Saturday, January 29, 2011

Inflammatory Language Has Not Ceased and Should Not be Banned by Government; New Car for Harry Reid; We Pay Congressional Interns' College Loans; Termination of Taxpayer Financing of Presidential Campaigns; Former SEIU Attorney Now on Labor Relations Board, Another OBama Radical Appointment

Newsbusters opines: What's with the New York Times and its inability to practice what it preaches when it comes to avoiding gun-filled images and rhetoric?  A few days ago I noted how the Times had placed a bullet-riddled ad for a violent video game right on its online op-ed page.
Now comes this Times headline: "Republicans’ Budget Man Draws Fire".  That is of course a metaphorical invocation of someone who by his actions invites an enemy to shoot at him.  The article's subject was Republican congressman Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman and budget hawk who will be giving the GOP response to Pres. Obama's SOTU.  To complete the martial metaphor, the article, by Jennifer Steinhauer and David Herszenhorn, also describes Ryan as "the Republican point man" on budget cuts.  A point man is of course the soldier at the lead of a patrol, hence most likely to be shot.

Conservative Outpost writes about those who are decrying "inflammatory" language: They are the same people who had entire organizations dedicated to spreading hate and violence filled rhetoric about George W. Bush and said nothing while supporters publicly fantasized about his assassination. They had no comment about pictures (for sale by Getty Images) of a gun pointing at the head of a Sarah Palin cutout, or
comments among their supporters wishing she were gang raped.

There was no national hand wringing when Montel Williams suggested that Republican congresswoman Michelle Bachmann should slit her wrists, or even cut her own throat. Or when the New Black Panther
Party produced a rap song with the lyrics “bang for freedom”, “put the bang right into a cracker’s face”, etc. Or when pro-gay marriage demonstrators vandalized eighteen businesses in Santa Cruz.
Some emails making the circuit are just too good not to share: New car for Senator Reid

Sen. Reid goes to a local GM dealer in Washington , D.C. with the intention of buying a brand new vehicle. Harry looks around and finds one he likes. After going back and forth with the salesman, Harry settles on a price of $45,000. 

Harry and the salesman go back to the office to complete the paperwork. Harry works out a 4-year payment plan, and signs on the bottom line.  The salesman shakes Harry's hand and says, "Thanks Senator Reid, the car will be ready for pickup in 4 years."
Harry says, "What are you talking about?  Where are the keys to my new car?"

The salesman replies, "No, you don't understand Senator. You make payments for 4 years... THEN we give you the car.  You know, just like your health plan".
Harry, with a choking voice, says to the salesman, "But that's not fair". 
And the salesman says, "No kidding!"
From [While denying that Congressional family members do not have to pay their student loans, this organization revealed another fact:] Some full-time congressional staffers participate in a student loan repayment program that helps pay back a portion of student loans. No more than $60,000 in the House and $40,000 in the Senate can be forgiven and only if the employee stays on the job for several years.  [Wow!  Now we know how to get for our children a free college education - get them a job in Congress for just 2 years of work at inflated salaries!  This is what we are now going to be doing, I presume, for the American Idol contestant who just graduated from Harvard and is now a White House intern who adores Barack Obama.  Well, perhaps this perk does not go to a White House intern.....]

The resolution to reduce Federal spending and the deficit by terminating taxpayer financing of presidential election campaigns and party conventions has passed the House, 239-160. Find out how your representative voted here:

House Chamber The resolution Reducing Non-Security Spending to Fiscal Year 2008 Levels or Less has passed the House, 256-165.!/HouseChamber

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- writes:In his few months at the National Labor Relations Board [an appointment by our President after Congress refused to approve his appointment], Mr. Becker, former associate general counsel for the Service Employees International Union, has refused to recuse himself from most cases involving his former employer. This despite the fact that Mr. Becker signed the Obama Administration’s vaunted ethics pledge, in which he promised to refrain for two years from participating in “any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to my former employer.”
In true lawyerly fashion, Mr. Becker is now running for the loopholes, arguing that the SEIU proper is a “distinct legal entity” that is different from local SEIU unions. Having liberated himself from that legal barrier, Mr. Becker says he intends to continue judging disputes that feature local SEIU shops. He even convinced the NLRB’s inspector general—who was asked to investigate one of the failure-to-recuse cases—to buy the separate legal entity line.
The Wall Street Journal slammed Obama recess appointee Craig Becker last August for participating in cases before the National Labor Relations Board involving his former employer, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU):
The Hill writes: The Senate kicked off a series of stacked votes that would alter the Senate rules for the 112th Congress with a 92-4 vote to end the practice of secret holds.
“This legislation deals with a sweeping, almost unparalleled power,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said on the floor prior to the vote. “If you want to exercise that extraordinary power, you ought to do it in the sunlight.”
Secret holds allowed a senator to anonymously object to legislation or the approval of a nominee. [The four no votes were from Republicans Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Jim DeMint (R- S.C.), and John Ensign (R-Nev.)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Creative Republicans; I Guess This is Michelle M'Belle's Administration; More Than 700 Waivers; CBO Distortions; Waivers to be Investigated; More on the Birth Certificate

[As proof that Republicans are getting creative, here is an interesting concept, which is already being called unconstitutional by Democrats.]

BOISE, Idaho – Republican lawmakers in nearly a dozen states are reaching into the dusty annals of American history to fight President Obama's health care overhaul.
They are introducing measures that hinge on "nullification," Thomas Jefferson's late 18th-century doctrine that purported to give states the ultimate say in constitutional matters.
GOP lawmakers introduced such a measure Wednesday in the Idaho House, and Alabama, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Oregon, Nebraska, Texas and Wyoming are also talking about the idea.
CNS News reports: First lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday said she was “thrilled” to announce a new program that asks U.S. businesses to allow employees to spend part of the work day volunteering with young people. The program will be run by the federal agency tasked with overseeing volunteerism in the United States.
“We want to do things big,” Obama said, but did not spell out details about the challenge.
My Administration has already begun this work with dramatic new investments in education, health care and clean energy – investments that will create new jobs and lay the foundation for lasting prosperity. But we cannot do this alone here in Washington.
Other members of the Obama administration participating in the Mentoring summit included Attorney General Eric Holder, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  [I am personally outraged that Michelle Obama said the words "MY administration"  And here I thought her husband is the President of the United States.  We should be mightily afraid of her "new investments" and the coming plans for "her" Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). As if businesses don't already have enough expenses, now our government wants them to pay people to work somewhere else while being paid by them?  Thanks sounds about right. I have heard Obama speak about how it is the federal government which should control charitable donations, perhaps taking from us our deductions for our charitable donations.  Do you doubt this?  See below.] 

Here, directly from the HHS website, believe it or not: Helping Americans Keep the Coverage They Have and Promoting Transparency [We are being taken for a ride, America!]

Helping Consumers Keep their Coverage
As of today, a total of 733 waivers have been granted for 2011.  Key facts about annual limits waivers:
  • There was an increase in the number of applications received at the end of 2010 because December 1 was the final day to apply for a waiver for a plan or policy year that begins on January 1 – as many plans do. Over 500 waivers were granted in December.  While the number of approved waivers increased by more than 200 percent, the total number of enrollees in plans receiving waivers has increased by only 48 percent since the previous posting.  HHS periodically posts the list of the plans that have been granted waivers to ensure the public is aware of the waiver process and stakeholders understand how they are affected.     [When will YOUR company get a waiver?  Perhaps after you send a big campaign donation to the Democrats?]
  • -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • A Youtube video shows: Representative John Campbell of California, in a House Budget Committee hearing on Thursday, questioned Medicare's Chief Actuary about the double counting of monies for Obamacare.  Saving you the 6 mins. to watch, here is what was said: 

    1) During the CBO accounting, the $100 per person tax for Medicare was counted upon to prop up Medicare and to also reduce the deficit - an impossibility.

    2) The consequences of the planned reduced payments to doctors serving Medicare patients was not accounted for: providers will exit the market, doctors will refuse to take medicare patients, & doctors will retire early.

    3) These occurences will cause some "not very pleasant consequences": patients won't be able to find a doctor and local hospitals will not treat Medicare patients.

    4) "We do not model those secondary scenarios" [in doing the CBO numbers which Democrats tout as saving billions of dollars for American tax payers.]


    US News Money writes: [Speaking of those awful insurance companies, did you know that]: overall, the profit margin for health insurance companies was a modest 3.4 percent over the past year, according to data provided by Morningstar. That ranks 87th out of 215 industries and slightly above the median of 2.2 percent. By this measure, the most profitable industry over the past year has been beverages, with a 25.9 percent profit margin. Right behind that were healthcare real-estate trusts (firms that are basically the landlords for hospitals and healthcare facilities) and application-software (think Windows). The worst performer was copper, with a profit margin of minus 56.6 percent.
    United Health Group points out: The industry has done an amazing job of negotiating price reductions with providers without sacrificing quality, access, and timely treatment.
  •  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • CNS News writes: The Obama administration’s waivers to temporarily exempt certain companies, unions, and charities from rules established by the new health care law are a “perfect example of special interests” having influence in the administration and will be looked into  by Congress, Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee told "You’re going to find out that by the president doing that with the secretary of HHS, he violated one of his main principles when he ran for office--and that was that special interests were not going to have an in in his administration.
  • ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • Yahoo News reports: Five Hawaii Democratic representatives want to pass a law making President Barack Obama's birth records public and charge $100 to see them. The bill, introduced this week, would change a privacy law barring the release of birth records to anyone unless they have a tangible interest.
    The measure hasn't been scheduled for a public hearing yet, and can't move forward until that happens.
    Its primary sponsor, Rep. Rida Cabanilla, says she wants to end the controversy surrounding Obama's birth by handing over official state records to those who will pay.  [By the way, there is plenty of information available on the internet concerning threats being made in 2008 to not discuss the birth issue, or lose your job.  It's bad for Obama when Democrats see how important it is to finally have the truth.  It is a problem with a simple solution, and Obama has spent nearly $1million to hide the truth from us.  Was he born in America, were his parents Americans, and just who was his father?  Did he go to college under a scholarship for foreign students, and when he went to Pakistan, what was the citizenship listed on his passport?]
    World New Daily writes: Arizona may have the most advanced plan, but 10 of the United States – controlling 107 Electoral College votes – are now considering some type of legislation that would plug the hole in federal election procedures that in 2008 allowed Barack Obama to be nominated, elected and inaugurated without providing proof of his qualifications under the U.S. Constitution. 
    According to officials with the National Conference of State Legislatures, 10 states already have some sort of eligibility-proof requirement plan.
    There is Arizona's HB2544, Connecticut's SB391, Georgia's HB37, Indiana's SB114, Maine's LD34, Missouri's HB283, Montana's HB205, Nebraska's LB654, Oklahoma's SB91, SB384 and SB540, and Texas; HB295 and HB529.
    Led by Texas with 34, the states control 107 Electoral College votes.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

When Dictatorships Thrive; Earmarks Good for Reid; Some States to Demand Proof of Eligibility Prior to Putting Candidates on Ballot; The Blessing of Self Government; Opps! He Misspoke on Obama's Birth Certificate; Kiss Your Charitable Donation Tax Break Good-bye; A Presidency to Nowhere

El Universal out of Caracas wrote: Any Venezuelans who believe that President Hugo Chávez has committed a crime and resort to the Attorney General Office to seek prosecution of the Venezuelan president will go from complainant to defendant, as provided for in two judgments issued by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ).
The Supreme Tribunal of Justice authorized the Public Prosecution Office, led by Luisa Ortega Díaz, to dismiss two cases filed by Henry Ramos Allup and Rafael Marín, two leaders of Venezuelan opposition party Acción Democrática (Democratic Action); and by retired Navy Vice Admiral Iván Carratú and retired Colonel Pedro Soto against Chávez. Additionally, the top court "instructed" the Public Prosecution Office to "initiate a criminal investigation against the complainants."
ABC News writes: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told ABC News that earmarks will return to Capitol Hill despite President Obama's vow in last night's State of the Union to veto any spending bill that includes them. In an interview with ABC's Jonathan Karl, Reid launched a vigorous defense of pork, the pet projects that members of Congress insert into bills to benefit their home states. "I think it's taking power away from the legislative branch of government and giving it to the executive branch of government," Reid said of the president's plan.
World Net Daily reveals: It could be a game-changer.
A plan in Arizona to require presidential candidates to prove their eligibility to occupy the Oval Office is approaching critical mass, even though it has just been introduced.
Within ten days after submittal of the names of the candidates, the national political party committee shall submit an affidavit of the presidential candidate in which the presidential candidate states the candidate's citizenship and age and shall append to the affidavit documents that prove that the candidate is a natural born citizen, prove the candidate's age and prove that the candidate meets the residency requirements for President of the United States as prescribed in article II, section 1, Constitution of the United States.
WTMJ4 of Milwaukee reported on Rand Paul's speech following the SOTU:  "There is no doubt the President came into office facing a severe fiscal and economic situation.
Unfortunately, instead of restoring the fundamentals of economic growth, he engaged in a stimulus spending spree that not only failed to deliver on its promise to create jobs, but also plunged us even deeper into debt.
The facts are clear: Since taking office, President Obama has signed into law spending increases of nearly 25% for domestic government agencies – an 84% increase when you include the failed stimulus. 
All of this new government spending was sold as “investment.”  Yet after two years, the unemployment rate remains above 9% and government has added over $3 trillion to our debt.
Then the President and his party made matters even worse, by creating a new open-ended health care entitlement.
So I’d like to share with you the principles that guide us.  They are anchored in the wisdom of the founders; in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence; and in the words of the American Constitution.
They have to do with the importance of limited government; and with the blessing of self-government.  [We Americans must be vigilant in order to keep it.]
USNews writes: President Obama's agenda spelled out in his well-received State of the Union address would boost spending an additional $20 billion and lead to higher taxes, according to a line-by-line analysis from the National Taxpayers Union Foundation. [See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.]

Fox New reports: A celebrity journalist now claims he misspoke when he said last week that Hawaii’s governor told him he was unable to find President Barack Obama’s original birth certificate after a search of state and hospital archives.
Mike Evans told on Wednesday he was remorseful and embarrassed that he appeared to have given the impression that he had discussed the search for Obama’s birth certificate with Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie. [For the record, he "appeared to have given the impression" by forthrightly saying he had been told.  Funny how that works.  And no one should be surprised that "someone" forced him to change his statement when our government is filled with Chicago thugs who know how to get the job done.]

The Chronicle of Philanthropy writes: A high-level committee that offered a plan for reducing the federal government's debt today issued a proposal that would radically change the way the tax code treats charitable gifts.
The proposal would essentially eliminate the charitable tax deduction.
In its place, all donations made by federal taxpayers would qualify for a 15-percent tax credit. But instead of that credit going to the taxpayer, it would be given to the charity receiving the donation in the form of a matching grant from the Internal Revenue Service.  [So, we generous Americans will cease to donate and then the government will become the distributor of our tax dollars to charity.  Aren't we in debt already?]

A Presidency to Nowhere - Dan Henninger of the Wall Street Journal: 

No president before Barack Obama has been so right and so wrong. When in his State of the Union speech Mr. Obama said, "This is our generation's Sputnik moment," citing the emergence of global competition from the likes of China and India, he was right. Minutes later he proposed to cover the country with high-speed rail and companies making solar shingles. High-speed rail and solar shingles? If that's the president's idea of meeting our Sputnik moment, then Houston, we have a problem. About halfway into the speech, I began to wonder: What is John Boehner thinking?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

State of the Union Address;Government by Executive Order; "The" Austerity Committee; Democrats Want New Rule to Decide Who is Subpoened; Defunding the UN Relief Agency; Cass Sunstein Subpoened

[I admit to not being able to watch our President's address to the nation.  So I include here the thoughts of some dependable news outlets who have commented on the speech.  I quote foreign papers because we were assured that the world would love our new President.]
The UK Telegraph wrote: Tonight’s remarkably dull State of the Union address was dominated by President Obama’s heavily flawed vision for reviving the American economy, with plans that remain overwhelmingly mired in an outdated Big Government mentality, and which spectacularly failed to include a coherent strategy for eliminating America’s massive $14 trillion debt.
But the State of the Union is also traditionally a major opportunity to project US leadership on the world stage, and once again Obama has fallen short.
In 2010 I gave the president an F for the foreign policy section of his lacklustre first State of the Union address. His 2011 address was certainly no better. For the second year running, President Obama has demonstrated that he is no world leader, and frankly has little interest at all in foreign policy.

A newly created Superintendence of Costs and Prices seeks to control the profits of private companies, said Noel Álvarez, the president of the Venezuelan Federation of Trade and Industry Chambers (Fedecámaras), Venezuela's main business association. "It appears that the only goal of this agency is to control corporate profits and prices of goods and services," the business leader added.
Fox News wrote about some of his statements, among other things: 
His most hypocritical: "Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans’ paychecks are a little bigger today."
These were tax cuts he opposed up until the very final moment when it became clear he had no real choice but to pass, largely because of an informed electorate. But the truth was he had desired to eliminate those cuts since his days on the campaign trail.
His most ridiculous: "This is our generation’s Sputnik moment."
This analogy was bad from the start. "Sputnik" was the failed first effort of the Soviets. Americans should not, and will not want a 'Sputnik moment'."
His most tired: "We’ll invest in... especially clean energy technology"
Will he relaunch a cap-and-trade pursuit? It appears as though these types of ideas were roundly defeated in November.
His most dishonest: "We passed reform that finally prevents the health insurance industry from exploiting patients."
His first promise he will likely break: "If a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, I will veto it." 
JewishWorldReview writes: What a bother having to deal with Congress, public opinion, elections, the whole complicated web that the Founders in their antiquated vocabulary referred to as the consent of the governed.
How much simpler to pass your own laws. Just call them executive orders or administrative rules, official regulations, whatever designation applies. Hesto, presto, a provision nixed after long hours of tedious debate and much public furor can be enacted by arbitrary decree. It's so much quicker that way, and nobody needs to know. At least till the public wakes up.
In place of the messy, unpredictable democratic process, let an expert make the decisions. No fuss, no muss, no votes, not even a discussion. Just a decision. Problem solved. There, see how easy that was? Who needs all those old checks and balances, anyway? They just get in the way and upset people. Knowing what's going on so often does.

Fred Barnes writes: This [the House Energy and Commerce Committee] will be the austerity committee in the House of Representatives. .  .  .Said Michigan's Fred Upton: " If you want to spend money on an entitlement, you need to pay for it with a mandatory spending reduction. .  .  . You may have a great idea for a new program. That’s fine. Just tell us how you will pay for it by reducing spending.
"The committee will no longer consider bills that authorize spending of “such sums as may be necessary.” [With that] we simply cede discretion to the appropriators. Well, no more. .  .  . Every program the committee authorizes or reauthorizes must have a sunset.
"The committee will no longer consider commemorative legislation. We all support motherhood and apple pie and successful collegiate sports teams. I would submit that none of us needs a congressional resolution to prove it. We as members and our staffs have bigger and better things to do." Upton, 57, first elected to the House in 1986, has morphed into a ferocious conservative reformer with his selection as a committee chairman.
Which leads us to the Republican hearings strategy. It elevates the role of House committees and makes their public hearings the chief vehicle for attracting attention to the wrongheadedness of Obama’s policies and—to a lesser extent, I suspect—the virtues of Republican alternatives.

The Daily Caller writes: Top GOP oversight official Rep. Darrell Issa is responding forcefully to a push by his foil on the House oversight committee to give Democrats input on which congressional subpoenas he issues, including the ability to force a committee vote on subpoenas. Issa’s saying the proposal would grant Democrats “unprecedented new powers to obstruct oversight.”
The issue is crucial because the power of congressional subpoena – now held by Issa as the incoming oversight committee chairman – grants Republicans almost unlimited authority to access documents of the Obama administration and compel testimony by key officials.
Cummings is proposing a new rule for the committee that would require Issa to request his concurrence to every subpoena issued. If concurrence were not granted, the minority could force a full committee vote on whether to issue the subpoena. Cummings says this would codify the practice of past oversight committee chairman. [As Barack Obama famously said after being elected: "I won".  Poor leadership and elections have consequences.]
Read more:
Big Peace writes: The House Foreign Affairs Committee will hold hearing today on “The United Nations: Urgent Problems that Need Congressional Action,” including recommendations to stop funding the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Perhaps now that the U.S. debt crossed 14 Trillion dollars, would be a good time to stop funding this corrupt organization that fosters the Palestinian “refugees” problem and funds Hamas.
Spectator writes: Controversial 'energy and environment czar' Carol Browner, a former commissioner of the Socialist International who was appointed to a non-existent position to avoid Senate confirmation testimony, is stepping down from her post.
Rumors that this move is calculated to avoid testifying under oath to a House oversight committee are of course being circulated by people who know precisely what they are talking about.
Politico writes: House Republicans have summoned the White House regulatory chief to be the first administration official to appear before the Energy and Commerce Committee this year.
Cass Sunstein, administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, will be called next Wednesday to field questions from the Oversight Subcommittee about President Obama’s new executive order on regulatory review, Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) told reporters Thursday.
That order – issued this week – calls for a government-wide review of federal rules and regulations with the goal of eliminating those that stifle job creation and economic growth.  [I admire the courage and the research of Glenn Beck.  You should know that for good reasons, he considers Cass Sunstein to be the most dangerous man in America because of his far left beliefs.  I'm sure George Soros would then be number two.  I will be addressing this man and his influence on the world this year.]

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

More Government Jobs in Health Care; Government Jobs in Detroit; Defunding the UN Human Rights Council; We Pay for Fannie and Freddie Lawsuits Against Law Breakers; The Chinese Pianist at the White House;

The LA Times writes: Provided it survives legal and legislative challenges, the health care reform law extends insurance coverage to 30 million Americans. And aging baby boomers are expected to double the population of elderly by 2030. Will we have enough doctors to accommodate them?

A June 2010 report issued by the American Assn. of Medical Colleges says no. In a model that accounts for the influx of newly insured patients, increasing utilization of doctor visits, decreases in physician working hours, modest growth of the resident workforce and greater use of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, a 130,600-physician shortage is anticipated by 2025, half of which will be primary-care doctors.

Even now, it can be challenging to find a primary-care doctor accepting new patients, and the current estimated shortage is only 7,400. Imagine the task in 2025. Few realize that these residency programs are mostly funded through Medicare and other government programs, and since 1997, the number of federally supported positions — and thus the annual number of freshly credentialed doctors — has been capped by Congress. Universal healthcare will succeed only if there are enough physicians to render it. [Well - that is one solution to the problem!  There just won't be enough doctors - so that will be like having death panels, won't it? Our waiting time to see a doctor will rival those of any country with Socialized Medicine.],0,1134878.story
The Denver Post: The Obama administration has become so concerned about the slowing pace of new drugs coming out of the pharmaceutical industry that officials have decided to start a billion-dollar government drug development center to help create medicines.
The health and human services secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, sent a letter to Congress on Jan. 14 outlining the plan to open the new drug center by October — an unusually rapid turnaround for an idea first released with little fanfare in December.  [This fits right in with Obama's belief that it is the government who should be the job provider.]
Read more: Federal agency to spearhead new drug-development center - The Denver Post
The Detroit New writes: The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is wringing its hands over the state of the city in a recent tidbit that bemoans the steep "Detroitification" of...well, Detroit.
Apparently coined a few years ago by some other guy at the Mackinac Center, the term "Detroitification" refers to the so-called "hollowing out" of private industry to, as the piece puts it,  "prop up" an unsustainable government.
Jan. 21, Michigan Capitol Confidential: In Detroit's case, six of the top 10 employers are not private businesses at all, but government entities: public schools, the city government, the U.S. government, Wayne State University, the State of Michigan and the U.S. Post Office.  [Overwhelm the system so that citizens look to government to be the savior - where have I heard that before?]
The Hill writes: Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told The Hill that oversight would be a key function of the panel, particularly funding to the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) that is "a waste of taxpayer dollars."
"I'd like to make sure that we once and for all kill all U.S. funding for that beast," she said last month. "Because I don't think that it advances U.S. interests, I don't think that that's a pro-democracy group, it's a rogue's gallery, pariah states, they belong there because they don't want to be sanctioned." [I'll add that Obama "turned us in" as violators of human rights because people have lost their mortgages.  That is equal to beheadings, killings, imprisonment and deaths?  Just asking.]
The NYT explains that you and I paid $160 million in defending execs at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:  We are defending the mortgage finance companies and their former top executives in civil lawsuits accusing them of fraud. The cost was a closely guarded secret until last week, when the companies and their regulator produced an accounting at the request of Congress.
The New York Post reveals:  Chinese-born pianist Lang Lang gave a musical shout out to America-hating patriots in his homeland when he played at the White House state dinner last week. During his performance, Lang tinkled the ivories with the famous anti-American propaganda tune "My Motherland" -- the theme song from the Chinese-made Korean War movie "Battle on Shangangling Mountain."
Chinese President Hu Jintao, the guest of honor at the dinner, surely recognized the melody. The song has been a favorite anti-American propaganda tool for decades.
Lang apparently knew exactly what he was playing.
The 1956 film "Battle on Shangangling Mountain" depicts Chinese troops pinned down under enemy fire on the mountain. Then reinforcements arrive and the troops attack the US soldiers, whom the Chinese refer to as "jackals."
The song Lang played in front of Hu and President Obama includes the verse: "When friends are here, there is fine wine/But if the jackal comes/What greets it is the hunting rifle."
Lang said in a TV interview that he played the song to reflect Chinese pride.
"I think playing the tune at the White House banquet can help us, as Chinese people, feel extremely proud of ourselves and express our feelings through the song," he told the Chinese network Phoenix TV.
Read more:
 [And what did the White House say about all this?  Could it be possible that the Chinese powers are as clueless in "gift-giving" and protocol as is Obama?- and were we once again duped by our adversaries?]  As reported by the LA Times: A spokesman for the Obama White House says any suggestion that it's an insult to play a patriotic Chinese song that refers to American troops as "jackals" in the U.S. president's house is "just flat wrong."
The New York Post writes: The song, Lang Lang said afterward, showed world leaders that "our China is formidable, that our Chinese people are united." Though he assured fans he chose the song himself, it's unthinkable he would have performed it without Beijing's explicit approval.
So China has embarrassed Obama abroad [by sinking the Climate Pact in 2009 while Obama was at the meeting, and unveiling their stealth fighter jet only when our Defense Secretary Gates was visiting China]. This time they came into our house -- literally Obama's home, and metaphorically the seat of American power.
What is most astonishing is that Obama has turned the other cheek so often he's spinning like a top. [And we are enabling the rise of China, who wants to "control" us, as I was told while visiting there about 12 years ago.]

Monday, January 24, 2011 Column; ACORN Operative on Dem National Committee; 2009 Stimulus a Huge Failure; China Buying American Bank; "Harry's Law" a Progressive Limbaugh-smackdown Show; 2/3 of UN Grants Eaten up by Corruption

Following is my column in the Traverse City Examiner online newspaper:
I read with interest the item in the Detroit News about Stabenow's push to repeal the 1099 requirement which is part of Obamacare.  She has obviously read at least this part of the bill by now, and also has obviously been hearing from her constituents about the exteme time and expenses involved in this one method Obamacare sought to rake in more money to pay for the program.
I wonder when she might read about and reconsider the fact that in order for the CBO to say the law will save money, we taxpayers now are taxed on Obamacare for 4 years before we begin getting it.  I wonder what she might have to say about the fact that if waivers have been given to over 200 of Obama's favored companines, mostly those with large unions, then those who don't get the waivers are being unfairly treated.  Has your company applied for a waiver?  And why wouldn't you? The laws are not supposed to favor just one group of people after all.
Finally, I would like Ms.Stabenow to consider, since Obamacare is supposed to be so wonderful, having the entire government accept Obamacare for themselves as well as for all of us regular citizens who demanded that it not be enacted.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Daily Caller reveals: A longtime ACORN operative is about to take over the reins of the Democratic National Committee as its executive director – just in time to begin initial preparations for President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign.
The activist in question is Patrick Gaspard. He currently holds the title of White House political affairs director, the same title Karl Rove held in President Bush’s administration.
Gaspard comes from the same world of radical left-wing community organizing that shaped Barack Obama. Gaspard is well schooled in the brutal, street-smart organizing tactics taught by the late Saul Alinsky, author of Rules for Radicals. He’s the hatchet man Obama sent to New York over a year ago to strong-arm then-Gov. David Paterson into dropping his reelection campaign. As executive director running the DNC’s day-to-day operations Gaspard will oversee Organizing for America, a project of the DNC supposedly modeled on Alinskyite organizing principles. (Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine will remain as general chairman of the DNC.)
The Washington Examiner writes: The Ways and Means Committee in the new GOP-majority House released a report titled "It's Official: On Unemployment and Jobs, Democrats' 2009 Stimulus Was a Huge Failure."
Currently, there are 130.7 million jobs. Since passage of the stimulus, 47 of the 50 states have lost jobs; overall, the private sector has seen 1.8 million jobs disappear.
Note as well that unemployment is slightly above what the White House predicted it would be if the Obama stimulus program was not passed as emergency legislation. Any honest assessment of the stimulus has to consider the possibility that flawed economics, kickbacks to unions and other Democratic special interests, corruption and an inefficient bureaucracy simply swallowed all the jobs for which those billions were supposed to pay. In fact, job creation exceeded the White House's expectations in only one area: The District of Columbia created almost twice as many jobs as the White House anticipated. In other words, thanks to the stimulus, the only sector creating new jobs is the federal government.
CHICAGO—China's biggest bank signed an agreement that would make it the first Beijing-controlled financial institution to acquire retail bank branches in the U.S., though regulators could still block the deal.
Under the deal, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., by some measures the world's largest bank, agreed to acquire a majority stake in Bank of East Asia Ltd.'s U.S. subsidiary. ICBC will pay $140 million for an 80% stake.
Signed in Chicago on the last day of Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to the U.S., the move, comes as both Beijing and Washington are calling for greater commercial ties between the two countries. 
If ICBC's deal to acquire Bank of East Asia's U.S. subsidiary goes through, Americans could walk into the retail branches, open check and savings accounts and, most significantly for many investors, open yuan accounts to trade the currency.
Enough is enough! As newsbusters reports: Monday's premiere episode of NBC's new legal drama "Harry's Law" took a cheap shot at conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.
As the show's star Kathy Bates argued for the legalization of drugs while her client was being cross-examined by a totally hapless district attorney, she claimed the idea was first raised by Republicans, "When the party had thinkers, before it was hijacked by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, a drug addict himself" (video follows with partial transcript and commentary):
Even TV critic Tim Goodman was unimpressed with the theatrics as he noted in his Tuesday review "Harry's Law is a Crime Against Good Television":
GENEVA (AP) — A $21.7 billion development fund backed by celebrities and hailed as an alternative to the bureaucracy of the United Nations sees as much as two-thirds of some grants eaten up by corruption, The Associated Press has learned.
Much of the money is accounted for with forged documents or improper bookkeeping, indicating it was pocketed, investigators for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria say. Donated prescription drugs wind up being sold on the black market. [Will we ever learn?]