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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday Funnies :-)

Uncle O

"There's a new book out about Barack and Michelle Obama's marriage and in it they say Michelle Obama was very upset by all these drooling blondes who would push up to her husband and rub themselves up against him. They said this one blonde was especially suggestive and kept rubbing up against the President. Finally, Michelle said, 'Look, Chris Matthews, get away from my husband.'" - Jay Leno

Leonardo's NEA Grant

Sex, scorn and videotape

(By Ben Smith, Politico) - When John Edwards returned to North Carolina in the course of his long quest for the presidency, Andrew Young always met him at the airport in Edwards’s big black Chevy Tahoe. Young drove, and Edwards rode shotgun, silently raising his left hand whenever he wanted a Diet Coke, which Young would wordlessly supply.

When Edwards and his family arrived home, Young had made sure there was fresh milk in the fridge, a neatly trimmed lawn and neatly folded dry cleaning. When he arranged their vacation to Disney World in 2004, he naturally booked himself a ticket. And when Edwards’s mistress became pregnant, Young — at the cost of his reputation, his wife’s and his minister father’s — stepped forward to say the child was his.

Young sometimes described himself as Edwards’s “special assistant” and dreamed of serving in an Edwards White House. Other aides, with a combination of disgust — and, perhaps, a bit of envy — referred to him as Edwards’s “personal servant,” or worse, Edwards’s “butt boy.” The relationship was so intense, at least on Young’s side, that it generated friction between him and Elizabeth Edwards. But if Elizabeth and John Edwards sometimes seemed to feel that Young — at 40 no longer an eager kid, with three children of his own — had gotten too close, there was no getting rid of him. He had made himself indispensable.

Success No Matter What

(By John Stossel, Real Clear Politics) - This Friday, September's job-loss total will be announced. Whatever the numbers, administration officials surely will tell us that life is better -- because of them. "We brought the global economy back from the brink," President Obama said at the close of the G-20 meeting last week. "(B)ecause of the bold and coordinated action that we took, millions of jobs have been saved or created; the decline in output has been stopped; financial markets have come back to life".

This has been the president's theme: His so-called stimulus package, bailouts for politically connected banks and industries, ludicrously wasteful programs like Cash for Clunkers, etc. have saved America from the greatest disaster since the Great Depression.

But this theme runs up against some rather unfortunate facts.

In January, the administration's economic models warned that unemployment would hit 9 percent next year if its $787 billion "stimulus" wasn't passed. Passing it would keep the jobless rate under 8 percent before it begins to fall.

Well, the packaged passed -- and unemployment in August rose to 9.7 percent.


Holdren: Seize babies born to unwed women

Proposed government force adoption if mother refused to get abortion

(By Jerome R. Corsi, World Net Daily) - Obama science czar John Holdren stated in a college textbook that "illegitimate children" born to unwed mothers could be taken by the government and put up for adoption if the mother refused to have an abortion.

Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, argued that "illegitimate childbearing could be strongly discouraged" as a socioeconomic measure imposed to control population growth.

As previously reported, WND has obtained a copy of the 1970s college textbook "Ecoscience: Population, Resources, Environment" that Holdren co-authored with Malthusian population alarmist Paul R. Ehrlich and Ehrlich's wife, Anne. The authors argued involuntary birth-control measures, including forced sterilization, may be necessary and morally acceptable under extreme conditions, such as widespread famine brought about by "climate change."

Does Obama Have a Republican Problem?

(By Jay Cost, Real Clear Politics) - We all know that President Obama has a Republican problem, namely the 200 or so Republican members of Congress who refuse to go along with his health care reform plans. However, I think he might also be developing a republican problem. Namely, I think he is having trouble keeping his ego within the boundaries of an office that fundamentally reflects the republican quality of this country.

It is difficult to nail down precisely what "republicanism" means. It has had different meanings in different places at different times. In the United States, it conjures up the notion of self-government: the people are capable of ruling themselves, and the authority of the leaders derives from the consent of the governed, rather than some aristocratic pedigree or superior position in life.

The evidence of American republicanism is all around us. Consider, for instance, the title of address for the President of the United States. Originally, Federalists like John Adams desired a grand title, something like "His Highness." However, the simple phrase "Mr. President" was ultimately adopted.

Applebaum blames the victim for the rape

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Yesterday, I just considered Anne Applebaum to have a conflict of interest over Roman Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland. After her response to criticism for failing to disclose her husband’s efforts to get charges dropped against the director, it seems clear that Applebaum has lost whatever sense she formerly had — and that her readers are overwhelmingly repulsed by it. In responding to Patterico, Applebaum scoffs at the notion that the 13-year-old girl had been victimized — because she called her mother before the attack. I’m not kidding:

Of course, there were some very legitimate disagreements, including two excellent ones from my colleagues Gene Robinson and Richard Cohen, and I take some of their points. But to them, and to all who imagine that the original incident at the heart of this story was a straightforward and simple criminal case, I recommend reading the transcript of the victim’s testimony (here in two parts) — including her descriptions of the telephone conversation she had with her mother from Polanski’s house, asking permission to be photographed in Jack Nicholson’s jacuzzi — and not just the salacious bits.

Al Qaeda Bombers Learn from Drug Smugglers

New Technique of Storing Bomb Materials Inside Body Cavity Nearly Kills a Saudi Prince

(By Sheila MacVicar, CBS News) - Al Qaeda has developed a new tactic that allows suicide bombers to breach even the tightest security, as CBS News correspondent Sheila MacVicar reports.

Inside a Saudi palace, the scene was the bloody aftermath of an al Qaeda attack in August aimed at killing Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef, head of Saudi Arabia's counter terrorism operations.

To get his bomb into this room, Abdullah Asieri, one of Saudi Arabia's most wanted men, avoided detection by two sets of airport security including metal detectors and palace security. He spent 30 hours in the close company of the prince's own secret service agents - all without anyone suspecting a thing.

How did he do it?

Taking a trick from the narcotics trade - which has long smuggled drugs in body cavities - Asieri had a pound of high explosives, plus a detonator inserted in his rectum.

All the President's Olympic Cronies

(By Michelle Malkin, Townhall.com) - When government officials play the Olympic lottery, taxpayers lose. That has been the disastrous experience of host cities around the world. (Forbes magazine even dubbed the post-Olympic financial burden the "Host City Curse.") So, why are President Obama and his White House entourage headed to Copenhagen, Denmark, this week to push a fiscally doomed Chicago 2016 bid? Political payback.

Bringing the games to the Windy City is Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley's "vision." The entrenched Democratic powerbroker -- in office since 1989 -- would like to cap off his graft-haunted tenure with a glorious $4 billion bread-and-circuses production. The influential Daley machine backed Barack Obama for the presidential primary. Obama lavished praise on Daley's stewardship of the city. Longtime Daley cronies helped pave Obama's path to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Now, they're returning the favor for their hometown boss.

President and First Lady Travel 4,000 Miles -- on Separate Planes -- to Lobby for Olympics

(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are both traveling to Copenhagen this week to promote Chicago's bid to host to the 2016 Olympic Games--and they will be making the 3,979-mile trip on separate airplanes.

The first lady left on Tuesday night, while the president will leave for Denmark on Thursday night.

Taxpayers will pick up the tab for both jets ferrying the president and first lady separately to Europe.

Sources: Sarkozy Thinks Obama is ‘Incredibly Naive and Grossly Egotistical’

"And they both say that [France's President Nicolas] Sarkozy thinks that President Obama is incredibly naive and grossly egotistical - so egotistical that no one can dent his naïveté."

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Change?

From Rush Limbaugh: Well.... Looks like the Democrats' fundraising advantage in the last few elections may be over. According to a terrified Washington Post, Republican campaign committees brought in about $2 million more in August than their Democrat counterparts. The reason why has Democrats (and the Washington Post) alarmed.

Wealthy Democrat donors are engaging in what the Post calls a "de facto boycott." It's their reaction to the endless hate speech that Democrats -- including Obama -- have directed at big business; rich Democrat wallets snapped shut.

Democrat fundraisers say that anti-big-business rhetoric has become so antagonistic that it's difficult to raise money on Wall Street. With the constant talk of capping CEO salaries and killing off bonuses, fundraisers don't expect the tide to turn... because the dirty little secret is, despite the rap on Republicans as the party of "big business," Democrats have long been in bed with Wall Street.

Another factor closing Democrat wallets is the economy, which is still sucking wind despite the billions -- trillions -- of dollars in Democrat pork spending. Also, with Democrats controlling the legislative and executive branches, their activists have become more complacent.

Finally, something the Washington Post didn't cover, and that's ACORN. With money drying up, the last thing Democrats needed was for the lead "front group" to be exposed as a nationally corrupt enterprise. If you add all this up, the Democrats worry that a perfect storm is brewing.

There's a long way to go here, folks, but 2010 may well be a year of hope and change... for Republicans. Stay in it!

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
WaPo: Democrats Are Jarred by Drop In Fundraising

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

DeLay Tackles the Tango in Week 2 of ‘Dancing with the Stars’

(Politico) - When asked which friends from D.C. called him about his dancing last week, Tom DeLay said: "I had the former Speaker of the House. I had 24 members of Congress send me emails. They all think I'm crazy."

Europe’s Socialists Suffering Even in Downturn

PARIS (The New York Times) - A specter is haunting Europe — the specter of Socialism’s slow collapse.

Even in the midst of one of the greatest challenges to capitalism in 75 years, involving a breakdown of the financial system due to “irrational exuberance,” greed and the weakness of regulatory systems, European Socialist parties and their left-wing cousins have not found a compelling response, let alone taken advantage of the right’s failures.

German voters clobbered the Social Democratic Party on Sunday, giving it only 23 percent of the vote, its worst performance since World War II.

Andy Williams accuses Barack Obama of following Marxist theory

(U.K. Telegraph) - Andy Williams, the veteran pop singer, has accused Barack Obama of "following Marxist theory" and "wanting the country to fail".

Williams, a lifelong Republican whose hits include 'Moon River' and 'Music To Watch Girls By', told the Radio Times he thought Mr Obama wanted to turn the US into a "socialist country".

The 81-year-old was a friend of the Kennedy family during the 1960s and was present at the Los Angeles rally where Robert F Kennedy was assassinated in 1968.

Rockefeller, Schumer push public-option amendment in Senate

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - If Max Baucus thought he had a prayer of getting a centrist consensus on his health-care overhaul bill in the Senate, his fellow Democrats have quickly disabused him of that notion. The Baucus plan already costs $900 billion over the next ten years and relies on a tax that will likely never produce the $287 billion revenue stream Baucus predicts. Now Jay Rockefeller and Chuck Schumer want to add a public option on top of that which will make it even costlier, both financially and politically:

Two members of the Senate Finance Committee plan to put their Democratic colleagues on the spot on Tuesday by offering amendments on whether to give uninsured Americans the opportunity to join a government insurance program.

While health care reform legislation in the House and an alternate plan in the Senate have included a so-called “public option,” the Finance Committee’s version, which Republicans haven’t rejected completely, has not included a government-sponsored provision.

Sens. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Chuck Schumer of New York planned to offer the amendments last week before the action was delayed.

Why Does Will Ferrell Hoard His Money While Children Suffer?

(By Michael Wilson, Big Hollywood) - Will Ferrell and the fine folks over at “Funny or Die” are picking the low hanging fruit once again. This time they’re going after nameless, faceless “Insurance Executives” in a “satirical” PSA about government-run insurance. But the real comedy is watching a bunch of multimillionaires who do make-believe for a living opine about other people making too much money.

Obama fudges another health-care horror story

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Does anyone get the feeling that Barack Obama would have made a great summer-camp cabin mate? Especially around the campfire, as kids began telling ghost stories to scare everyone else, Obama would probably have told the most outrageous and frightening stories — simply by embellishing stories he heard from other people. As President, he has shown himself adept at this practice, having wildly embellished two health-care horror stories in the past month to frighten people into backing ObamaCare:

One of President Barack Obama’s health care “horror stories” is about a woman who, he says, lost her health insurance on the verge of breast cancer surgery because she didn’t disclose a case of acne to the insurer. That’s not what happened.

Robin Lynn Beaton, 59, of Waxahachie, Texas, indeed had her insurance suspended and then terminated when she needed it the most. Hers is a cautionary tale about how an insurance company can act in a seemingly arbitrary manner to revoke coverage for lifesaving treatment.

But not for the reasons Obama cites.

She “was about to get a double mastectomy when her insurance company canceled her policy because she forgot to declare a case of acne,” he said in one telling.

Beaton did not lose her insurance because she failed to own up to a skin problem in her past. She lost it because, when enrolling in the plan, she had not reported a previous heart condition and did not list her weight accurately.

RNC ad: “Dictionary”

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - The RNC has a new web ad in response to Barack Obama’s fumble with George Stephanopoulos over the definition of the word “tax”. As their ad argues, Obama and his Democratic colleagues Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid should have an intimate familiarity with the word, since the ObamaCare proposal has eight new taxes embedded into it. One of those taxes will apply to medical supplies and emerging technology, which will discourage innovation and better therapies:

SC Mayor Revokes No-Chase Rule for Cops Following Odd Interview

“I meant what I said, and I say what I mean, and I stand by it!“

(Breitbart.tv) - Editor's note: If the first clip isn't enough to astound you -- the second clip in the playlist has the complete interview.

Related Material...

Shock Discovery: Community Organizers ‘Pray’ TO President-Elect Obama

"Hear our cry Obama!"

(Breitbart.tv) - The Gamaliel Foundation is the community organizing group that helped sponsor Barack Obama's initial work in Chicago.

Palin completes book, expected out Nov. 17

NEW YORK (Winston-Salem Journal) - Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate, has finished her memoir just four months after the book deal was announced, and the release date has been moved up from the spring to Nov. 17, her publisher said.

Palin's book, her first, will be 400 pages, said Jonathan Burnham, the publisher of Harper.

The book now has a title -- 'Going Rogue: An American Life'. Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins, has commissioned a first printing of 1.5 million copies.

The Pledge in Spanish in grade school? Kidding, right?

(By Scott Sexton, Winston-Salem Journal) - Stuart Barry was appalled when his child came home last week with a note saying that she'd been asked to read the daily announcements over the intercom -- a high honor in elementary school -- and to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

In Spanish.

"I have nothing but praise for the school," Barry, a naturalized citizen originally from Great Britain, said. "We stumbled across it by her showing it to my wife. I went bananas."

So much so that he fired off an e-mail to officials at Southwest Elementary School and members of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools board which can be summed up thusly: Hel-lo? Anybody home?

Teaching kids about the great American melting pot and to value difference are noble goals.

Still, there are limits. And you'd think that educators would know instinctively that having an elementary school student recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish might offend some.

"This effort at diversity insults my family as American citizens," Barry wrote. "This activity is reverse assimilation."

Conover Domino's closes in wake of gross-out video

HICKORY (By Ragan Robinson, Hickory Daily Record) - The notorious gross-out videos made by two Domino's Pizza workers and posted on YouTube cost the store more than half its profits, the store's owner says.

The store closed Sept. 22.

"My business was off 58 percent because of YouTube," said Kevin Hendren, the franchise owner.

He was at the darkened pizza shop in Conover on Monday and said he will not reopen it.

Hendren declined to say whether he has plans for the building.

"I'm just living day to day right now," he said.

Tyson Foods is bringing back Holly Farms chicken

Wilkesboro (Winston-Salem Journal) - Tyson Foods Inc. is bringing Holly Farms chicken back to grocery stores.

The brand has been absent from retail grocery stores in the Southeast for more than 10 years. But this week, packages of Holly Farms fresh chicken will be available at Food Lion, Bloom and Bottom Dollar Food stores.

"We're excited about working with Food Lion LLC to offer Holly Farms-branded chicken to consumers again," said Tim Price, vice president of business development for Tyson Foods' retail fresh poultry business. "We plan to produce a wide variety of tray-packed chicken products with the same freshness, safety and quality people have historically expected from products bearing the Holly Farms name."

The Holly Farms poultry company was founded in Wilkesboro, N.C., in 1958. The company and its operations were bought by Tyson Foods in 1989. By the late 1990s, Holly Farms was phased out as a national brand. The reintroduced line of chicken will primarily be produced at the same Wilkesboro poultry complex where Holly Farms began. In addition, plant locations in Monroe, N.C.; Temperanceville, Va., and Shelbyville, Tenn., will also be involved in the production of this product.

"We believe this initiative will help ensure continued economic stability for our plant," said Mark Welborn, manager of Tyson's Wilkesboro Complex. "In fact, we expect it will actually lead to an incremental increase in the volume of fresh chicken we produce in Wilkesboro."

Work on ballpark up to speed

Target date of March may still be met

(By Laura Graff, Winston-Salem Journal) - Construction workers are back in full force at Winston-Salem's downtown baseball stadium, and the members of the citizens committee reviewing the work will likely receive an update at their meeting today.

Crews were back last week doing some work around the ballpark, but did not resume full-scale work until yesterday.

The Citizens Baseball Stadium Review Committee is scheduled to meet tonight.

Conan Plays Video of On-Set Accident That Sent Him to Hospital

"I'm on auto pilot."

Cavuto: Washington Operates Like a Driver Who Won’t Ask for Directions

"So, at this hour, it's going full throttle on health care for all. Even as Rasmussen reports a record nearly six out of 10 Americans don't even want health care for all. So Washington keeps spending, convinced that's what folks want; oblivious to yesterday's German election results, where it turns out that's not at all what folks want."

Related Material...

Uncovered Audio: Obama’s ‘Safe Schools Czar’ Encouraged Child Sex With Older Man

"I looked at Brewster and said, 'You know, I hope you knew to use a condom.'"

(Washington Times) - In this one case in which Mr. (Kevin) Jennings had a real chance to protect a young boy from a sexual predator, he not only failed to do what the law required but actually encouraged the relationship.

Related Material...

‘Change Has Come’: New Video Shows Kids Chanting Obama’s Praise at NC School

"Uniting blacks and whites...being both Obama cannot take sides."

(Breitbart.tv) - The YouTube poster says this is from a PTA or PTO meeting at the Sand Hill Elementary School.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Go Green?

From Rush Limbaugh: Folks, those of us who pay taxes (which is an ever-shrinking number in this country) have just forked over half a billion dollars to help a small auto manufacturer bill hybrid cars in Finland.

Fisker Automotive, the beneficiary of a huge taxpayer-funded loan, has a high profile backer: a Silicon Valley venture capital firm -- Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB, for short). The Vice Perpetrator, Algore, just happens to be a partner at KPCB, whose employees have donated over $2 million to Democrats, including Obama and Hillary. Isn't that cozy!

The most amazing aspect about the "green car" that American taxpayers are funding is that the average American will never be able to drive one. Henrick Fisker, the head of the new car company, used to design cars for BMW and Aston Martin. His planned luxury hybrids will sell for close to $90,000 each.

The half-billion-dollar loan to Fisker is on top of another half-billion-dollar loan to Tesla Motors, a California startup with another group of investors who donated heavily to Democrats. Tesla's electric Roadster -- assembled in England -- starts at $109,000.

So Americans are funding green cars they'll never be able to afford -- some made in Finland, some in England -- by two companies that are part of the Democrat Party donor base. When Obama and the Democrats made promises about all the new "green jobs" they were planning, they were short on the details. Now we know why.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
WSJ.com: Gore-Backed Car Firm Gets Large US Loan

Monday, September 28, 2009

ObamaCare shoves costs onto states

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Barack Obama and his allies in Congress insist that their plans to overhaul the American health-care system won’t increase the federal deficit. So far, the CBO begs to differ, but even if one accepted that premise, it does nothing but shove costs off to the states. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Medicaid expansion on which both HR3200 and the Baucus plan in the Senate is predicated will create massive budget crises in all 50 states:

Democrats want to use Medicaid to cover everyone up to at least 133% of the federal poverty level, or about $30,000 for a family of four. Starting in 2014, Mr. Baucus plans to spend $287 billion through 2019—or about one-third of ObamaCare’s total spending—to add some 11 million new people to the Medicaid rolls.

About 59 million people are on Medicaid today—which means that a decade from now about a quarter of the total population would be on a program originally sold as help for low-income women, children and the disabled. State budgets would explode—by $37 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office—because they would no longer be allowed to set eligibility in line with their own decisions about taxes and spending. This is the mother—and father and crazy uncle—of unfunded mandates.

This burden would arrive on the heels of an unprecedented state fiscal crisis. As of this month, some 48 states had shortfalls in their 2010 budgets totaling $168 billion—or 24% of total state budgets. The left-wing Center for Budget and Policy Priorities expects total state deficits in 2011 to rise to $180 billion. And this is counting the $87 billion Medicaid bailout in this year’s stimulus bill.

While falling revenues are in part to blame, Medicaid is a main culprit, even before caseloads began to surge as joblessness rose. The National Association of State Budget Officers notes that Medicaid spending is on average the second largest component in state budgets at 20.7%—exceeded only slightly by K-12 education (20.9%) and blowing out state universities (10.3%), transportation (8.1%) and prisons (3.4%).

Congressional Dems to open ObamaCare to illegals?

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - What began as a bug in ObamaCare has now become a feature, according to Rep. Michael Honda (D-CA). The chair of the Congressional Asian-Pacific American Caucus now says that the government exchanges should cover immigrants, regardless of their legal status:

Fearful that they’re losing ground on immigration and health care, a group of House Democrats is pushing back and arguing that any health care bill should extend to all legal immigrants and allow illegal immigrants some access.

The Democrats, trying to stiffen their party’s spines on the contentious issue, say it’s unfair to bar illegal immigrants from paying their own way in a government-sponsored exchange. Legal immigrants, they say, regardless of how long they’ve been in the United States, should be able to get government-subsidized health care if they meet the other eligibility requirements.

“Legal permanent residents should be able to purchase their plans, and they should also be eligible for subsidies if they need it. Undocumented, if they can afford it, should be able to buy their own private plans. It keeps them out of the emergency room,” said Rep. Michael M. Honda, California Democrat and chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

Another example of waste and abuse

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - What does $10 million in Congressional pork buy? Lots of bureaucrats and a pat on the back from constituents, instead of a kick somewhere farther south. The [Raleigh] 'News-Observer' reports that an earmark pushed by Rep. David Price (D-NC) intended, supposedly, to increase services to North Carolinian National Guard families has spent $7.3 million over the last five years and helped next to no one — except bureaucrats and Price’s hometown university:

In 2004, U.S. Rep. David Price inserted a $10 million program into the federal budget, sending the money to UNC-Chapel Hill for a new effort to help deployed soldiers of the National Guard and Army Reserves.

Five years later, the Citizen Soldier Support Program has spent $7.3 million, but the money has accomplished little for the people it was supposed to help. One-quarter of the money has gone to the university for overhead, and a large part of the rest has been spent on well-paid consultants, six-figure salaries and travel.

Half of the eight full-time employees are paid more than $100,000 a year, including a deputy director who has been reimbursed $76,000 for food, travel and lodging when she commutes from her home in northern Virginia to North Carolina.

An internal review found that the program produced reams of paperwork but few concrete results.

Gore-Backed Car Firm Gets Large U.S. Loan

WASHINGTON (The Wall Street Journal) - A tiny car company backed by former Vice President Al Gore has just gotten a $529 million U.S. government loan to help build a hybrid sports car in Finland that will sell for about $89,000.

The award this week to California startup Fisker Automotive Inc. follows a $465 million government loan to Tesla Motors Inc., purveyors of a $109,000 British-built electric Roadster. Tesla is a California startup focusing on all-electric vehicles, with a number of celebrity endorsements that is backed by investors that have contributed to Democratic campaigns.

The awards to Fisker and Tesla have prompted concern from companies that have had their bids for loans rejected, and criticism from groups that question why vehicles aimed at the wealthiest customers are getting loans subsidized by taxpayers.

John Edwards' ex-mistress, Rielle Hunter, targeted by Elizabeth Edwards in blog comments

(N.Y. Daily News) - Former presidential candidate John Edwards is said to be ready to admit that he fathered a love child. But Hades may have a skating rink before his wife, Elizabeth, signs off on such a confession.

As a grand jury in North Carolina considers whether Edwards misused campaign funds to cover up the scandal, Elizabeth still can't abide his former mistress, Rielle Hunter.

Word is Elizabeth vehemently opposed the plan, now in place, for Hunter and daughter Quinn to move from New Jersey to Wilmington, N.C., where the Edwardses have a beach house.

People Can Opt Out of Listing STDs, Abortions in Gov't-Mandated Electronic Health Records, Patrick Kennedy Says

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D.-R.I.) says people will be able to stop doctors from including records of sexually transmitted diseases and abortions in the new national system of Electronic Health Records that was mandated by the stimulus law enacted in February.

‘Once’: US Commander in Afghanistan Has Only Talked to Obama One Time in 70 Days

Watch CBS Videos Online

'I don't think I lack for guidance."

Related Material...

William Safire, Political Columnist and Oracle of Language, Dies at 79

(The New York Times) - William Safire, a speechwriter for President Richard M. Nixon and a Pulitzer Prize-winning political columnist for The New York Times who also wrote novels, books on politics and a Malaprop’s treasury of articles on language, died at a hospice in Rockville, Md., on Sunday. He was 79.

Does This Breast Cancer Awareness Ad Go Too Far?

(MYFOXNY.COM) - A public service announcement raising awareness about breast cancer is taking a page from the beer industry to get the point across.

There's no reference to mamograms or anything technical in the new Retink Breast Cancer charity spot. It's all about sex appeal.

It's part of a campaign that's launching for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Canada in October.

The charity reaches out to young Canadians concerned about and affected by breast cancer.

Hugo Chavez Apparently Not a Fan of Fox News

(By Meredith Jessup, Townhall.com) - Instead of answering a question about his friendship with Holocaust-denying Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Chavez chose to tell Fox News how "stupid" Sean Penn thinks they are. I wonder how Chavez would've answered the question if the reporter had said he was from CNN...

Obama Proposes Longer School Day, Shorter Summer Vacation

President says American kids spend too little time in school, putting them at a disadvantage with other students around the globe.

WASHINGTON (Fox News) - Students beware: The summer vacation you just enjoyed could be sharply curtailed if President Barack Obama gets his way.

Obama says American kids spend too little time in school, putting them at a disadvantage with other students around the globe.

"Now, I know longer school days and school years are not wildly popular ideas," the president said earlier this year. "Not with Malia and Sasha, not in my family, and probably not in yours. But the challenges of a new century demand more time in the classroom."

The Unholy Alliance of Hollywood, Barack Obama and Hugo Chavez

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Redistribution

From Rush Limbaugh: Well, folks, we now know the cost-impact on American families of Obama's tax, health care, and climate change policies, according to a new report by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Tax Foundation. The report concludes that by 2012 (just three years from now), almost $1 trillion a year will be redistributed from the top 30 percent of American families to the bottom 70 percent.

Tax Foundation president Scott Hodge told CNS News that under Obama's plans, "the majority of people below the 70 percent mark will get more back than they pay in taxes," and the lowest-income families will make out like bandits. The report reveals that for every dollar they pay in taxes, they'll end up with over ten bucks of benefits.

That's not to say that the poor will escape Obama completely. The Democrats' cap-and-tax climate proposals will hit them hard -- as do the regressive taxes on tobacco. But with the money Obama plans to redistribute, they'll make out fine. When you add up everything, poor families end up scoring over 2 grand in additional benefits, while high-earning families lose up to $127,000 -- every year.

These are merely the economic costs of Obama's and the Democrats' redistribution schemes. When you take earnings from high achievers and hand it over to people who, in some cases, refuse to work for it, you are ripping up the very fabric of capitalism. You're also robbing people of the incentive to earn as much as they can.

Which is exactly what Obama's vision is all about. Trust me. Don't doubt me on this!

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
CNSNews.com: Obama's Policies Would Redistribute Nearly $1 Trillion in Wealth Every Year

Friday, September 25, 2009

Obamacare: Buy insurance or go to jail!

Ensign receives handwritten confirmation

(Politico) - This doesn't happen often enough.

Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) received a handwritten note Thursday from Joint Committee on Taxation Chief of Staff Tom Barthold confirming the penalty for failing to pay the up to $1,900 fee for not buying health insurance.

Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to a year in jail or a $25,000 penalty, Barthold wrote on JCT letterhead. He signed it "Sincerely, Thomas A. Barthold."

The note was a follow-up to Ensign's questioning at the markup.

NEWLY DISCOVERED: Third-Graders Pen & Perform ‘Proud American’ to Celebrate Obama Victory

Kids Obama Song from misterbee2009 on Vimeo.

"I'm going to study really hard just like Barack/
Learning never ever stops/
Gonna set my goals HIGH and graduate/
You might be looking at the President of 2048!/
We are a nation of a thousand colors, look at me/
Our strength is our diversity/
Walking hand in hand we sing/
Each a day a little closer to the dream of Dr. King"

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Parents Say N.J. Principal Unapologetic for Video of Kids Praising Obama

(Fox News) - The principal of a New Jersey elementary school where young students were videotaped singing the praises of President Obama is making no apologies for the videotape and says she would allow the performance again if she could, according to parents who spoke with her Thursday night. Three parents told FOXNews.com that Dr. Denise King, principal of B. Bernice Young Elementary School in Burlington, N.J., defended the controversial performance, which was videotaped and posted on YouTube, when they approached her during a "Back to School" event.

From the 'Patriot Post': Obama fits right in with Uncle Joe Stalin

WaPo: ACORN a reverse Robin Hood

From Ed Morrissey at 'Hot Air': Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor. According to the Washington Post, ACORN took millions of dollars intended to go to the poor, and gave them to politicians — and themselves. Newly-revealed records show that ACORN may have a lot more problems than giving advice to purported child-prostitution traffickers:

Documents released by a Senate Republican on Thursday show that leaders of the ACORN community organizing network transferred several million dollars in charitable and government money meant for the poor to arms of the group that have political and sometimes profit-making missions.

ACORN’s tax-exempt groups and allied organizations, long a target of conservative ire, used more than half their charitable and public money in 2006 to pay other ACORN affiliates, according to an analysis by the tax staff of Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa).

On Thursday, Grassley called the transactions a “big shell game” and said ACORN donors may be surprised by how the liberal group known for helping the poor obtain housing and health care was spending their money. He urged the Internal Revenue Service to take a closer look.

According to the Grassley report, charities “are being used to raise monies which are then funneled to other charities or to other organizations for purposes other than what the donor may have intended. . . . Dollars raised for charitable [purposes] appear to be used for impermissible lobbing and political activity.”

Democratic marketing plan goes surprisingly … poorly

From Ed Morrissey at 'Hot Air': It’s difficult to decide who deserves more derision in this Washington Post report on fundraising woes in the Democratic Party. Should we laugh at the Nancy Pelosi-led politicians who thought that a year of populist pandering and the launch of a radical, aggressive anti-business agenda would have no effect on donations from the wealthy they demonized? Or should we instead mock those who lent their wealth to Democrats in the apparent belief that they didn’t intend to act on their class-warfare rhetoric?

Hey, why choose?

CNN’s Blitzer Calls Out Financially Successful Michael Moore on ‘Capitalism’ Stance

"I wonder if there was a Wolf Blitzer 200 years ago who asked Thomas Jefferson or John Adams or George Washington, 'Hey, you know, you guys are wealthy landowners. You've benefitted from the king's system. What are you complaining about? What's this revolt all about?'"

Limbaugh & Leno Compare Weight Loss Results

"Would you attribute your weight gain to liberal portions?"

Rush Limbaugh Runs Over Al Gore

“It was worth it! It was worth it!”

ARTICLE> Newsbusters: On Leno's Show, Limbaugh Runs Car Over Al Gore – Then Backs Up and Does It Again

Rush Limbaugh on last night's Jay Leno Show...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A $4 billion bailout for the Postal Service?

(Politico) - The House voted Thursday to freeze Medicare Part B premiums for most elderly next year, even as Democrats moved to exempt the Postal Service from having to make $4 billion in payments due next week to cover retirement health benefits for its employees.

The back-to-back actions reflect a flurry of last minute multi-billion-dollar fixes, often without warning, as the government approaches the new fiscal year beginning next Thursday, Oct. 1.

Democrats hope the Medicare premium freeze, which sailed through on a 406-18 vote, will defuse what would otherwise be an October surprise for health care reform — threatened cuts in Social Security checks for millions of elderly. In the case of the Postal Service, the action closely tracks a House bill approved Sept. 15 but would allow proponents to get past the Senate now without the threat of amendments.

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Pelosi kills trigger on public option

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Blue Dog Democrats in the House and moderate red-state Senators thought they had won some moderation in the ObamaCare bill over the last few weeks, especially after Democrats got a very loud earful from their constituents during the August recess. Today, however, Nancy Pelosi tossed the moderates aside in her press conference. She insisted that the House would produce a bill that includes a public option without a trigger, and with a wealth surtax to pay for it:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday shot down a healthcare compromise that has been viewed as the best chance for getting a bipartisan bill through the Senate.

Pelosi (D-Calif.) rejected the idea of a “trigger” for a public option. That means that the government-run health care plan would be a fallback option, enacted only if other reforms didn’t make healthcare more accessible. …

“I don’t even want to talk about a trigger,” Pelosi said at her weekly press conference. She said the “attitude” of her fellow Democrats is that “a trigger is an excuse for not doing anything.”

Massachusetts names Kirk to fill Kennedy Senate seat

BOSTON (Reuters) - Paul Kirk, a former Democratic National Committee chairman and a close friend of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, was named on Thursday as a temporary replacement for the liberal champion in the U.S. Senate.

Kirk, backed for the post by Kennedy's wife Victoria and his two sons, will fill the seat until voters in Massachusetts elect a permanent replacement in January. His appointment will restore a 60-seat Senate majority for the Democrats that could help President Barack Obama's push to overhaul healthcare.

Lawmakers in heavily Democratic Massachusetts passed legislation in the past few days allowing Governor Deval Patrick to name an interim senator, something Kennedy pushed for before he died in August from cancer so his party would not lose a key vote during the healthcare debate.

Update: New Crisper Version of ‘Obama Anthem’ School Song Provides Lyrical Clarity

(Fox News) - Nearly 20 young children are captured in an online video as they sing songs that overflow with campaign slogans and praise for "Barack Hussein Obama," as they repeatedly chant the president's name and celebrate his accomplishments.

Tempers Flare as Senate Finance Committee Continues Health Bill Mark-up

"Mr. Chairman, it's courteous if you don't interrupt somebody right in the middle of a sentence of an important point they're trying to make!"

White House tries erasing ACORN ties to Big Labor

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Why did Labor Secretary Hilda Solis move quickly to change disclosure requirements for unions and their political activities? Don Loos at Big Government connects the dots and discovers the Obama administration’s attempts to get their allies in Big Labor out of the line of ACORN fire. For instance, the education unions NEA and AFT both gave big money to the very office in New York City that offered free advice on hiding child prostitution and tax evasion:

Even before U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis was sworn in, Big Labor insiders like AFL-CIO lawyer and Obama appointee Deborah Greenfield were busily dismantling useful union financial disclosures produced by former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. It’s another Big Government – Big Labor partnership aimed at keeping individual workers, whom they claim to represent, in the dark.

Why the hurry? Perhaps Union Bosses wanted to prevent the Virginia GOP and inquisitive people like Patrick Semmens from visiting DOL’s UnionReports.gov website that clearly reveals the Big Labor-ACORN collusion. Semmens discovered that teachers’ union bosses gave about $500,000 to the same Brooklyn ACORN office exposed on BigGovernment.com. Both the National Education Association (NEA) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) awarded ACORN service contracts.

That’s right; union bosses gave teachers’ forced union dues to the same ACORN that appeared to have no problem facilitating child prostitution. No wonder Solis’ Big Labor friends want to shutdown financial disclosure!

Vaccine cuts AIDS infection risk for first time

BANGKOK (AFP) – An experimental AIDS vaccine has for the first time cut the risk of infection, researchers said Thursday, hailing at a medical "breakthrough" in the quarter-century battle against the disease.

The vaccine reduced the risk of being infected by almost a third, they said after the world's largest vaccine trial of more than 16,000 volunteers carried out by the US Army and the Thailand Ministry of Public Health.

"This is a very important scientific advance and gives us hope that a globally effective vaccine may be possible in the future," Colonel Jerome Kim of the US military HIV research programme told a news conference in Bangkok.

"It is the first demonstration that a vaccine against HIV can protect against infection," he said via videolink.

The vaccine was effectively a combination of two older vaccines that had not cut infection on their own. It was tested on volunteers at average risk of HIV infection in two Thai provinces near Bangkok starting in October 2003.

"The outcome represents a breakthrough in HIV vaccine development because for the first time ever there is evidence that HIV vaccine has preventative efficacy," said a statement released by the researchers at a press conference in Bangkok.

"The vaccine has a 31.2 percent efficacy in reducing the risk of HIV infection."

YouTube Post Shows Unidentified Kids at Mystery School Singing Anthem to Obama; UPDATE: Fox News IDs NJ School Involved in ‘Obama Anthem’ Song Scandal

"Red and yellow; black and white...they are equal in his sight."

UPDATE: Fox News IDs NJ School Involved in ‘Obama Anthem’ Song Scandal

Anti-Capitalist Filmmaker Enjoys Vulgar Displays of Wealth

(By Mark Hemingway, National Review Online) - [Monday] night Esquire threw a party for Michael Moore's new documentary 'Capitalism: A Love Story', which all about the vulgar displays of income inequality in this country and how Americans are suffering as a result of the recession. Then according to one person who attended the premiere, this happened:

Following the Premiere, Esquire shuttles many of the attendees straight down to SoHo to the opening of The Esquire Apartment – a fully decadent penthouse where every square inch is paid for by a luxury sponsor. Hot tub, $120k pool table, $60k home theater, fine food. The only thing lacking was a doormat saying “Welcome To Capitalism.”

I had fun….But ooooh the irony. Everyone I talked to was like, “man, this is the most bizarre combination. I bet Michael Moore would freak out if he saw that this was happening.”….And then he showed up. And was eating it up. And then one of the families from the film came.

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Liberal Lies About National Health Care, Part 5

(By Ann Coulter, Townhall.com) - The way I remember it, Republicans swept Congress in 1994 not because Clinton failed to nationalize health care, but because he tried to nationalize health care.

Barney Frank Tangles With Bill O’Reilly Over ACORN Scandal

"What an outrageous statement for you to make."

The Loser in Line to Replace Ted?

From Rush Limbaugh: Limbaugh adage affirmed: Liberals promote failures.

ARTICLE> Boston Globe: Dukakis for Senate Vacancy

Obama Serves Up America on a Silver Platter to UN Freak Show

From Rush Limbaugh: Obama is the leader of anti-American kooks at the UN.

ARTICLE> AP: Obama: Don't Expect America to Fix World

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: More Lies

From Rush Limbaugh: In every health care speech, Barack Obama claims that seniors' Medicare benefits will not be cut under his health care takeover. To those who point out that seniors will indeed face cuts, Obama accuses them of spreading lies and misinformation.

Enter Douglas Elmendorf, head of the nonpartisan CBO, Congressional Budget Office. Good old Doug told senators that under the health care plan in the finance committee, Medicare Advantage would be cut by more than $100 billion dollars over ten years. Those cuts would, "reduce the extra benefits that would be made available to beneficiaries through Medicare Advantage plans."

Let me explain in plain language: Obama and his Democrats are proposing cuts to make Medicare "wither on the vine" for grandma and grandpa. They're going to slice and dice benefits for the elderly, the most vulnerable among us. The bottom line here is that Obama and his Democrats speak with forked tongue -- they lie.

Obama's White House reacted quickly, releasing a statement that "health insurance reform will strengthen Medicare for seniors, not diminish it"... blah, blah, blah. But it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out, folks, who is lying; every plan the Democrats offer has Medicare cuts all over it. How can you cut billions without cutting care?

One last thing. Mr. Elmendorf, you've called Obama out, buddy. So any day now you can expect America's national hemorrhoid, Jimmy Carter, to accuse you of being a racist -- along with everybody else who won't fall in line behind Dear Leader Obama. (That does not include Moammar Khadafy, however, who loves Obama and wants him to be president forever.)

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Budget chief contradicts Obama on Medicare costs

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday Funnies :-)

"The fall season is a little different this year -- even squirrels are distancing themselves from ACORN. Because of all these scandals, the executive director of ACORN said she will fire any employee who's 'too stupid to understand they're not reaching professional standards.' Why can't we get this rule for Congress?"
Jay Leno

Bush Speechwriter on Obama UN Speech: ‘Narcissistic’ Approach to Governance

"'I'm the answer.' It's one of the most narcissistic approaches to American leadership I've ever seen in American political rhetoric."

Videos: Medicare Advantage consumers will lose benefits

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Instead of updating this morning’s link, I’m going to use these two videos to expand on a couple of points made by Senate Financial Committee staffer Shawn Bishop and CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf yesterday in testimony on Capitol Hill. In the second video, Elmendorf quantifies the amount of benefits lost, but I first want to address Ms. Bishop’s argument to Senator Orrin Hatch. Apparently, she didn’t get the “if you like your current coverage” memo from the White House:

Did the White House cut a deal with drugmakers for an ad campaign?

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Via Jim Geraghty, this looks like a pattern now at the White House. Offer a few concessions in exchange for a bit of third-party campaigning, and everyone wins! In this case, it’s more that the pharmaceutical manufacturers won’t lose as much as they fear, but otherwise the concept is the same as with the NEA’s efforts to get its grant recipients to make art about universal health-care coverage. If the deal explicitly included a requirement for the pharmas to launch their upcoming $150 million ad campaign, this could cross the lines of campaign-finance laws:

I’ll tell you — if someone negotiated a deal with me and I agreed to put up say, 80 dollars or 80 million dollars or 80 billion dollars and then you came back and said to me a couple of weeks later — no no, I know you agreed to do 80 billion and I know you were willing to help support through an advertising campaign this particular — not even this particular bill, just the idea of generic health care reform? No, we’re going to double — we’re going to double what you agreed in those negotiations to do. That’s not the way — that’s not what I consider treating people the way I’d want to be treated.

About that Arctic ice disappearance …

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - National Geographic in summer 2008:

Arctic warming has become so dramatic that the North Pole may melt this summer, report scientists studying the effects of climate change in the field.

“We’re actually projecting this year that the North Pole may be free of ice for the first time [in history],” David Barber, of the University of Manitoba, told National Geographic News aboard the C.C.G.S. Amundsen, a Canadian research icebreaker. …

But this summer’s forecast—and unusual early melting events all around the Arctic—serve as a dire warning of how quickly the polar regions are being affected by climate change.

National Geographic this week:

This year’s cooler-than-expected summer means the Arctic probably won’t experience ice-free summers until 2030 or 2040, scientists say.

Some models had previously predicted that the Arctic could be ice free in summer by as soon as 2013, due to rising temperatures from global warming.

Scientifically, what does this tell us about the climate-change models used to make this hysterical claim?
  • They’re completely wrong and should be jettisoned — or,
  • They speak to a larger truth and should be used and skeptics shunned

Which option would a 'real' scientist choose, and which one would a political hack with interests in glomming onto big government grants choose?

Oh, let’s not always see the same hands …

Democrats nix putting pre-vote health bill online

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Finance Committee Democrats have rejected a GOP amendment that would have required a health overhaul bill to be available online for 72 hours before the committee votes.

Republicans argued that transparency is an Obama administration goal. They also noted that their constituents are demanding that they read bills before voting.

Democrats said it was a delay tactic that could have postponed a vote for weeks.

GOP: AARP Receiving "Kickbacks" In Obamacare Plan

(By Meredith Jessup, Townhall.com) - I've been wondering for a long time why AARP would ever support a plan like Obama's which promises cuts to Medicare and threatens rationing. This claim coming from the GOP might just clear some things up:

This week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced it was investigating Humana for providing “misleading” information regarding the Administration’s proposed cuts to Medicare Advantage policies-and prohibited other Medicare Advantage plans from providing similar information on how Democrat health “reform” could take away their current coverage.

Yet the Administration’s edict prohibiting plans from communicating with their beneficiaries failed to include AARP, which sponsors a Medicare Advantage plan but has been a prime advocate of Democrats’ government takeover of health care-quite possibly because AARP has been supporting a health care overhaul from which it stands to gain overall handsomely. Even as AARP advocates for cutting Medicare Advantage plans by more than $150 billion, an analysis of the organization’s operations reveals that it stands to receive tens of millions of dollars at the expense of seniors’ medical care-with Democrats’ full approval.

Environmentalists Leave California Farmers Out to Dry

(By Meredith Jessup, Townhall.com) - Some of you may have seen Sean Hannity's recent report, "The Valley Hope Forgot," which details the plight of local farmers in California's Central Valley who have been left out to dry -- literally.

The issue: a biological opinion from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that required water to be cut-off to the area to protect the Delta Smelt--a three-inch minnow-like fish. The problem: local farmers depended on that water to irrigate crops and could see farm job losses of up to 80,000.

In the Senate Tuesday evening, Senator Jim Demint (R-SC) tried to get the water flowing once again the Central Valley farmers who depend on their agriculture for livelihood. Demint offered an amendment to the Senate's Department of Interior spending bill that would've prohibited any federal funds from being used to restrict the water supply in the Central Valley area.

Despite Demint's efforts, the measure was voted down 61-36. Included in the opposition to the Demint amendment were both of California's Senators--both Democrats. Sen. Dianne Feinstein went so far as to compare Demint's amendment to let more water flow in her state to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. (Yeah, I don't get that one either.)

She explained:

"I don’t quite understand what is going on here,” she said on the floor of the Senate. “And that is the reason for my objection. I’m not going to put the state of California and the Bay Delta in the threat of another lawsuit. We have enough already and water is a huge, difficult and complicated issue...in a way this a kind of Pearl Harbor, when everything we are trying to do, to work together, to put Interior in the lead, not to handcuff Interior and that is the reason I object to the amendment."

A video of Feinstein's ridiculous statement has subsequently been posted by Mr. DeMint's office online.

Mr. DeMint seemed to think she was making it too complicated. “Unlike most of the big government solutions coming out of Washington that cost taxpayers billions, this amendment doesn’t cost a single penny,” said Mr. DeMint in statement. “We can turn the water on so thousands of Central Valley farmers can get back to work without creating another federal program or bailing out another industry.”

White House Opposes Health Insurance Competition Across State Lines

(By Meredith Jessup, Townhall.com) - Watch as White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod bumbles his way through an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. During some incoherent rambling, Axelrod attempts to explain why President Obama favors more consumer "choice" by opposing greater choice available through increased health insurance competition across state lines:

Generational Racism is Old and Tired

(By S.E. Cupp, Townhall.com) - Jimmy Carter is 85 years old. Dave Letterman is 62, Nancy Pelosi is 69, Maureen Dowd is 57, and Al Sharpton is 54.

These are the people – and theirs is the generation – who are teaching America’s youth how to be racist in 2009. They are very good instructors.

Whether it’s Carter’s insistence that “an overwhelming portion” of the opposition to Obama is racist, or it’s Dowd declaring “Some people just can’t believe a black man is president,” or it’s Pelosi’s feigned crocodile tears over the “language being used,” or it’s Letterman baiting the president into a race discussion, each one of them is telling my generation and the ones that follow that race is merely a political weapon of expedience, to be used haphazardly and crudely simply to get what you want. As long as there is a convenient victim to prop up, some kind of imagined target of the hood-donning right, it doesn’t matter if the racism is real or perceived. It just matters that it’s effective.

The end of the fixer-upper?

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Much of the news about the cap-and-trade bill this month concerns the internal analysis done by the Obama administration but buried until a FOIA request forced its release showing that the cost per household for the bill would go higher than $1760 per year. But what happens when you want to sell your household? Ryan Young of CEI highlights a few more costly aspects of Waxman-Markey, which could end the fixer-upper market and make resales both more expensive and more difficult:

That bill contains 397 new regulations. One of them would affect almost everyone who buys or sells a home. If Waxman-Markey becomes law, homes for sale that qualify as “federally related transactions” — which is almost all of them — would be required to undergo an environmental inspection. …

Inspections are not free. Nor is fixing the inevitable violations. Compliance with new energy-efficiency standards would make homes, especially older ones, more expensive. Selling one’s home would become even harder than it already is in this down market if Waxman-Markey-style cap and trade becomes law. …

Suppose you have a window that isn’t quite airtight or your appliances are a little too old. Maybe they’re not Energy Star certified. You’d have to replace them before you would be allowed to sell your home.

The result could be the end of fixer-upper homes; surely, this is not what Congress has in mind. Some families prefer to buy a home in less-than-stellar condition on the cheap and make repairs and upgrades themselves.

For people who don’t have a lot of money, or who enjoy working with their hands, or who want to customize their home, this can be a very fulfilling path to homeownership. Waxman-Markey would take that away.

CBO: Medicare cuts mean benefit cuts

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - What happens when a mythbuster gets exposed as a mythmaker? Barack Obama has insisted that people who claim that $500 billion in “savings” from Medicare won’t mean any reduction in benefits. Douglas Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, says that simply isn’t true. The cuts to Medicare Advantage, which comprise one-fifth of those savings, means reduced benefits for the 25% of seniors using the program:

Congress’ chief budget officer on Tuesday contradicted President Barack Obama’s oft-stated claim that seniors wouldn’t see their Medicare benefits cut under a health care overhaul.

The head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Douglas Elmendorf, told senators that seniors in Medicare’s managed care plans could see reduced benefits under a bill in the Finance Committee.

The bill would cut payments to the Medicare Advantage plans by more than $100 billion over 10 years.

Elmendorf said the changes “would reduce the extra benefits that would be made available to beneficiaries through Medicare Advantage plans.”

Author Tells Hannity: Bill Ayers Helped Write Obama’s ‘Dreams From My Father’

"You found the literary devices and themes bear a jarring similarity to Ayer's own writings."

(Breitbart.tv) - Editor's note: In the related section below you will find text and video links with extensive information on the theory that Ayers helped with the writing of Obama's book.

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Work on the troubled stadium begins again: Dash president says he is optimistic about ticket sales

(By Mary Giunca, Winston-Salem Journal) - With agreement in hand that will allow construction to resume on the long-stalled downtown stadium, officials with the Winston-Salem Dash yesterday expressed optimism about ticket sales and other revenue sources that will make the $48.7 million project work.

Kevin Terry, the president of the Dash, said that the 4,100 ticket packages that have been sold for the 2010 season translate into about 1,500 full-season tickets. Add to that tickets for luxury suites and sponsors and the figure is closer to 2,000 season tickets, he said.

"We're real excited about the start we're off to," Terry said.

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