to.

[...]

The impulse toward euthanasia is already active in American culture. Sarah Palin understands this, as Obama, Pelosi, Romney, and sadly, the editors of the National Review do not. Through the elimination of Section 1233, Palin has accomplished more for this country than any of those people ever have or are likely to do. This action will loom very large in the legend of Sarah Palin. From here on, Palin is no longer simply a politician; she's on her way to becoming a historical figure. We await her next actions with fascination.
Read the entire article here.

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The Reagan/Palin Model For Leadership



In a post for therealtycheck.org, Christopher Adamo wrote the following yesterday:

In 1961, Ronald Reagan made an actual LP record of his commentary opposing socialized medicine that is currently being widely circulated throughout the Internet. It is profound in two respects. First, its pertinence, on a point-by-point basis, to the topic in its current form, four dozen years after Reagan discussed it, proves that the principles of right versus left, and conservatism as a safeguard against the liberal deconstruction of America still stand as they always have. Secondly, by his courageous willingness to strike hard at the issue, Reagan contributed to its ultimate defeat.

Fast forward to 2009, and another bold and courageous public figure once again sets the right example. Former Alaska Governor and vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, making good on her promise to carry the torch for conservatism, accurately and bluntly characterized one provision of the socialized healthcare bill as “death panels,” to describe bureaucratic boards empowered to make “end of life” decisions for elderly and acutely ill patients.

When making her pronouncement, Palin could have had no illusions about the tenor of ensuing criticism she received. The liberal media punditry did not temper its scorn for her as it sought on numerous occasions to trivialize and even deny her contention. Yet it quickly became evident that such efforts were not advancements of the liberal standard, but defensive reactions. Barack Obama himself responded, insisting that the characterization was false.

Many contended that no such provisions existed in any form of the bill. In the end however, the “nonexistent” verbiage was removed from the existing version of the legislation.

Clearly, Palin’s bold assessment of this glaring and dangerous aspect of the envisioned government “healthcare” program has hit its mark. It is obvious that America’s senior citizens have heard the alarm she sounded and are responding to it. Sixty thousand seniors have quit the AARP upon their realization of that organization’s undeniably leftist agenda, and nobody can credibly deny Palin’s educating effect on them.

If real America does not lose heart, and continues to express its righteous outrage, the Congress, despite Democrat majorities, will have to listen to the people and this issue can be defeated. Real conservative leadership is needed to stay the course in defeating this as well as every other clammy tentacle of liberal government expansion. Once again, Sarah Palin has shown the way.

Read the rest here.

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Thursday Open Thread



VDH: Little Hope, But Lots of Change Coming

WSJ: New Rx for ObamaCare: Split Bill

NYT: President Calls ObamaCare a ‘Moral Obligation’

WSJ: "Voters aren't stupid. The true reason ObamaCare is in trouble isn't because 'folks aren't listening,' but because they are."

AoSHQ: It's almost like there's a pattern...

NYT: Government Jobs Have Grown Since Recession

Hot Air: Great news: Cash for Clunkers might be out of money again already

Bloomberg: Pimco Says Dollar to Weaken as Reserve Status Erodes

AP: Oil prices jump on surprise draw down of US supply

Reuters: "'The Arctic Sea was carrying something, not timber and not from Finland, that necessitated some major work on the ship,' she wrote in the Moscow Times newspaper on Wednesday."

Times: Man accused of killing Neda Soltan

AP: Voting starts in Afghanistan presidential election

Michael Yon: To Save a Life

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American Fashionista Who Had Media Orgasm Over Obama Sneers At C4P's Palin Video



Diminutive, feisty and incisive New York fashionista Hadley Freeman is one of the hottest media talents on the London catwalk scene. In just a short time the deputy fashion editor of The Guardian has become the chatelaine of chic for the capital’s freewheeling fun loving professional young women who just do not have the time to catch up with the latest trends. So it’s hip Hadley who tells them where it’s at. This year she was able to tell Mairie of Belfast that eyelashes were the new hemlines and Lois of Cambridge that nose waxing was worth a try as well as giving a thumbs down to harem trousers for women and advice about glamping.

Not forgetting her book - really heavy, deep thinking stuff..."The Meaning of Sunglasses"...currently #103,513 in Amazon UK rating (unfortunately Amazon is discounting it).

No doubt about it, Hadley is at the cutting edge of the style scene.

So I waited with baited breath for her take on Seth’s latest video tribute to Sarah Palin – was it yea or nay, was it in or out – the tension was unbearable....

Alas my dreams were shattered – Hadley was not going to recommend it to Mairie in Belfast...

Words may be a journalist's tools but this is one time when mere language cannot convey the genius of this video. However, if you have eaten in the past three hours and wish to be able to eat again at some point today, you are advised to wait and I shall attempt to do some describing. As if the whole healthcare debacle wasn't enough to convince the world that the American right has officially lost the plot, conservatives4palin have put together a movie celebrating their beloved (if now utterly powerless and irrelevant) heroine, all set to the moving strains of R Kelly's The World's Greatest. Because Palin is "the world's greatest". You see? Get it? Just like Kelly is, um, the world's greatest – oh, never mind.

It got worse:

To prove their claim they show Palin repeatedly cracking jokes about how she's wearing her own clothes (as opposed to the ones she made the Republican party spend $150,000 on.) Wow, she's great! And then there's the time she said someone called her a redneck: "I said, 'Thank you'." Great!

Then I started to wonder – was it possible that Hadley is not quite incisive and forensic as she is touted? Palin “powerless and irrelevant”? Then why are Hadley’s left-liberal friends in the US media still hitting on her? Indeed why is Hadley herself bothering to write about her? And how about her research skills? OK she hit the jackpot on her massive in depth investigation of the hot topic that has gripped the attention of ordinary folk across the world “Do models really live on 'coffee, vodka, cigarettes and champagne?” but Palin made the GOP spend $150,000 on clothes? Sources, Hadley? Surely you haven’t just thrown that in after reading it on Kos to sex up your story – no professional hack would do that – would they?

The trouble is young Hadley has form on Palin:

with John McCain or Sarah Palin (not hot, incidentally, just female, and therefore different) we’d have full-on nightmares.

Or this about Governor’s resignation:

There is much to love in this story and, frankly, it's hard to focus on the Palin element, so entranced am I by the existence of a hairdresser's called the Beehive. Do you think that's a reference to their signature "do" (and I feel pretty sure they call it a "do")? Judging from Sarah's favoured tonsorial styles, I think we can safely say "yes".

[- - -]

So I see nothing but good from this story: she resigned to focus on her hair as opposed to any upcoming presidency plans, and she is a little bit like me. In fact, I find myself warming to the woman. Oh. My. Gahhhhhhd!

Miaowwww....little Hadley’s claws are sooooo sharp....but remember, she is coming from the world of fashion where bitchiness is the golden rule – and to be fair if you read her articles she spits venom in all sorts of directions – except one...

Less than a week to go and an intriguing prospect awaits us all. Yes, a real change may be on the horizon. Forget about an improved economy, never mind a foreign policy that actually works—a shift of more seismic proportions is approaching fast: a political leader who is genuinely hot. It’s a simple statement of objective fact: Barack Obama is hot.

Then Hadley morphs from fashionista bitch to simpering schoolgirl...

But Obama, on the other hand, is hot. Oh my God, did you see him dancing on Ellen the other week? That man can move like Timberlake! He is so hot that even if he wasn’t famous you’d find him attractive. Actually, if he wasn’t famous you’d fancy him a lot more. And that’s where the problem lies, really. You can fancy your boss, you can fancy your friend’s dad, but there is something weird about fancying the man you pay taxes to, isn’t there? I mean, it’s kind of like having a crush on your high school principal—just one step too far.

...and then she goes hormonal....

I’m worried about the world’s subconscious. Everyone’s had sex dreams about a famous person, and most people, if they’re honest, have had a sex dream about a politician. Honestly, it’s not that we’re attracted to Gordon Brown, it’s just that we see him all the time on TV. Yes. Honestly. Um, anyway. The point is, imagine how many people are dreaming about Obama every night. Factor in his ubiquity, factor in his probable upcoming role as president, factor in his aforementioned hotness, and I would say it’s pretty much everyone in the whole damn world. Suddenly, on a nightly basis, the whole world is mentally possessed by Barack Obama.

Oh dear – have I gone too far in sharing Hadley’s erotic dreams? Maybe I should have repeated the warning she gave about Seth’s video.

However, if you have eaten in the past three hours and wish to be able to eat again at some point today, you are advised to wait

But you must remember that Hadley comes from Planet Tina so her vacuous musings about fashion and celebrity gossip are camouflaged by a frenetic stream of consciousness style deliberately cultivated to obscure the essential banality of her columns. She is the archetypal “Polly Filler” so often mocked by the British satirical magazine “Private Eye”:

Polly Filler – a vapid and self-centred female "lifestyle" columnist, whose irrelevant personal escapades and gossip serve solely to fill column inches.
Her name is derived from Polyfilla, a DIY product used in the UK to fill holes and cracks in plaster.

Why oh why do lifestyle hacks like Hadley Freeman have so much disdain for Sarah Palin? Maybe they resent the fact that she rose to political power without the benefit of attending a prestigious university (Freeman went to Oxford )....or she has the charisma to attract 20,000 people to a small town in a blue district of New York State just to watch her take part in a charity walk....or that despite unrelenting attacks from the msm and an almost unbroken self imposed exile in faraway Alaska her name has remained at the centre of American politics since the November electoral defeat.

She has also been a woman who has wielded real political power as a mayor and a state governor, breaking corrupt but powerful figures in her own party, balancing budgets, introducing ethics reform and reining in the influence powerful multinational corporations - while Hadley pontificates about torn tights....

Here’s Hadley dissing the governor’s VP nomination:

Personally speaking, as an American woman with a vote, I find Palin's nomination so insulting that, frankly, I'd like McCain more if he told me not to tax my little lady brain with trying to figure out how to fill in the ballot form. It assumes that women voters are so silly and so desperate that all the Republicans need to do is throw a woman – any woman – onto the podium and we'll all squeal excitedly and tick his box. After all, we don't bother with looking at her political record: just look at her long pretty hair! I bet she uses Pantene, too, just like me
.
And this is Hadley Freeman explaining why she does fashion:

Probably the rarely noted reason that it’s a great business to work in if you’re a woman. What other industry is so dominated by strong women who make no apologies for being female, are never made to feel they have to kowtow to the men and where it is a given that women are allowed to be ambitious? Yes, the physical fascism does grate, but it really isn’t as big a deal as people think. Goodness, have you seen some of us fashion journalists? Speaking for myself, we don’t always look so hot, you know.

Hey – I have a great idea. Since Hadley is so much into fashion why doesn’t she use her influence with Vogue magazine to organize a Sarah Palin photo shoot……whoops!! It’s already been done….while she was kicking some political ass in Alaska!

I have another idea – why doesn’t Hadley Freeman do some real journalism in the real world with real people!!! After all The Guardian is losing circulation and money and has a debt almost as big as Obama’s deficit. So here is a contact for your notebook, Hadley…

P.O. Box 7438 Portland, Maine - 04112-7437
Tel: (207) 842-5608
Fax: (207) 842-5609

Yes its “National Fisherman” magazine – they might even ask her to do a little piece similar to this:

Commercial fishermen lauded the November election of Sarah Palin as governor of Alaska. Many said Palin, who fishes a salmon setnet site in Bristol Bay, represents the small guy and is the fishiest governor the state has known since Jay Hammond..

She could even interview Sarah Palin on her boat – but better leave the Lady GaGa eyelashes behind, Hadley – you might find them stuck on someone’s waders....

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Gov. Palin Reports Gifts



From CNN:

As Alaska governor, Sarah Palin last year received a wide variety of unique gifts, according to a supplemental disclosure form submitted to the state government. They included a gun case embroidered with "Sarah" on it sent from Tennessee; a piece of glass elephant jewelry from a California woman, an embroidered cross-stitched blanket entitled "The Special Child" from a Texas woman; and a hand-painted plate with Palin's picture on from a stoneware studio in Kansas.

More here.

The full disclosure form can be found here.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Yeah? Well, Yo' Momma!



Debating health care these days elicits the same kind of response as saying, "Yeah? Well, Yo' Momma!" in New York where I grew up. Just ask Governor Palin. As one who is on the front lines of this debate, through the use of Facebook, she knows all too well what kind of response one can receive when she takes a stand, but she takes it nonetheless.

I just returned from Long Island where I was visiting family the last couple days. I have to tell you--and some of you can relate--there is nothing like watching someone you love grow old and battle illness. It's painful to see deterioration in a person who was once so full of vivacity and strength, once involved in every organization in a 50 mile radius, once incessantly bossing around everyone who was smaller and weaker--and that was all of us. That pain is only magnified when that person is someone who raised you, who made you who you are today. That's what I see when I go home to visit family.

This is my first post for Conservatives for Palin, and already you know more about me than some people I work with everyday, and I want you to hear me as I echo Governor Sarah Palin's heart on this issue.

Seeing my aunt this time brought a plethora of thoughts to my mind. This is due, in large part, to the concerns that have been voiced by the American people regarding President Obama's plan for health care reform. Governor Palin, more than any other, brought to the fore an issue that needed addressing, and, as you know, she did so with a relatively brief statement. As I spent time with my family, I was reminded of one particular aspect of the governor's statement that received quite a bit of attention:

The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

I was hit hard by this the first time I heard it, but it hit me even harder while home with my aunt. I watched her, very much in her right mind, very aware of her surroundings, but certainly not the woman she used to be. What I thought about was this: Do I want the government determining her "level of productivity in society"? Does it have the right to weigh her worthiness to receive care in this her hour of weakness? The answer is unequivocally no. This is a woman who must go to dialysis three times a week. When she returns, she is content to sit in her living room chair, eat scheduled meals, take her medication, and make those around her smile. Is this a sufficient "level of productivity" for people elected to serve in the America that I, like Governor Palin, know and love?

Unfortunately, I don't know the answer to that question anymore--and this is precisely what Palin is saying. We don't know, and we should never have to try to figure it out. Government has no right determining who should have a pill instead of surgery, who has first dibs on that trip to the doctor, and who has exhausted their usefulness and is now ready to receive end of life counseling.

See, where a bureaucrat says my aunt's "level of productivity" has expired, those who love her see a woman who spent her life working her tail off. I see a woman who used up a large part of that life raising other people's children--nieces and nephews--because their parents weren't up to the challenge. I see a woman who came home from one job, cooked for and ate with her family, grabbed the kids (yes, that included me), and went to another job where we cleaned a medical building top to bottom. I see someone who was strict and drove me up a wall, but taught me to be respectful, instilled in me faith in God, encouraged my love for sports, and impressed upon me the value of education--and that is why I, as a teacher and a coach, have been able to do the same in the lives of young people.

So for government to even think about weighing her productivity level now is indeed wrong. It would not just be playing unfairly; it would be playing God--and that's a game it simply cannot win. See, what government may not recognize is that my aunt's productivity is alive and well, even as she sits in that chair, heads to dialysis, or just looks out the window. Why? Because it lives on in the lives she has influenced--people like me, my sister, and my brothers who continue to live out what she poured into us. And our "thank you" to people like her cannot be rationing their health care and putting a monetary value on their lives.

So Governor Palin has hit the nail on the head once again. Many in America do not want President Obama putting his two cents into life and death decisions of people we love. He has tried to refute Governor Palin's comments by saying he would never "pull the plug on Grandma." Pull the plug or not, his apparent desire for government takeover of the health care of people we love is a serious concern. He argues it won't be Yo' Grandma. Maybe not, but will it be Yo' Auntie, as in my case, or Yo' Momma? Again, where I grew up those are fighting words, and that's exactly why Governor Palin came out swinging--and why ordinary Americans are swinging with her.

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No Matter the Spin: If It Looks Like Foreign Oil and Smells Like Foreign Oil, It Is Foreign Oil



Ben Smith at Politico has a story up with quotes from an Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im Bank) spokesman challenging Governor Palin's statement from this morning. The governor's statement questioned why America is loaning $2 billion to Petrobras, Brazil's state-owned oil company, to develop off shore oil resources, when we are not allowed to develop our own. Phil Cogan argues to Politico that Ex-Im doesn't rely on taxpayers' dollars (we'll come back to that in a moment).

Mr. Cogan also said (as paraphrased by Politico) that the bank's central purpose is, "To lend money to foreign companies for the purchase of American goods and services." Indeed, that is in the bank's charter. We could have, what would likely be, a long discussion about the fact that a government corporation is lending money to foreign companies so that they can buy American goods and services, but we'll leave that for another day. For now, well done, Mr. Cogan, you know what's stated in the charter.

Now back to the idea that the bank does not rely on tax money. Ex-Im was first created during the Great Depression, with an appropriation from the U.S. Treasury, in an attempt to increase exports. It has since been chartered as a government corporation (it was last chartered in 2006). Since 2008, it has been "self-sustaining" (much like the Post Office, I suppose).

The loans that it gives to foreign countries and corporations are backed by the American taxpayer. In fact, Fred P. Hochberg, the chairman and president of Ex-Im Bank, said that himself a few days ago in a letter to the editor:

While its financing is ultimately backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, over the past 15 years Ex-Im Bank has returned to the U.S. Treasury in excess of $4 billion more than the cost of operating the Bank. [emphasis added]

The taxpayer is the ultimate backstop. Backing by the federal government gives the bank an advantage over others in similar situations. At the end of the day, the money that the bank is lending is the taxpayers'. As Margaret Thatcher said, "There is no such thing as public money; there is only taxpayers' money."

Ex-Im Bank has, at times, had a rather interesting history lending out taxpayers' money. As Timothy Carney discussed back in 2002:

Conservative lawmakers oppose Ex-Im — a federal agency redistributing wealth from taxpayers to foreign and U.S. corporations — on principle. A few stories about Ex-Im's recent loans and loan guarantees shows clearly the lesson we all know: Any time something really screwed up happens, the government is probably behind it.

As Americans move in and out of energy crises and price spikes, the Jiangnan shipyard in Communist China will have all the juice it needs, thanks to U.S. tax dollars. In 1996, the Clinton administration skirted its way around a law preventing loans to Marxist regimes, and signed off on a $120 million low-interest loan to the China National Nuclear Power Corporation (CNNP).

For this loan to go through, President Clinton had to sign a letter saying the loan was in our national interest. His signature on that letter was interesting in the light of his administration's finding weeks before that CNNP had transferred to Pakistan nuclear-weapons materials.

This loan from taxpayers helped Americans, Ex-Im contended, because the CNNP was building the plant using the goods and services of the Bechtel Corporation, an American-based company. Bechtel, and the family that runs it, have given over $1.5 million in campaign contributions over the last six cycles, giving slightly more to Republicans than Democrats.

And WFAA in Dallas noticed a few interesting loans in 2007:

A News 8 investigation has found that a little known government agency may have unwittingly wasted taxpayers money on top of using the funds to support criminal activity.

The probe originally revealed that small business loans sponsored by the Export-Import Bank of the United States were made to non-existing companies for equipment that wasn't even real.

Now, New 8 has discovered that some of the people who got the Ex-Im Bank loans may have drug connections. The $243 million worth of bad loans were originally made to help trade with Mexico.

And a 2002 piece from, believe it or not, Bernie Sanders:

Here are a few examples of your Ex-Im taxpayer dollars at work:

The Export-Import Bank has provided an $18 million loan to help a Chinese steel mill purchase equipment to modernize its plant.This Chinese company has been accused of illegally dumping steel into the United States--exacerbating the crisis in our steel industry.

Since 1994 the Ex-Im Bank has provided $673 million in loans and loan guarantees for projects related to the Enron Corporation, leaving taxpayers exposed to $514 million.The bank approved a $300 million loan for an Enron-related project in India even though the World Bank repeatedly refused to finance it because it was "not economically viable."

The bank is subsidizing Boeing aircraft sales to the Chinese military.According to the president of Machinists' Local 751: "Boeing used to make tail sections for the 737 in Wichita, but they moved the work to a military factory in Xian, China.Is this Boeing's definition of free trade, to have American workers compete with Chinese labor making $50 a month under military discipline?"

The bank insured a $3 million loan to help General Electric build a factory where Mexican workers will make parts for appliances to export back to the United States.This project is responsible for the loss of 1,500 American jobs in Bloomington, Indiana.

And on and on it goes.The bottom line is that if the Export-Import Bank cannot be reformed so as to become a vehicle for real job creation in the United States, it should be eliminated.American citizens have better things to do with their money than support an agency that provides welfare for corporations that couldn't care less about American workers.

And early in this administration, Ex-Im Bank settled a claim accusing the bank of providing financial assistance to oil and other fossil fuel projects without first evaluating the projects' global warming impacts. In its settlement agreement, Ex-Im Bank agreed to evaluate the carbon dioxide emissions as part of its determination for qualification for a project.

We look forward to seeing that.

All of this is not to say that the loan to Petrobras is shady (though Gateway Pundit and Bret Baier both note something interesting), in fact, IBD noted a few upsides to the loan.

The larger point, however, is that the American taxpayer is now backing a $2 billion dollar loan to a foreign country to do things that we could be allowing and encouraging the private sector to do here. As IBD stated in their editorial:

[T]he question remains: Why must we go so far and spend so much taxpayer money to drill oil when we could unleash our private sector to do it here for free ?

[...]

At the center of it is energy security. If lending money to Brazil for oil is a good idea, isn't freeing our own companies to develop America's vast reserves an even better one?

You'd think, wouldn't you? But instead of helping ourselves reach energy independence by allowing off shore drilling in the United States and opening areas like ANWR for exploration, we're going to lend money to drill to Brazil.

The Obama administration would have us believe that they are stimulating the U.S. economy by loaning $2 billion to Brazil to develop their resources, while simultaneously denying companies the opportunity to develop resources in the U.S. If Obama's aim is to create wealth and jobs in America then the IBD explains why he's going about it incorrectly:

As noted in a recent study by the American Energy Alliance, an industry research group, developing our offshore energy resources would create in the coming years:
• $8.2 trillion in additional GDP.
• $2.2 trillion in total new state and federal tax revenues.
• 1.2 million new jobs at high wages.
• $70 billion in added wages to the economy each year.

All this for doing nothing other than letting oil companies do what they do best: Find and develop potential energy sources.

Add to this the potential from opening the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge's 10 billion-plus barrels of oil to potential development, and the 20 billion barrels or so in Alaska's Chukchi Sea, and there's an awful lot of easy stimulus to be had.

Whatever benefit the American economy would receive from the loan to Brazil is insignificant when compared to the direct and substantial stimulus developing U.S. resources would provide. As Governor Palin alluded to in her statement, it's hypocritical for Obama to maintain that he wants to stimulate the economy while not pursuing resource development in the United States that would create trillions of dollars in wealth and millions of jobs. Obviously the U.S. government recognizes the economic viability of resource development, otherwise they wouldn't have made the loan to Petrobras.

So, in a few years, we'll be no closer to energy independence and we'll have missed out on the economic benefits of resource development on and off our own shores, but we can buy some oil from Brazil. Fantastic.

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