Monday, November 30, 2009

Huckabee on the left, II

Maurice Clemmons, currently sought in the execution-style murders of four police officers, would still have been in prison on a 108-year sentence except that Gov. Huckabee (R-AK) commuted his sentence. This was one of several controversial pardons by the former governor.

Huckabee's policies as governor were often more left than right. (He has sometimes been called a pro-life liberal.) I had previously discussed his foreign policy ideas which were based on inappropriate childhood analogies, something that is common on the left.

I'd buy this guy a tank of gas!

From one of those circulating e-mails:

Hat tip: Rob.

Obama has no trouble making decisions, except when they're hard

James Taranto provides the details.

"Obama, Obama, you are either with us or with them,"

So chanted Iranian pro-democracy demonstrators last Nov. 4 on the 30th anniversary of the seizure of the American embassy. Dr. Foud Ajami, noted author and a professor at Johns Hopkins University, says that the pro-democracy side was disappointed with Obama's answer:
By not responding to these cries and continuing to "engage" Tehran's murderous regime, his choice was made clear.
Dr. Ajami also reports that reality has caused Pres. Obama to back down from his campaign pledge to solve the Kashmir problem:
[Obama] was quick to assert, in the course of his exuberant campaign for president last year, that his diplomacy in South Asia would start with the standoff in Kashmir. In truth India had no interest in an international adjudication of Kashmir. What was settled during the partition in 1947 was there to stay. In recent days, Mr. Obama walked away from earlier ambitions. "Obviously, there are historic conflicts between India and Pakistan," he said. "It's not the place of the United States to try to, from the outside, resolve those conflicts."
In another disappointment, Obama's apology tour to the middle east has failed to make friends:

It was the norm for American liberalism during the Bush years to brandish the Pew Global Attitudes survey that told of America's decline in the eyes of foreign nations. Foreigners were saying what the liberals wanted said.

Now those surveys of 2009 bring findings from the world of Islam that confirm that the animus toward America has not been radically changed by the ascendancy of Mr. Obama. In the Palestinian territories, 15% have a favorable view of the U.S. while 82% have an unfavorable view. The Obama speech in Ankara didn't seem to help in Turkey, where the favorables are 14% and those unreconciled, 69%. In Egypt, a country that's reaped nearly 40 years of American aid, things stayed roughly the same: 27% have a favorable view of the U.S. while 70% do not. In Pakistan, a place of great consequence for American power, our standing has deteriorated: The unfavorables rose from 63% in 2008 to 68% this year.

Dr. Ajami explains why a policy of apologies fails to earn respect:

Steeped in an overarching idea of American guilt, Mr. Obama and his lieutenants offered nothing less than a doctrine, and a policy, of American penance. No one told Mr. Obama that the Islamic world, where American power is engaged and so dangerously exposed, it is considered bad form, nay a great moral lapse, to speak ill of one's own tribe when in the midst, and in the lands, of others.

The crowd may have applauded the cavalier way the new steward of American power referred to his predecessor, but in the privacy of their own language they doubtless wondered about his character and his fidelity. "My brother and I against my cousin, my cousin and I against the stranger," goes one of the Arab world's most honored maxims. The stranger who came into their midst and spoke badly of his own was destined to become an object of suspicion. [Emph. added]

Jimmy Carter similarly committed a "great moral lapse" when he abandoned the Shah of Iran, an American ally, in favor of Ayatollah Khomeini ("the saint") and it did not earn him Khomeini's respect.

It is going to be a long four years.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of Obama's Iran policy:
Iran accepts Obama's surrender
Obama angers Iran

PREVIOUSLY, on the general subject of Obama's foreign policy:
Obama gets an education
Krauthammer on a roll
Obama's go-it-alone foreign policy: Russian edition
Obama alienates Germany
Obama's charm offensive not working
Obama snubs Brazil
Obama insults Britain
On Iran's nuclear program, Obama abandons cooperation with Europe
Obama antagonizes India

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Penn State to investigate its global warmist Mann, or not

Dr. Michael Mann became famous as the creator of the "hockey-stick" temperature plot that was highlighted by the UN IPCC in an attempt to prove global warming. In the wake of the release of the East Anglia e-mails (AKA ClimateGate or WarmerGate), the National Post reports that Penn State will investigate Mann:
Penn State University has announced that it has begun an investigation of the work of Michael Mann, the director of its Earth System Science Center, following revelations contained in the Climategate documents that have emerged from East Anglia University in the UK.
How far will this investigation go? To answer, let's consider the last time that Mann got himself in trouble. I mentioned above that he created the famous "hockey-stick" temperature plot in 1999. In 2004, it was exposed that Mann's analysis was riddled with mathematical errors. As a consequence, Congress asked the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to review the subject of the Earth's temperatures over the past 2,000 years. While the NAS report (PDF) covered a lot of territory, I want to highlight just one illustrative point. The hockey stick plot relied, in part, on temperatures inferred from tree rings, a speciality of another scientist made famous by ClimateGate: Dr. Keith Briffa of the University of East Anglia. There are two issues with tree rings: (a) do they really reflect temperature, as opposed to, say, rainfall, and (b) have we examined tree rings on enough trees that it is a statistically significant reflection of global temperature. Here is how the National Acedemies summarized their answer to the second question:
To prevent the risk that a single tree ring chronology could reflect the influence of localized nonclimatic influences (Fritts 1976, Trotter et al. 2002), dendroclimatic reconstructions often rely on networks of site chronologies. Regional tree ring networks typically have strong intersite correlations (e.g., Hughes et al. 1984, Figure 2), and continental-to-hemispheric-scale networks are able to reproduce synoptic-scale climatological patterns (Fritts 1991, Briffa et al. 2002).
In other words, they accepted Briffa's word that he had included enough trees. However, subesequent research showed that (1) the number of trees used by Briffa was indeed very small, and (2) Briffa's entire "global warming" effect is the result of the inclusion of a single tree, designated YAD061.

Why didn't the NAS investigation undercover such a huge flaw? There are two reasons: (i) it would have been an ungentlemanly insult to ask a colleague to produce his raw data and code, and (ii) even if they did ask, it is likely that no one on the NAS committee had the either the time or the interest to pursue it to the level required to expose the fraud/error. So it will likely be with the Penn State investigation of Mann: it will likely be gentlemanly and superficial and nothing interesting will be found.

The NAS was aware of the problem of irreproducible climate results and did, in their gentlemanly way, ask that data and code be released:
Peers should have access to the information needed to reproduce published results, so that increased confidence in the outcome of the study can be generated inside and outside the scientific community. Other committees and organizations have produced an extensive body of literature on the importance of open access to scientific data and on the related guidelines for data archiving and data access (e.g., NRC 1995). Paleoclimate research would benefit if individual researchers, professional societies, journal editors, and funding agencies continued to improve their efforts to ensure that these existing open-access practices are followed.
Seemingly because they were aware that their data did not support their conclusion, the Mann, Briffa, and other global warmists refused to follow the NAS suggestion, appearing going so far as to stonewall legal freedom-of-information act requests. Only because of ClimateGate has the University of East Anglia reversed course and offered to do as the NAS asked (but only after claiming to have "lost" key data).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

More suppression of dissent

Two unrelated items illustrate how the left prefers to deal with dissent:
  1. Criticism of Islam is not allowed at Princeton or Columbia. As Human Events writes:
    Nonie Darwish, the executive director of Former Muslims United and author of Cruel And Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law, was scheduled to speak at Columbia and Princeton last week, but both events were canceled under pressure from Muslim groups on campus.

    Darwish, a soft-spoken ex-Muslim and daughter of an Islamic martyr, is a champion of the rights of women and non-Muslims in Islamic societies, and leader of the group Arabs for Israel. She had been planning to speak on “Sharia Law and Perspectives on Israel.” She is one of the few courageous voices who speak out against Islamic anti-Semitism and the oppression of women under Sharia.
    Prior to 9-11, the politically correct opinion would have been that women's rights were more important than religious sensibilities. Now, that has reversed, provided that the religion is Islam.

  2. Global warmists claim to represent the consensus despite the thousands on scientist who are on record as disagreeing with them. In "Three Things You Absolutely Must Know About Climategate," Iain Murray reviews the e-mails surrounding the dismissal of a journal editor for disagreeing with the politically-connected global warmists:
    In 2005, Michael Mann said that there was a “fundamental problem w/ GRL now,” referring to the journal Geophysical Research Letters published by the American Geophysical Union (AGU), because “they have published far too many deeply flawed contrarian papers in the past year or so” and “it is probably best to do an end run around GRL now where possible.” Tom Wigley responded that “we could go through official AGU channels to get him [the editor of GRL] ousted” (1106322460). A few months later, the editor of GRL having left his post, Mann comments, “The GRL leak may have been plugged up now w/ new editorial leadership there” (1132094873).
PREVIOUSLY on the issues of dissent and free speech:
Obama sells out free speech
Physicians' group to sue Obama administration over suppression of dissent
Canada's liberals oppose free speech
Free speech and its enemies
University upset at free speech
The Right of Free Speech, Selectively Applied
Tolerating free speech, IV
Tolerating free speech, III
More on tolerating free speech
Those who cannot tolerate free speech

Monday, November 23, 2009

A refusal to think

The Democrats position on treating international terrorism as if it were an issue for domestic criminal courts is, to those who think about the issue, clearly irrational. Democrats avoid that problem by choosing not to think as illustrated here by Speaker Pelosi at a press conference last week:
Hat tip: GatewayPundit.


Obama gets an education

While it is too soon to be sure, it appears that Pres. Obama may be learning from experience. At Der Speigel, Gabor Steingart writes of Obama's failures and the signs that he may be learning from them:
Although Obama did not lose face in China and Japan, he did appear to have lost some of his initial stature.

In Tokyo, the new center-left government even pulled out of its participation in a mission which saw the Japanese navy refueling US warships in the Indian Ocean as part of the Afghanistan campaign. In Beijing, Obama failed to achieve any important concessions whatsoever. There will be no binding commitments from China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A revaluation of the Chinese currency, which is kept artificially weak, has been postponed. Sanctions against Iran? Not a chance. Nuclear disarmament? Not an issue for the Chinese.

The White House did not even stand up for itself when it came to the question of human rights in China. The president, who had said only a few days earlier that freedom of expression is a universal right, was coerced into attending a joint press conference with Chinese President Hu Jintao, at which questions were forbidden. Former US President George W. Bush had always managed to avoid such press conferences. ....

Obama's new foreign policy has also been relatively unsuccessful elsewhere, with even friends like Israel leaving him high and dry. For the government of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, peace is only conceivable under its terms. Netanyahu has rejected Obama's call for a complete moratorium on the construction of settlements. As a result, Obama has nothing to offer the Palestinians and the Syrians. "We thought we had some leverage," says Martin Indyk, a former ambassador to Israel under the Clinton administration and now an advisor to Obama. "But that proved to be an illusion." Even the president seems to have lost his faith in a genial foreign policy. The approach that was being used in Afghanistan this spring, with its strong emphasis on civilian reconstruction, is already being changed.

Now, for the signs that Obama may be learning, he cites changes in Obama policy toward Iran and Korea:
An end to diplomacy is also taking shape in Washington's policy toward Tehran. It is now up to Iran, Obama said, to convince the world that its nuclear power is peaceful. While in Asia, Obama mentioned "consequences" unless it followed his advice. This puts the president, in his tenth month in office, where Bush began -- with threats. "Time is running out," Obama said in Korea. It was the same phrase Bush used against former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, shortly before he sent in the bombers.
Mr. Steingart may be over-optimistic. it seems unlikely that Pres. Obama could lose his naivety in only ten months while ex-Pres. Carter has not lost his in three decades. Separately, there are no signs that Obama is moderating his even more disastrous domestic agenda. For example, Obama is showing no signs of a course correction on his medical takeover despite it having reached a new low in popularity with Rasmussen finding that voters oppose it by 56% to 38%. Obama campaigned as the candidate of hope and, so it is: all we can do is hope that he is learning.

Hat tip: Jules Crittenden.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Soviet emigre fears for our future

My friends who believe in Obamacare tend not to have experienced government-run medicine or maybe they have a story about someone having been in a British hospital once and having survived. At Tea Parties, there are often many Soviet emigres who react with horror to the idea that any successful country, such as the US, would want to go down that path voluntarily. At the Tea Party Patriots Farmer Relief & Freedom Relay in San Jose Saturday, Elena from the Ukraine was one such emigre:

Do we, in the US, want to be, seventy years from now, where the USSR is today? Why are we even thinking about going in that direction:
The rest of my report and photos of this Tea Party are here.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of local protests and tea parties:
Tea Party breaks out in Palo Alto (Nov. 21)
To protest Obamacare, San Francisco holds a sick-in (Nov. 15)
A Tea Party greets Obama in San Francisco (Oct. 15)
Videos of the October 15 San Francisco Tea Party
San Franciscans speak to Nancy Pelosi (Aug. 14)
The San Francisco Tax Day Tea Party Protest in Pictures (Apr. 15)
Rep. Eshoo's health care town hall (Sep. 2)
Rep. Speier's town hall meeting (Aug. 23)
Million man Tea party

Farmers protest in San Jose

California farmers know the way to San Jose and, on Saturday, many met there to protest at a Tea Party Patriots Farmer Relief & Freedom Relay:California's lush central valley has been turned into a dust bowl by environmentalists who insist that a 2" smelt fish is more important than the farmers or the food that produce which feeds the rest of us. Farmers want their water turned back on:
Many farmers made the connection between this regulatory overreach and the rest of the Obama agenda:
The subject of Obamacare also came up at this rally. This man makes the point that there are only two certainties in Obamacare: death and taxes.
This woman had a sign with a creative analogy. Democrats are attracted to the promise of "free" health care in the same way that mice are attracted to the free cheese when they approach a mouse trap:
Pres. Obama has pursued many "urgent" action items. The stimulus bill was so important that it had to be passed before any could read it. The Senate just voted to proceed on Reid's version of Obamacare without enough time to read the bill. Yet, while soldiers are fighting and dying in Afghanistan, Obama cannot be bothered to decide on a policy. It makes me furious and, apparently, I'm not the only one:

Lastly, the LaRouche Democrats showed up: you can recognize them by the Obama-with-Hitler-mustache posters:

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of local protests and tea parties:
Tea Party breaks out in Palo Alto (Nov. 21)
To protest Obamacare, San Francisco holds a sick-in (Nov. 15)
A Tea Party greets Obama in San Francisco (Oct. 15)
Videos of the October 15 San Francisco Tea Party
San Franciscans speak to Nancy Pelosi (Aug. 14)
The San Francisco Tax Day Tea Party Protest in Pictures (Apr. 15)
Rep. Eshoo's health care town hall (Sep. 2)
Rep. Speier's town hall meeting (Aug. 23)
Million man Tea party

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tea Party breaks out in Palo Alto; UPDATE: police called in

Obama may have beaten McCain by by 41% in Palo Alto, California, but that didn't stop a Tea Party from breaking out there today. The occasion was the Stanford -Berkeley game, a major local event attracting tens of thousands of alumni and football fans to the Stanford University stadium here in Palo Alto. Outside the stadium, they were greeted by a tea party:

Some of the liberals took offense, claiming for example that death panels were "lies," but things generally remained civil. The one exception was when a mild-mannered but hungry protester went to a nearby restaurant for sustenance. He was refused service asked to leave because he had with him an anti-Obamacare sign.

This event was organized by the Silicon Valley 9-12 Project.

MORE: Our protester explains that a security guard had noticed him while he was walking through the shopping center in search of food. When he sat down, it was too much and the guard had to call for backup:
"I put my sign down on an outside table and ordered my meal. The female guard looked at my sign and got on her radio to call for security-guard backup."
It was after he left the restaurant and sat on a low retaining wall outside to enjoy his repast that two security guards confronted him, demanding that he leave. As he was comfortable where he was and also aware of his rights, he declined. Because a single individual with an anti-Obamacare sign was too much for these two security guards, they called the police. One officer came to the scene and then another. The second officer told our intrepid protester that he would have to leave. Still aware that, under California law, a shopping arcade is "quasi-public property" and that he had a right to sit there with sign and taco, he bravely refused. The two officers then conferred and, with the help of an iPhone, examined the precedents under California case law (Yes, Palo Alto is a university town). They determined that the controlling legal authority was the US Supreme Court's Pruneyard Decision which gave our hero the right to finish his lunch where he was, with his sign, and in peace. He enjoyed the taco.

There are some things every Tea Party protester should know and one of them is the Pruneyard Decision.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of local protests and tea parties:
To protest Obamacare, San Francisco holds a sick-in (Nov. 15)
A Tea Party greets Obama in San Francisco (Oct. 15)
Videos of the October 15 San Francisco Tea Party
San Franciscans speak to Nancy Pelosi (Aug. 14)
The San Francisco Tax Day Tea Party Protest in Pictures (Apr. 15)
Rep. Eshoo's health care town hall (Sep. 2)
Rep. Speier's town hall meeting (Aug. 23)
Million man Tea party

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The KSM trial, illustrated

Chip Bok explores the possibilities:
Attorney General Holder's defense of using civilian trials, along with reaction to it, was discussed here. A CNN poll showed that even Democrats oppose the use of civilian trials for 9-11 suspects, as was discussed here.

Harvard's Dean of Medicine opposes Obamacare

Dr. Jeffrey S. Flier, an endocrinologist and Dean of the Harvard Medical School, explains how much damage he thinks Obamacare will do to our health system:
In discussions with dozens of health-care leaders and economists, I find near unanimity of opinion that, whatever its shape, the final legislation that will emerge from Congress will markedly accelerate national health-care spending rather than restrain it. ....

Worse, currently proposed federal legislation would undermine any potential for real innovation in insurance and the provision of care. It would do so by overregulating the health-care system in the service of special interests such as insurance companies, hospitals, professional organizations and pharmaceutical companies, rather than the patients who should be our primary concern.
PREVIOUSLY on Obamacare:
Rahm Emanuel explains that they are not even trying have Obamacare make sense
Harvard economist explains why Obamacare will raise premiums
HHS says Obamacare will cause costs to go up and cause employers to drop coverage
Polls say majority of voters oppose Obamacare

Another Obama Treasury Dept. tax cheat

Taxing our way to health care

Americans for Tax Reform has a list of tax increases in the Senate Democrat health bill.  The Democrats plan to tax individuals, employers, over-the-counter medicines, HSA accounts, drug manufacturers, medical device manufacturers, and cosmetic surgery.

Key witness to torture of Iranian democracy protesters dies under mysterious circumstances

AP reports:
An Iranian doctor who went public with reports of tortured protesters he treated at Tehran's most feared detention facility dies, amid conflicting reports of a heart attack, a car accident or suicide — raising opposition accusations that the 26-year-old was killed.
According to the New York Times, it is said that the 26-year old Dr. Ramin Pourandarjani was the "only independent witness to be able to corroborate the charges of torture." (When Iran tortures, it is real torture, not the panties-on-the-head torture or she-touched-my-thigh torture that excites American liberals.)

Hat tip: Atlas Shrugs.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jesse Jackson is a racist

The Hill reports:
The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Wednesday night criticized Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) for voting against the Democrats’ signature healthcare bill.

“We even have blacks voting against the healthcare bill,” Jackson said at a reception Wednesday night. “You can’t vote against healthcare and call yourself a black man.” [Emph. added]

Hat tip: The Snooper Report

PREVIOUSLY on racism:
"The city wasn't ready to hire a white police chief."

Holder defends civilian trials for war criminals

Although Attorney General Holder has admitted that the "9/11 attacks were ... an act of war," he has still chosen to prosecute the terrorists in civilian court as if they were mere criminals. He has presented a defense of sorts of this decision. Holder claims for example:
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will have no more of a platform to spew his hateful ideology in federal court than he would have in military commissions
Andrew C. McCarthy, whose experience includes the prosecution of the Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman among others for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, explains otherwise:
That's ridiculous. KSM was ready to plead guilty and be executed eleven months ago. Whatever soapbox he was going to have, he'd largely already had, and while we'd have had to let him speak before sentence was imposed, that would have been the end of it. Now, he's going to get a full-blown trial — after combing through the discovery for a couple of years and after putting the Bush administration under the spotlight.
The idea that President Obama is happy to have Al Qaeda terrorists and their sleazy lawyers spending years doing discovery on what we know about Al Qaeda is deeply disturbing.

Mr. McCarthy also takes on seven other points made by Holder. Read the whole thing.

"I believe this decision is dangerous. I believe it's misguided. I believe it is unnecessary" —Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
"We're making bad history here. The big problem I have is that you're criminalizing the war. ... I think you've made a fundamental mistake here." —Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

MORE: John Hinderaker's analysis of the insanity of fighting a war by civilian court standards is here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

University study finds Fox more fair and balanced than ABC/CBS/NBC

Dr. S. Robert Lichter of George Mason University studied bias in news coverage of the 2008 presidential race and found that liberals are right that Fox covered Obama much more negatively that the three broadcast networks. However, that is what makes Fox's coverage more fair and balanced:

NetworkCoverage of ObamaCoverage of McCain
ABC/CBS/NBCPositive by 68 to 32%Negative by 64 to 36%
FoxNegative by 64 to 36%Negative by 60 to 40%

So, while Fox was negative on Obama, it was negative on McCain by about the same margin. By contrast, the fringe media (ABC/CBS/NBC) were one-sidedly in favor of The One.

The CMPA study compared the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news shows with the first half hour of Fox News Channel's Special Report, a program which resembles its broadcast news counterparts. CNN and MSNBC were omitted because neither has any straight news coverage in the evening.

Hat tip: NewsBusters

RELATED: Newsweek no longer pretends to be unbiased but that doesn't stop its bias from being offensive and sexist. UPDATE: Stretching credibility to the breaking point, a Newsweek editor claims that the Newsweek Palin cover wasn't "sexist."

Democrats attack their own patriotism

Remember when BusHitler's military commissions were shredding the constitution? That is now so last year, as CNN reports:

Two-thirds of Americans disagree with the Obama administration's decision to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a civilian court rather than a military court, according to a new national poll. ....

"The decision to bring Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in front of a civilian court is universally unpopular - even a majority of Democrats and liberals say that he should be tried by military authorities," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. [Emph. added]

It seems that Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) didn't get the memo: He is still claiming that anyone who skeptical of Obama's plan to try the Al Qaeda bigwigs in civilian court is "un-American."

Hat tip: Astute Blogger.

Jim Lavery illustrates the Obama-Moran mindset:RELATED: One of the many problems of civilian trials of terrorists is the type of defense lawyer that is attracted to the cause, as Michelle Malkin details.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

To protest Obamacare, San Francisco holds a sick-in

Liberals hold sit-ins. When protesting Obamacare, a 'sit-in' didn't seem appropriate: a 'sick-in' did. Carrying with them their crutches, bandages, and fake blood, a crowd gathered today by the Ferry Building in San Francisco to protest what Obamacare would do to our health.
The building on the left above is the Ferry Building. The suspension bridge in the background on the right is the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Below is another shot of the crowd looking in the other direction:One woman made a point that I had to agree with: "If you're not outraged, then you are not paying attention":In the background above is one of SF's well recognized symbols, the clock tower on the SF Ferry Building, which can also be seen below in the portrait of a zombie:
If you watch movies, you know that zombies are nearly indestructible. This zombie makes the point that even he would get ill if he had to depend on PelosiCare.

The protester below, with the bandaged but still bleeding (fake) head wound, used a chart of the bureaucracies to be created by ObamaCare to explain what many think is the real agenda of Obamacare: it is an SEIU jobs program.
Another protester, also braving an Obamacare-induced head wound, made a related point about Obamacare being not a reform but a takeover:
During the campaign, candidate Obama famously said that matters of life and death were "above his paygrade." Now, as president, Obama seems all too happy to decide what medical care grandma deserves:This sign reminds us that Obamacare is part of the Obama deficit spending spree:The point of having a 'sick-in' is, of course, to emphasize that government-medicine will kill you:
If the "unbiased" media considers the people who value freedom of choice in healthcare to be an "angry mob," then this protester was proud to be a member of that mob:Actually, she is a very nice grandmother but don't let the "unbiased" reporters hear that.

As the protest went on, a double-decker tour bus went by:I suspect that the last thing that the tourists in that bus expected to see was conservatives and libertarians protesting in San Francisco.

This protest was organized by the San Francisco Bay Area Patriots.

WELCOME to Michelle Malkin readers! Thanks also to Bookwormroom, The Snooper Report, and Newsvine for their links.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of local protests and tea parties:
A Tea Party greets Obama in San Francisco (Oct. 15)
Videos of the October 15 San Francisco Tea Party
San Franciscans speak to Nancy Pelosi (Aug. 14)
The San Francisco Tax Day Tea Party Protest in Pictures (Apr. 15)
Rep. Eshoo's health care town hall (Sep. 2)
Rep. Speier's town hall meeting (Aug. 23)
Million man Tea party

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rahm Emanuel on the Obamacare disaster

After reviewing several methods for lowering health care costs and noting that the White House plans to use none on them, James Capretta writes:

And so what’s the White House response to this alarming state of fiscal affairs? As recounted in the Times piece, Emanuel blames the limits of politics. “Let’s be honest,” Emanuel apparently stated in a recent interview. “The goal isn’t to see whether I can pass this through the executive board of the Brookings Institution. I’m passing it through the United State Congress with people who represent constituents.”

That’s exactly right of course. But it’s also an indictment of the entire Obamacare enterprise. The health-care bills under consideration would hand over to the federal government nearly all power for organizing American health care. And yet there is not a shred of evidence that Congress or the administration can handle these tasks well.

MSNBC reports fake news

From NewsBusters:
On Friday's edition of Morning Meeting, host Dylan Ratigan featured fake photos of Sarah Palin during a mocking segment on why Americans are fascinated with the former vice presidential candidate. While listing the show’s top ten reasons, Ratigan showed a doctored photo of Palin’s head on the bikini-clad body of a woman holding a weapon.
These photos were not new: Snopes labeled them as fakes over a year ago.

RELATED:  The New York Times attacks Sarah Palin's new book as a "payback hit job."   John Hinderaker has more on the Times' snarkiness.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Who is Meg Whitman?

Meg Whitman is running for governor of California as a Republican. Who is she? For one, she is a "huge fan" of Marxist ex-czar Van Jones:
It is also reported that the 53-year old e-Bay billionaire did not register to vote until 2002 and did not register as a Republican until 2007.

UPDATE: Meg Whitman, through her campaign, has responded to the Van Jones video:
“My husband and I met him and many others on a cruise sponsored by National Geographic and The Aspen Institute. He talked about supporting job growth in California, but of course I did not do a background check of his past over dinner. As these reports have surfaced, it’s clear that he holds views that I entirely reject; any suggestion otherwise is ridiculous.”
That may be but I would prefer a Governor who could spot a con-man without needing a full background check.

MORE: Meg Whitman's campaign donations have been overwhelmingly to Republicans, by $212,101 to Republicans against $10,000 to Democrats. Her contributions to Democrats, however, were not to moderates: she gave to Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Rep.Gary L. Ackerman (D-NY), and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). These contributions all occurred before her decision to become a Republican in 2007.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Obamanomics fail

According to Bloomberg news, Kevin Griffis, a spokesman for U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, says the Obama administration is working hard to saving US jobs:

“This administration has made a significant commitment to U.S. manufacturing, including reforming the country’s health insurance system to bring down costs and make American companies more competitive globally,” Griffis said. [Emph. added]

What do US manufacturers think of that? Emerson Electric Co. makes electrical equipment, including the well-known InSinkErator
garbage disposals, and has an annual sales of $21 billion.  Emerson Chief Executive Officer David Farr explains the predicament that Pres. Obama has created for him:
“Washington is doing everything in their manpower, capability, to destroy U.S. manufacturing,” Farr said today in Chicago at a Baird Industrial Outlook conference. “Cap and trade, medical reform, labor rules.” ....

"What do you think I am going to do?” Farr asked. “I’m not going to hire anybody in the United States. I’m moving. They are doing everything possible to destroy jobs.” [Emph. added]
Hat tip: Instapundit.

NY23 race grows tighter

Althought polls seemed to show conservative Hoffman leading in the special election for New York's 23rd district, election night results showed a decisive victory for Democrat Owens. Now, as the count continues, the race appears to be tightening. Hoffman has not yet decided to contest the race officially.

That the US cannot count ballots better than this is a real scandal.

UPDATE: Hoffman has un-conceded and would win, according to the Hill, if he receives 65% of the uncounted absentee ballots. (H/T Instapundit.)

Harvard economist explains why Obamacare will raise premiums

The people in Congress seem to know nothing about how insurance actually works. Martin Feldstein, who is a professor of economics at Harvard University and the president emeritus of the nonprofit National Bureau of Economic Research, explains what should be obvious about the insurance market. In the Washington Post, he writes:
A key feature of the House and Senate health bills would prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to anyone with preexisting conditions. The new coverage would start immediately, and the premium could not reflect the individual's health condition.

This well-intentioned feature would provide a strong incentive for someone who is healthy to drop his or her health insurance, saving the substantial premium costs. After all, if serious illness hit this person or a family member, he could immediately obtain coverage. As healthy individuals decline coverage in this way, insurance companies would come to have a sicker population. The higher cost of insuring that group would force insurers to raise their premiums. (Separate accident policies might develop to deal with the risk of high-cost care after accidents when there is insufficient time to buy insurance.)

The higher premium level would cause others who are currently insured to drop coverage, pushing premiums even higher. The result would be a spiral of rising premiums and shrinking numbers of insured.

In an attempt to prevent this, the draft legislation provides penalties for individuals who choose not to buy insurance and for employers that do not offer health insurance. But the levels of these fines are generally too low to cause a rational individual to insure.

Consider: 27 million people are covered by health insurance purchased directly, i.e. outside employer-based plans. The average cost of an insurance policy with family coverage in 2009 is $13,375. A married couple with a median family income of $75,000 who choose not to insure would be subject to a fine of 2.5 percent of that $75,000, or $1,875. So the family would save a net $11,500 by not insuring. If a serious illness occurs -- a chronic condition or a condition that requires surgery -- they could then buy insurance. Since fewer than one family in four has annual health-care costs that exceed $10,000, the decision to drop coverage looks like a good bet. For a lower-income family, the fine is smaller, and the incentive to be uninsured is even greater.
At the San Francisco Obamacare tea party last October 15, I listened to many liberals explain that insurance companies' treatment of pre-existing conditions was evil. Yet, when asked, none appeared to have thought about (a) how consumers would behave if insurance had to be granted regardless of pre-existing conditions, and (b) how that would require insurance rates to change. Pelosi and the House's other 219 supporters of Obamacare seem just as clueless.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

More suppression of dissent at EPA

Two lawyers at EPA say that the cap-and-tax bill currently in Congress will work poorly. They produced a video explaining their position. Their video clearly states that they are presenting their personal opinions: "Nothing in this video is intended to represent the views of the EPA or the Obama administration." That, however, wasn't good enough. The EPA is threatening them with disciplinary action. The New York Times reports:
The Environmental Protection Agency has directed two of its lawyers to makes changes to a YouTube video they posted that is critical of the Obama administration’s climate change policy.

The agency, citing federal policies, told the two lawyers, Laurie Williams and Allan Zabel, who are married and based in San Francisco, that they could mention their E.P.A. affiliation only once; must remove language specifying Mr. Zabel’s expertise and their years of employment with the agency; and must remove an image of the agency’s office in San Francisco.

They have been told that if they do not edit the video to comply with the policy, they could face disciplinary action. [Emph. added]
Under Obama rules, EPA employee Mr. Zabel loses the right to his own resume!

Their video does not dispute anthropogenic global warming. Their argument is merely that cap-and-trade is an ineffective and counter-productive approach for dealing with CO2 emissions. The EPA attack on their video began after the Zabel and Williams published an op-ed on cap-and-tax in the Washington Post.

Hat tip: Michelle Malkin

EPA silences economist and CO2 skeptic Dr. Alan Carlin
Environmentalists kill geese to prevent the geese from polluting the environment.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Democrats and Taxes

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that yet another prominent Democrat was caught cheating on this taxes:
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums and his wife failed to pay more than $239,000 in taxes over a three-year period and have had a lien slapped on their property by the Internal Revenue Service, public records show.

Dellums, 73, and his wife, Cynthia, 55, who acts as his unpaid adviser, are named in an IRS lien filed with the Alameda County recorder's office Oct. 14. A lien naming Ron Dellums was also filed Oct. 22 in Washington, D.C., where he lived for more than 30 years as a member of Congress and a lobbyist.

The Alameda County lien says the couple failed to pay $124,198 in federal income taxes in 2005, $66,554 in 2006 and $48,246 in 2007, the year Dellums took office as mayor.

Mayor Dellums' city is also financially mis-managed:
A city report projects a deficit of $18.9 million in Oakland's general fund by the end of the 2009-10 fiscal year because of revenue shortfalls and some overspending from July through September.

What it means is more painful budget cuts for a city that faced an $83 million budget deficit going into the fiscal year and had to cut an additional $8.1 million out of the general fund at the end of July.

Prior to being mayor, Ron Dellums served in Congress where he had the distinction of being "the first avowed socialist in Congress since World War Two."

Clearly, Pres. Obama should take notice and appoint Dellums to be one of his czars.


Sen. Daschle caught not paying taxes
Rep. Charlie Rangel and unpaid taxes
57% of those who describe themselves as "very liberal" think it OK to cheat on taxes.
Taxes, Sen. Al Franken, Sen. Paul Wellstone, and Clinton's AG nominees
The rules apply only to other people

Friday, November 06, 2009

Obama's war on science

A huge number of scientists are on record as being skeptical of global warming hysteria. Pres. Obama does not consider their views to be legitimate, as he explained in a speech last month:

The naysayers, the folks who would pretend that this is not an issue, they are being marginalized.  But I think it's important to understand that the closer we get, the harder the opposition will fight and the more we'll hear from those whose interest or ideology run counter to the much needed action that we're engaged in.  There are those who will suggest that moving toward clean energy will destroy our economy -- when it's the system we currently have that endangers our prosperity and prevents us from creating millions of new jobs.  There are going to be those who cynically claim -- make cynical claims that contradict the overwhelming scientific evidence when it comes to climate change, claims whose only purpose is to defeat or delay the change that we know is necessary.

So we're going to have to work on those folks.

Stalin declared that the science of genetics was considered 'bourgeois.'  In the USSR, it was replaced by a Marxist theory of biology ('Lysenkoism').  In the US, over 30,000 scientists have publicly signed this petition skeptical of global warming.  Will Obama succeed in "marginalizing" them? Or, will he have to go "to work on" them?

RELATED: Patrick J. Michaels comments on the same speech here Separately, the EPA suppressed a report by Dr. Alan Carlin that was skeptical of the Obama administration's global warming claims.  The NY Times' defense of the EPA is here.

Scientists failing to back Al Gore
More fraud in Global Warmist research?
Obama and the triumph of ideology over science
Global Warming and Cooling in Review
Global warming and the test of science, III
Global Warming and the test of science II
Global warming and the test of Science
NASA hypes false warming data
Science v. Gore

PBS says its attack on Fox News was wrong

PBS used its Government-subsidized Sesame Street children's show to attack Fox News as "trashy."  PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler says:
Broadcasters can tell parents whatever they think of Fox or any other network, but you shouldn’t do it through the kids.

White House war on Fox News continues

As those who watch it know, Fox News attempts to present both sides. This is done in part by having Democrats and Democratic consultants on to discuss issues. The Obama White House objects to this. They want Democratic consultants to stay off Fox, apparently in the hope that that will make Fox appear biased. The LA Times reports:
One Democratic strategist said that shortly after an appearance on Fox, he got a phone call from a White House official telling him not to be a guest on the show again. The call had an intimidating tone, he said.

The message was, " 'We better not see you on again,' " said the strategist, who spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to run afoul of the White House. An implicit suggestion, he said, was that "clients might stop using you if you continue."

In urging Democratic consultants to spurn Fox, White House officials might be trying to isolate the network and make it appear more partisan.

A boycott by Democratic strategists could also help drive the White House narrative that Fox is a fundamentally different creature than the other TV news networks. ....

But Patrick Caddell, a Fox News contributor and a former pollster for President Carter, said he has spoken to Democratic consultants who have been told by the White House to avoid appearances on Fox. He declined to give their names. ....

Caddell added: "I have heard that they've done that to others in not-too-subtle ways. I find it appalling. When the White House gets in the business of suppressing dissent and comment, particularly from its own party, it hurts itself." ....

Fox's viewership is not what worries the White House, though. More troubling to White House aides is that other news organizations may uncritically follow stories that Fox has showcased. [Emph. added]
The White House denies making such threats to consultants.

Hat tip: Anonymous commenter.

PREVIOUSLY on the Democrat's war on Fox News:
Possible WH endgame in war on Fox
Obama's war on Fox, updated
Obama's war on Fox
Fox News and Obama's Nixonesque enemies list
Obama White House has time to demonize Fox but not to work on Afghanistan
Rep. Sanchez (D-CA) proposes making dissent illegal

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Obama vs. Fox; Also MediaMatters caught again

In the Wall Street Journal, Glenn Reynolds explains how Pres. Obama may be setting the ground work for prosecuting Fox News under campaign finance laws:

Bert Gall and Robert Frommer of the Institute for Justice have made a compelling case that the Obama administration's word choice is quite significant. They think that by branding Fox as something other than a "legitimate news organization," the White House is actually setting up a more brutal attack using campaign finance laws. News media organizations are exempt from campaign-finance laws' speech regulations. But if Fox is not a "legitimate news organization," then federal election authorities might be able to argue that its political speech can be regulated like that of any other non-news corporation.
Over at MediaMatters, Eric Boehlert concludes that Prof. Reynolds argument is "So dumb it hurts." How does Mr. Boehlert reach that conclusion? He uses dishonest editing.

PREVIOUSLY on Media Matters for America:
MediaMatters caught dishonestly editing Glenn Beck
Unbiased MSM gets its "truth" from Media Matters for America

PREVIOUSLY on the Democrat's war on Fox News:
Obama's war on Fox, updated
Obama's war on Fox
Fox News and Obama's Nixonesque enemies list
Obama White House has time to demonize Fox but not to work on Afghanistan
Rep. Sanchez (D-CA) proposes making dissent illegal

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Barack Obama loves you!

At Gotham Avenue School, Fifth graders sing for their class performance:
We believe in Barack Obama
He loves you and he loves your mama
We believe in Barack Obama, yeah
With all the change he’s building
Gonna bring hope to the children
We believe in Barack Obama, yeah
BigHollywood has the video along with 10 other school songs. Among them is Powell Elementary School where the children sing:
Barack Obama there is none higher
Other politicians should call me sire
To burn my kingdom you must use fire
I create change till I retire!

Democratic Party come correct
Nothing like non-partisan education!

Why is this creepy?  Those of us who went to school when schools taught history, not Democrat-worship, remember that a turning point in Germany occurred when officials were required to swear an oath not to Germany, not to its government, but to Hitler personally.  Of course, Obama is no Hitler.  But, that, alone, doesn't mean that history lessons should be forgotten.

Hat tip: Ed Driscoll.

Are House Democrats racist?

Consider this:

The House ethics committee is currently investigating seven African-American lawmakers — more than 15 percent of the total in the House. And an eighth black member, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), would be under investigation if the Justice Department hadn’t asked the committee to stand down.

Not a single white lawmaker is currently the subject of a full-scale ethics committee probe

If the people involved were not Democrats, a quota-obsessed liberal would consider that ratio to be proof of racism.  But then quota-obsessed liberals are usually wrong.

Last week, the ethics committee opened full investigations into Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA),  Rep. Rangel (D-NY) is the subject of two investigations.  One of those investigation regards allegations that he accepted corporate money to pay for Carribean travel.  Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI), Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS.), Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ), and Rep. Del. Donna Christensen (D-Virgin Islands) are also being investigated for similar travel issues.

Hat tip: Legal Insurrection

More than half of US HUMINT on al-Queda came from detainee interrogations

Through FOIA, Judicial Watch has obtained more CIA reports confirming the importance of interrogations:

Notably, the June 1, 2005 report concludes that "Detainee reporting accounts for more than half of all HUMINT reporting on al-Qa'ida since the program began..." ....   All three reports conclude: "One of the gains to detaining the additional terrorists has been the thwarting of a number of al-Qa'ida operations in the United States and overseas."

It is no wonder that Pres. Obama did not want us to see these reports.

This new information is consistent with an even more astonishing statement that Vice President Cheney made during an interview on ABC News regarding the success of waterboarding of senior al Qaeda terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM):
“There was a period of time there, three or four years ago, when about half of everything we knew about al Qaeda came from that one source [KSM]. So, it's been a remarkably successful effort. I think the results speak for themselves.”
Pres. Obama is still promising to close the military prison in Guantanamo Bay:
"We are going to close Guantanamo. We are serious about this."

Everyone working for bin Laden must be breathing a sigh of relief.

Monday, November 02, 2009

How to buy a vote

If you are in a close race and election day arrives and you still need some more votes, you ask yourself: how much does a vote cost? From Hoboken, New Jersey, we have an answer: $10. John Fund explains the details:
In 2007, a former Hoboken zoning board president noticed a group of men outside a polling place being given index cards by two people. One of the loiterers later tried to vote in the name of a voter who had moved out of the area. When challenged by the former zoning board president, he ran out of the building and was caught. He later admitted to police he was part of a group from a homeless shelter who had been paid $10 each to vote using the names of other people.
Of course, if you want to avoid the risk of the derelicts getting caught like that, absentee ballots seem to be the preferred method for modern vote fraud, as explained below.

UPDATE with new lower price: The Ohio state Democratic party chairman is trying to put a stop to Athens County Democratic Party Chair Susan Gwinn's alleged attempt to pay students $5 to vote. Athens County authorities are investigating while a spokesman for Ohio University College Democrats denies misconduct.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of vote fraud:
NJ Dems demand equal rights for fraudulent voters
Nevada accuses ACORN of 39 felonies
Three Obama supporters plead guilty
Another ex-ACORN worker pleads guilty
An insider's guide to vote fraud

NJ: the fix is in

At the Wall Street Journal, John Fund reports that ACORN and affiliates are active in this year's close NJ governor's race:
Plenty of reasons exist for suspecting absentee fraud may play a significant role in tomorrow's Garden State contests. Groups associated with Acorn in neighboring Pennsylvania and New York appear to have moved into the state. An independent candidate for mayor in Camden has already leveled charges that voter fraud is occurring in his city. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party in New Jersey is taking advantage of a new loosely written vote-by-mail law to pressure county clerks not to vigorously use signature checks to evaluate the authenticity of absentee ballots, the only verification procedure allowed.

The state has received a flood of 180,000 absentee ballot requests. On some 3,000 forms the signature doesn't match the one on file with county clerks. Yet citing concerns that voters would be disenfranchised, Democratic Party lawyer Paul Josephson wrote New Jersey's secretary of state asking her "to instruct County Clerks not to deny applications on the basis of signature comparison alone." Mr. Josephson maintained that county clerks "may be overworked and are likely not trained in handwriting analysis" and insisted that voters with suspect applications should be allowed to cast provisional ballots. Those ballots, of course, would then provide a pool of votes that would be subject to litigation in any recount, with the occupant of New Jersey's highest office determined by Florida 2000-style scrutiny of ballot applications.

Absentee voter fraud is in danger of becoming a hardy perennial in New Jersey. Atlantic City Councilman Marty Small and 13 campaign workers were indicted in September on charges of conspiring to commit election fraud using absentee ballots. One worker pleaded guilty last month. In Newark, five campaign workers were indicted in August on charges involving absentee ballot fraud.

Victor Negron, a campaign adviser for independent mayoral candidate Roberto Feliz, a former director of Camden's public works department, says he's shocked that more than fifteen times the normal number of voters are casting absentee ballots in Camden this year. In the 2005, when the city's voters voted for both governor and mayor on the same day, only 200 absentee ballots were cast. This year, some 3,700 have already been received. At least four voters have approached the Feliz campaign to complain that an absentee ballot was sent to them without their permission or cast for them without their understanding the documents they were signing. .... [Emph. added]

UPDATE: Allegedly, Mark Allen of Galloway Township, NJ, reports that NJ election officials told him that a fraudulent absentee ballot was submitted in his name.

PREVIOUSLY on the subject of vote fraud:
NJ Dems demand equal rights for fraudulent voters
Nevada accuses ACORN of 39 felonies
Three Obama supporters plead guilty
Another ex-ACORN worker pleads guilty
An insider's guide to vote fraud

Metallica proud of its music's message to Gitmo terrorists

While other bands are currently in the news opposing Gitmo, remember that Metallica's lead vocalist had a different take on the meaning of the use of their music at Gitmo. From Revolver Magazine:
Metallica frontman James Hetfield recently told German-language TV network 3sat that part of him was proud the U.S. military chose the band’s music to torture prisoners at U.S. detention centers in Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay. “It’s strong; it’s music that’s powerful,” Hetfield says. “It represents something that they don’t like—maybe freedom, aggression… I don’t know… Freedom of speech."
It seems that the White House will have to expand its enemies list.
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