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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, March 31, 2010

Robot Theater: Keith Olbermann Interviews Lawrence O'Donnell

Patriot Post: Racist, or just tired of too much government?

‘Just Being Fair’: Biden Redefines ‘Redistribution of Wealth’

“It’s about time we get a little tax equity here.”

Reason TV: The public sector is killing the private sector

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - “We’re twisting arms! We’re threatening people!” Normally, one would be tempted to call the government to stop people making these kinds of threats. Unfortunately, as Reason TV reports, those people are the government. In fact, the public sector has become the one growth industry in the Great Recession, with hardly a blip in its job expansion. But it comes at the expense of the private sector, and what’s more, it creates a permanent lobbying class for even more government expansion:

'Amateur hour': Lawrence Eagleburger Rips Obama Foreign Policy

Democratic senator: Voting for ObamaCare was “political folly”

(By Allahpundit, Hot Air) - You know it and I know it, but it’s always been an open question whether they know it too. I think Obama and Pelosi do. This was their chance to set the country on the path to welfare-state nirvana and they calculated — quite astutely — that it was worth sacrificing their majority to do so. Control of Congress will come and go, but a dependent electorate is forever. Whether the caucus and their idiot base calculated the same way or whether they really convinced themselves that the boondoggle to end all boondoggles was a political winner is more of a mystery.

What We Know That Isn't So

(By John Stossel, Townhall.com) - Much government interference with our peaceful pursuits is based on junk science and junk economics. Politicians know a lot of stuff that isn't so. So do reporters.

Let me count some of the ways. (I'll elaborate on tomorrow's Fox Business Network show.)

John Stossel on Free Speech Limits

(Fox News) - Should certain kinds of speech be banned?

What About Jobs?

(Fox News Channel) - Newt Gingrich previews his jobs summit.

Workers' Benefits Threatened?

(Fox News Channel) - House hearing will probe companies' health care claims.

Poodle helps out baby squirrels

Pixie nurses three baby squirrels, who were left homeless when their tree was cut down.

OXFORD (AP) - The owner of a toy poodle that nursed three baby squirrels back to health says that her pet is dealing well with a basic human emotion -- empty-nest syndrome.

One of the squirrels, however, is struggling, said Frank Newell of Warrenton, the animal-rehabilitation specialist who is now caring for the animals. The other two are doing well, he said.

The poodle, 4-year-old Pixie, was a little upset at first when the squirrels were sent Saturday to Newell, said Gail Latta of Oxford.

"She kept sniffing the box where we had them and whined a little bit," Latta said in a phone interview Monday.

Dog biscuits seemed to help Pixie's recovery, Latta said.

Pixie nursed the squirrels for two weeks after the tree where they lived was cut down. Latta first tried other methods of feeding them, including using nursing bottles for dogs, but they didn't work. She then turned to Pixie, who had recently had her own pups.

The puppies had been sold, but Pixie was still able to nurse.

"I figured I'd better try something different," Latta said. "Otherwise, I was going to lose them. And she took to them real good."

Latta said she also had a hard time turning over the squirrels to someone else but did so because she learned she might be violating state regulations by keeping wildlife in her home. So she gave the squirrels to Newell, who will raise them until they are ready to be released on his property.

America's Troubled Financial Future?

(Fox News Channel) - One nation under debt: Alarming new numbers from the CBO.

Brit Hume's Commentary: 3/30/10

(Fox News Channel) - Historical perspective on the politics of debt.

Companies Not Catching a Break

(Fox News Channel) - Some corporations say health care reform law will cost them big by taking away tax break.

Media Mum on Far-Left Protesters

(Fox News Channel) - Mainstream media outraged over Tea Party protests, but silent about far-left hatred.

Selective Rage Over Political Threats

(Fox News Channel) - Did mainstream media overlook maiming of health care protester?

Is Iran Going Nuclear?

(Fox News Channel) - New CIA report on the potential threat of the rogue nation.

Growing Nuclear Threat?

(Fox News Channel) - 'All-Star' panel on CIA's report that Iran is capable of making nukes.

"THIS IS SCARY": Special Report Panel Looks at Dem Bullying of Corps Revealing Huge ObamaCare Costs

America a Nanny State?

(Fox News Channel) - Dave Ramsey on Obama's apparent push for government involvement in all stages of life.

Bill O’Reilly Offers to Pay After Marine’s Father Is Ordered to Cover Funeral Protesters’ Fees

"Mr. Snyder won in the beginning then lost on appeal, incredibly the court has ordered him, ordered the Snyder family to pay more than $16,000 in court costs to the Westboro people. That is an outrage, and I will pay Mr. Synder's obligation. I'm not gonna let this injustice stand."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

PolitiZoid - Obamafeld

PolitiZoid: The endless banter, the self-absorbed complaining it sounds like Seinfeld, but with our liberal leaders, its just another day of the politics of meaninglessness.

Tuesday Funnies :-)


Separated at birth?

Epic Outburst by Minor-League Hockey Coach Triggers Fine

"It will be added to the top 10 tantrums in sports."

Tim Pawlenty Slams RomneyCare ... Insists He's "Not Criticizing" Potential GOP 2012 Rival Mitt Romney

Rep. Bachmann: Media Falsely Portray Tea Partiers as ‘Toothless Hillbillies’ and 'Rubes From the Backwater'

(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) told CNSNews.com that the media are falsely portraying “people who are in the Tea Party movement as toothless hillbillies, as rubes from the backwater, who don't know what they're talking about.”

Physicians & Surgeons Sue to Repeal Obamacare

(970 WFLA) - The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) became the first medical society to sue to overturn the newly enacted health care bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). AAPS sued Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (AAPS v. Sebelius et al.).

“If the PPACA goes unchallenged, then it spells the end of freedom in medicine as we know it,” observed Jane Orient, M.D., the Executive Director of AAPS. “Courts should not allow this massive intrusion into the practice of medicine and the rights of patients.”

“There will be a dire shortage of physicians if the PPACA becomes effective and is not overturned by the courts.”

FNC's Brit Hume Suggests Value-Added Tax Could Come in Congressional Lame-Duck Session

(Eyeblast.tv) - Former 'Special Report' anchor warns Congress will try to get tax passed after November election.

IRS Says It Needs More 'Resources' to Implement Tax Provisions of New Health Law...

Health Reform Law to Spawn More Tax Men?

(By DEVIN DWYER, ABC News) - Ask critics of the Democrats' health care overhaul about the law's impact, and among the "horrors" they may describe is an army of Internal Revenue Service agents with "dangerously expanded authority."

Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee warn that as many as 16,500 new IRS auditors and investigators -- or 17 percent of the agency's current work force -- could be needed to administer and enforce new health insurance rules under the law.

That could mean more audits, confiscated refunds and incursions into details of individuals' health insurance plans -- all at a cost of up to $10 billion over 10 years, they said in a report published last week.

Obama Steps Up Confrontation

White House Seeks to Rally Supporters With Aggressive Tone Against Opponents

(The Wall Street Journal) - President Barack Obama, after a year of fitfully searching for compromise, is taking a more aggressive tack with his Republican adversaries, hoping to energize Democratic voters and possibly muscle in some Republican support in Congress.

On Thursday, the president challenged Republicans who planned to campaign on repealing his health-care bill with, "Go for it." Two days later, he made 15 senior appointments without Senate consent, including a union lawyer whose nomination had been blocked by a filibuster.

Obama takes a piece of the rock; PRUDENTIAL to take $100M healthcare charge...

NEW YORK (AP) — Insurer Prudential Financial Inc. said Monday that it will take a $100 million charge in the first quarter in relation to the recent health care overhaul legislation.

The life insurance and annuities provider said in a regulatory filing that it will take the charge against earnings in the first quarter.

Prudential joins a growing list of companies that have said they will take accounting charges because of the health care bills. AT&T said last week it would take a $1 billion charge in the first quarter. AK Steel Corp., 3M Co., Caterpillar Inc., Deere & Co. and Valero Energy have also said they would take smaller charges.

Related Material...

Iowa Town Renames Good Friday to 'Spring Holiday'

Citing the Separation of Church and State, Davenport Nixes Holy Day

(By RUSSELL GOLDMAN, ABC News) - One week before the most solemn day in the Christian year, the city of Davenport, Iowa removed Good Friday from its municipal calendar, setting off a storm of complaints from Christians and union members whose contracts give them that day off.

Taking a recommendation by the Davenport Civil Rights Commission to change the holiday's name to something more ecumenical, City Administrator Craig Malin sent a memo to municipal employees announcing Good Friday would officially be known as "Spring Holiday."

"My phone has been ringing off the hook since Saturday," said city council alderman Bill Edmond. "People are genuinely upset because this is nothing but political correctness run amok."

Edmond said the city administrator made the change unilaterally and did not bring it to the council for a vote, a requirement for a change in policy.

Young Obama voters finally going to get their Hopenchange dividend

Health premiums could rise 17 pct for young adults

CHICAGO (AP) — Health insurance premiums for young adults are expected to rise about 17 percent once they're required to buy insurance four years from now. That estimate is from an analysis by Rand Health.

Young people will need to carry more of the burden of health care under the new health overhaul law. The new law limits an industry practice of charging older customers more.

Even so, the pluses could outweigh the minuses. Some 2 million people under age 26 should qualify for coverage under their parents' health plans. And Medicaid expansion will insure 9 million more young adults.

Bill O'Reilly Vs. Al Sharpton On Accusations Of Racism

Sean Hannity & Dick Morris On Obama's Spring Offensive

Wall Street Journal Editorial Board On ObamaCare Passage

Monday, March 29, 2010

Remembering the Gipper...

Cover of Reagan's spoken-word album 'Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine', 1961

"One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It's very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. ... Now, the American people, if you put it to them about socialized medicine and gave them a chance to choose, would unhesitatingly vote against it."
Ronald Reagan

Patriot Post: Maybe if Gibbs was reading the Constitution instead of a pop-up Star Wars book...

Laura Ingraham Throws Down With Matt Lauer on 'Today'

(Newsbusters) - Laura Ingraham didn't waste any time getting into it with NBC's Matt Lauer, on Monday's Today, as the conservative talk show host and author took Lauer, his colleague George Lewis and MSNBC to task for their slanted reporting of Sarah Palin and the tea party. After a Lewis set-up piece, in which the reporter asked if Palin gets "people too riled up?" Ingraham, in her interview with Lauer, charged him with bias: "How do you go from Sarah Palin giving a speech to saying did she rile up the people too much and then talk about death threats? I think that kind of reporting, really is what drives people crazy about the dinosaur media." Lauer countered that "some people" have noted that Palin's "comments" and "graphics" have "incited some people."

Rep. Burgess: Government Can Force Us to Buy General Motors Products If Obamacare Mandate Upheld in Court

(CNSNews.com) – Representative Michael Burgess (R-Texas) told CNSNews.com that if the mandate in the health care law requiring individuals to purchase health insurance or be penalized is upheld by the courts, the federal government could mandate anything, such as requiring all Americans to purchase a General Motors car.

Arizona Rancher Is Murdered Hours After Confrontation With Illegals

(KPHO-TV) - Robert Krentz, 58, was a third generation rancher who was inducted into the Arizona Farming and Ranching Hall of Fame one year ago.

Health overhaul likely to strain doctor shortage

WASHINGTON (AP) – Better beat the crowd and find a doctor.

Primary care physicians already are in short supply in parts of the country, and the landmark health overhaul that will bring them millions more newly insured patients in the next few years promises extra strain.

The new law goes beyond offering coverage to the uninsured, with steps to improve the quality of care for the average person and help keep us well instead of today's seek-care-after-you're-sick culture. To benefit, you'll need a regular health provider.

Yet recently published reports predict a shortfall of roughly 40,000 primary care doctors over the next decade, a field losing out to the better pay, better hours and higher profile of many other specialties. Provisions in the new law aim to start reversing that tide, from bonus payments for certain physicians to expanded community health centers that will pick up some of the slack.

Related Material...

Obama shows the love to union bosses

(Washington Examiner) - Craig Becker is one radical dude. He claims management should be barred from National Labor Relations Board hearings on labor-management disputes, and he is a strong advocate of Card Check, the union bosses' proposal to do away with secret ballots in workplace representation elections. None of this should come as a surprise, as Becker is the former associate general counsel for the radical Service Employees International Union and has represented the AFL-CIO in court. The son of a University of Iowa professor, he's also a former law professor at Georgetown and the University of California, Los Angeles. In other words, he's a product of two of the most out-of-touch milieus in American society. Only 7 percent of all private sector jobs are now represented by the unions Becker represents, and it is all but impossible to find a more uniformly left-wing group than the typical American college faculty.

So why is President Obama using his power of recess appointments -- the right of a president to put somebody in an executive branch position until the next Congress convenes, which in the present case will be January 2011 -- to install Becker as the deciding vote on the NLRB? The answer to that question, of course, starts with what the five-member NLRB does, which is oversee the administration of the National Labor Relations Act, the basic rule book for labor-management relations since it was signed by FDR in 1935. There is also the fact that last month Becker's nomination fell eight votes short of the 60 needed to defeat a threatened Republican filibuster in the Senate, which left a recess appointment as the only way Obama could get his man on the NLRB.

Related Material...

Planting the Seeds of Disaster

WASHINGTON (By Robert Samuelson, Real Clear Politics) - When historians recount the momentous events of recent weeks, they will note a curious coincidence. On March 15, Moody's Investors Service -- the bond rating agency -- published a paper warning that the exploding U.S. government debt could cause a downgrade of Treasury bonds. Just six days later, the House of Representatives passed President Obama's health care legislation costing $900 billion or so over a decade and worsening an already-bleak budget outlook.

Should the United States someday suffer a budget crisis, it will be hard not to conclude that Obama and his allies sowed the seeds, because they ignored conspicuous warnings. A further irony will not escape historians. For two years, Obama and members of Congress have angrily blamed the shortsightedness and selfishness of bankers and rating agencies for causing the recent financial crisis. The president and his supporters, the historians will note, were equally shortsighted and self-centered -- though their quest was for political glory, not financial gain.

Let's be clear. A "budget crisis" is not some minor accounting exercise. It's a wrenching political, social and economic upheaval. Large deficits and rising debt -- the accumulation of past deficits -- spook investors, leading to higher interest rates on government loans. The higher rates expand the budget deficit and further unnerve investors. To reverse this calamitous cycle, the government has to cut spending deeply or raise taxes sharply. Lower spending and higher taxes in turn depress the economy and lead to higher unemployment. Not pretty.

Top insurance exec: Your health premiums will go up, coverage will change under Obamacare

(By Byron York, Washington Examiner) - Many, many times during the health care debate, President Obama promised the American people that if they have insurance and they are happy with it, then it would not change under the Democrats' national health care proposal. "Under the plan, if you like your current health insurance, nothing changes, except your costs will go down by as much as $2,500 per year," Obama promised on his transition website before assuming office. Once in the White House, he repeated that promise over and over and over.

You didn't really believe that, did you? Good. To confirm your suspicions, read the new BusinessWeek interview with Ron Williams, the chairman and CEO of Aetna Insurance, which covers more than 36 million Americans...

Democrats threaten companies hit hard by health care bill

Separated at Birth?

(By Byron York, Washington Examiner) - Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, has summoned some of the nation's top executives to Capitol Hill to defend their assessment that the new national health care reform law will cost their companies hundreds of millions of dollars in health insurance expenses. Waxman is also demanding that the executives give lawmakers internal company documents related to health care finances -- a move one committee Republican describes as "an attempt to intimidate and silence opponents of the Democrats' flawed health care reform legislation."

On Thursday and Friday, the companies -- so far, they include AT&T, Verizon, Caterpillar, Deere, Valero Energy, AK Steel and 3M -- said a tax provision in the new health care law will make it far more expensive to provide prescription drug coverage to their retired employees. Now, both retirees and current employees of those companies are wondering whether the new law could mean reduced or canceled benefits for them in the future.

The news is an embarrassment for Democrats. As President Obama and congressional leaders tout the purported benefits of the new health care law, some of the nation's biggest companies are saying it will mean higher costs and fewer benefits -- not exactly what Democrats want to hear in the days after their historic victory.

George Will: End birthright citizenship

(By George Will, The Washington Post) - A simple reform would drain some scalding steam from immigration arguments that may soon again be at a roiling boil. It would bring the interpretation of the 14th Amendment into conformity with what the authors of its text intended, and with common sense, thereby removing an incentive for illegal immigration.

To end the practice of "birthright citizenship," all that is required is to correct the misinterpretation of that amendment's first sentence: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside." From these words has flowed the practice of conferring citizenship on children born here to illegal immigrants.

A parent from a poor country, writes professor Lino Graglia of the University of Texas law school, "can hardly do more for a child than make him or her an American citizen, entitled to all the advantages of the American welfare state." Therefore, "It is difficult to imagine a more irrational and self-defeating legal system than one which makes unauthorized entry into this country a criminal offense and simultaneously provides perhaps the greatest possible inducement to illegal entry."

Tornado outside of Spencer, NC and High Point on I-85 Southbound.

Jim DeMint: "The President Is Mocking Americans"

"He said 'Bring it on,' and that's what we intend to do."

It’s on: Marco Rubio vs. Charlie Crist on “Fox News Sunday”

(Fox News) - Former state Speaker of the House Marco Rubio and Florida Governor Charlie Crist square off on 'Fox News Sunday'.

Chuck Schumer: Lies About Health Care Have Vanished Since It Passed

(By Colby Hall, Mediaite) - Even though the media interest in health care continued to ebb since the passing of a historic reform bill earlier last week, the Sunday talk shows still delivered some noteworthy moments. Take Meet the Press for example. Senator Lindsey Graham’s urging of a civil debate and insistence that “Obama is just as an American as anyone else.” On the same show, NY Senator Chuck Schumer suggestion that the lies about health reform have disappeared since its been passed.

Howard Dean: Of Course Health Care Law Is Redistribution of Wealth

"It's like a machine. You always got to tune it right."

Mike Huckabee On 'Spineless Dems'

'Used and abused by Obama'

Laura Ingraham Rips Dems' Exploitation Of Violence

She fills in for Bill O'Reilly

Possible Tornadoes, Severe Storms Slam Piedmont

WGHP: Several reported tornadoes, hail and severe thunderstorms moved through the Piedmont on Sunday destroying several homes and causing flooding problems through early Monday morning.

Tornado warnings were in effect for much of the viewing area Sunday night, with the strongest storms moving through Davidson, Forsyth, Guilford and Rockingham Counties.

A tornado was confirmed near Linwood in Davidson County. Davidson County EMS confirmed that a tornado damaged many homes at the Chestnut Grove trailer park off Clark Road, and 30 people were displaced from their homes. 30-40 people were also displaced from a trailer park on Sink Lake Road in the Hasty Community. Davidson County Sheriff David Grice declared a state of emergency due to the severe damage.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Amnesty for Illegals Next for Obama?

(Fox News Channel) - Is amnesty for illegal immigrants next on president's agenda?

‘Vote the Pigs Out’: Ted Nugent Calls for ‘New Independence Day in November’

"How dare our elected officials force this debacle upon we the people and admit they didn't even read it."

Libtalker Calls for Deaths of Limbaugh, Beck, O’Reilly

"Well, keep it up boys, just keep it up, um except for one thing: you rat bastards are going to cause another Murrah federal building explosion, you are. And then - what is Beck - maybe at that point Beck will do the honorable thing and blow his brains out."

Hobbyist Shoots Photos of Earth from Space With Cheap Camera, Weather Balloons and Duct Tape

(ABC News) - A typical space shuttle mission flies 200 miles above the earth's surface and returns beautiful pictures on the way, but it involves 1,500 people, puts six or seven astronauts at risk and costs, depending on who's doing the counting, close to half a billion dollars. Robert Harrison got some pretty good pictures, too. He did it with a weather balloon, a used digital camera he picked up on eBay and some duct tape.

Lt. Ralph Peters on Obama's Snub of Bibi: "It Was Shameful. We Treat Our Enemies With Greater Courtesy"

Saturday Funnies :-)

Friday, March 26, 2010

AT&T will take $1B non-cash charge for health care

NEW YORK (By BARBARA ORTUTAY, AP Technology Writer) – AT&T Inc. will take a $1 billion non-cash charge in the first quarter because of the health care overhaul and may cut benefits it offers to current and retired workers.

The charge is the largest disclosed so far. Earlier this week, AK Steel Corp., Caterpillar Inc., Deere & Co. and Valero Energy announced similar accounting charges, saying the health care law that President Barack Obama signed Tuesday will raise their expenses.

Harry Reid Casts Wrong Vote on Health Care for Second Time

(CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid mistakenly called out "no" Thursday when asked for his vote on the health care reconciliation bill, setting the chamber howling with laughter. Reid voted the wrong way when the clerk called for his vote, realized his error and quickly changed his vote to "yes." "He did it again," someone said amid laughter.

McCaskill: Dems 'overpromising' on healthcare

(By Eric Zimmermann, The Hill) - Democrats are "overpromising" about the benefits of healthcare, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said this morning.

The Missouri Democrat said her party has probably oversold the legislation that just became law.

"The side on which I'm on, that voted for the bill, probably is overpromising, [has] not been clear enough about the fact that this is going to be an incremental approach over time, [and] the benefits aren't going to be felt by most Americans immediately," McCaskill told MSNBC's Mornine Joe.

Nevertheless, the Republicans have been over the top in demonizing the health bill, McCaskill said.

"Chicken little is running the Republican party right now, and when the sky doesn't fall then all those independent voters out there go, 'Gosh, they sure told us it was going to be terrible and this isn't so bad," she said.

"So the truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle."

Houston TV Anchor Takes Tumble From Chair During Live Broadcast

"It's time to get your pinch."

Uncovered Video Shows Extreme Coordination Among Obama’s Coalition for ‘Revolution’

(Breitbart.tv) - Rev. Jim Wallis, Rev. Jeremiah Wright & ACORN/SEIU's Wade Rathke come together in 2005 in support of the Gamaliel Foundation (Obama's first employer).

Related Material...

Obama to banks: Start cutting mortgage payments

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - With his economic policies on housing failing for the past year, Barack Obama has decided to double down on postponing the inevitable. In order to stem the coming tide on foreclosures, Obama has come up with the notion that banks should simply stop getting paid for their loans, at least for those people out of work. This child-like solution will mean that Obama will subsidize even more mortgage payments...

Sen. Max Baucus: ObamaCare will help correct the “maldistribution” of income

"Too often, much of late, the last couple three years the mal-distribution of income in America is gone up way too much, the wealthy are getting way, way too wealthy, and the middle income class is left behind. Wages have not kept up with increased income of the highest income in America. This legislation will have the effect of addressing that mal-distribution of income in America."

Cuban leader applauds US health-care reform bill

HAVANA (By PAUL HAVEN, The Associated Press) - It perhaps was not the endorsement President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress were looking for.

Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Thursday declared passage of American health care reform "a miracle" and a major victory for Obama's presidency, but couldn't help chide the United States for taking so long to enact what communist Cuba achieved decades ago.

"We consider health reform to have been an important battle and a success of his (Obama's) government," Castro wrote in an essay published in state media, adding that it would strengthen the president's hand against lobbyists and "mercenaries."

Related Material...

Companies say health care costs hard to swallow

(By JOSH FUNK, AP) - The health care overhaul will cost U.S. companies billions and make them more likely to drop prescription drug coverage for retirees because of a change in how the government subsidizes those benefits.

In the first two days after the law was signed, three major companies — Deere & Co., Caterpillar Inc. and Valero Energy — said they expect to take a total hit of $265 million to account for smaller tax deductions in the future.

With more than 3,500 companies now getting the tax break as an incentive to keep providing coverage, others are almost certain to announce similar cost increases in the weeks ahead as they sort out the impact of the change.

Figuring out what it will mean for retirees will take longer, but analysts said as many as 2 million could lose the prescription drug coverage provided by their former employers, leaving them to enroll in Medicare’s program.

Related Material...

The VAT Cometh

This massive new entitlement needs a cash cow.

(By Charles Krauthammer, National Review Online) - As the night follows the day, the VAT cometh.

With the passage of Obamacare, which created a vast new middle-class entitlement, a national sales tax of the kind almost universal in Europe is inevitable.

We are now $8 trillion in debt. The Congressional Budget Office projects that another $12 trillion will be added over the next decade. Obamacare, when stripped of its budgetary gimmicks — the unfunded $200 billion­–plus doctor fix, the double-counting of Medicare cuts, the ten-six sleight-of-hand (counting ten years of revenue and only six years of outflows) — is, at minimum, a $2 trillion new entitlement.

Chris Matthews: “I Don’t Know What About Democracy The Right Wing Likes”

(By Colby Hall, Mediaite) - With and increased threat of violence towards members of Congress after passing health care reform, Chris Matthews had on two subjects who were intended targets – Tom Perriello and Bart Stupak (D-MI) on Hardball last night. But it was Matthews summation of the “right wing” that is certain to raise eyebrows, the video of which is below:

Fire damages Chatham County, NC courthouse, John Edwards sex tape survives

Firefighters battle a blaze that destroyed much of the historic Chatham County courthouse, Thursday, March 25, in Pittsboro

PITTSBORO (AP) - Fire severely damaged a historic North Carolina courthouse where the clock tower collapsed overnight.

The clock tower at the Chatham County Courthouse in Pittsboro collapsed early Friday. About 15 firefighters poured water on hot spots still burning from the fire, which began Thursday afternoon.

The cause of the fire hasn't been determined, although a city spokeswoman says renovations had begun about two months ago and scaffolding covered the entire building. The State Bureau of Investigation and Chatham County fire officials are investigating.

The courthouse was built in 1881 and is listed on the National Historic Registry.

The building has been the site of an ongoing dispute about a videotape purportedly showing former presidential candidate John Edwards in a sexual encounter. Superior Court Judge Abraham Penn Jones told The Associated Press on Thursday that the materials turned over in the case are in a vault away from the courthouse.

Neil Cavuto Knows Nancy Pelosi And “She Ain’t No Martin Luther King”

(By Colby Hall, Mediaite) - How big of a deal is health care reform? Democrats have been liberally comparing passing of health care legislation with the civil rights movement of the 60’s. Some see that as an apt comparison, others see it as both a pretty big reach and/or an example of hubris. This was the topic today when Neil Cavuto was interviewing Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX).

A real green job: dash to the finish continues

(Winston-Salem Journal) - Workers from Sandhill Turf were busy installing the final rolls of turf yesterday at BB&T Ballpark as preparations continue for the Winston-Salem Dash's home-opener on April 13. The job of laying the sod began Monday, with almost 100,000 square feet of grass installed.

Charles Krauthammer: Obama Admin.'s Sanctions Plan for Iran Is Now as Soft as 'Thin Soup'

Stokes tax rate affects lottery allotment; County won’t receive a 35 percent portion

(By Leslie Bray Evans, The Stokes News) - Stokes County government officials received some disheartening news recently. A large portion of lottery money will not be headed this way after all. The county will get its regular lottery distribution, but an additional 35 percent that could’ve made quite a difference will not be allotted to Stokes.

The reason? Stokes County’s effective tax rate was not greater than 100 percent this past year.

CBO report: Debt will rise to 90% of GDP

(By David M. Dickson, The Washington Times) - President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget will generate nearly $10 trillion in cumulative budget deficits over the next 10 years, $1.2 trillion more than the administration projected, and raise the federal debt to 90 percent of the nation's economic output by 2020, the Congressional Budget Office reported Thursday.

In its 2011 budget, which the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released Feb. 1, the administration projected a 10-year deficit total of $8.53 trillion. After looking it over, CBO said in its final analysis, released Thursday, that the president's budget would generate a combined $9.75 trillion in deficits over the next decade.

"An additional $1.2 trillion in debt dumped on [GDP] to our children makes a huge difference," said Brian Riedl, a budget analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation. "That represents an additional debt of $10,000 per household above and beyond the federal debt they are already carrying."

Friday Funnies :-)

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Consistent (Original Airdate: January 18, 2010)

Rush Limbaugh: Folks, the state-controlled Washington Post reports that many of our top public universities are providing millions of dollars in financial aid to students whose families are wealthy instead of providing that aid to students in need.

Now, this most disturbing and alarming news was discovered by the Education Trust, a non-profit advocacy group. They say that as a result of aiding wealthy families, many of our public universities "enroll students who are far richer and far whiter" than they should be. Discriminating against the poor also provides another benefit to these universities: By recruiting kids from high-achieving wealthy families, these colleges climb up in national rankings.

According to the report, 30 years ago Pell Grants covered most of the costs of attending a four-year college; today they cover only about a third of the costs, making it more difficult for the poor to attend.

Under normal circumstances, I would be skeptical about this report and classify it as yet another example of class envy from leftists on the hunt for more government aid.

But there's reason to give this report credence. After all, who runs our public universities? Liberals! And not just liberals -- egghead liberals from academia. So it is entirely possible -- and totally believable -- that the very poor they claim to help are in fact being discriminated against, and it's also believable that these liberals benefit from that discrimination. It's entirely consistent with who and what liberals are.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
• Washington Post: Top Public Universities Faulted on Financial Aid

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Farm equipment manufacturers take deep hits from ObamaCare

Wages of the nanny state.

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Caterpillar announced last week that it would take a $100 million hit from the mandates in ObamaCare, and yesterday, they made it official. As a publicly-traded firm, Caterpillar had to reveal the major change to its financial standing to its investors...

As it happens, Caterpillar isn’t alone, not even among its competitors. In fact, the massive charge actually amounts to 'less' than what John Deere had to announce today...

Congressional Staffers Complain About Double Standard in Health Care Law

Congressional aides forced to switch insurance policies under the health care overhaul are wondering: if a health care exchange is good enough for them, why isn't it good enough for the people who wrote the plan?

(By Jana Winter, FOXNews.com) - Select congressional leadership staffers -- some of whom wrote the health insurance act -- are not governed by new rules governing millions of Americans and the rest of their colleagues on how they buy insurance -- and the special exemption has the Hill hopping mad.

Dennis Prager To David Shuster: "There's A Cancer Afflicting The Country, & You Will Focus On Athlete's Foot"

(By Greg Hengler, Townhall.com) - David Shuster had no idea his pathetic question would backfire. Dennis is way out of Shuster's league. I paused a moment to consider whether I felt sorry for Shuster. It's funny that I took the time.

Jason Mattera Takes On An Obama Zombie

(Eyeblast.tv) - While promoting his book "Obama Zombies" on Fox and Friends this morning Jason Mattera comes in direct contact with an example of one. Awesomeness ensues.

Charlie Gasparino: Obama an 'Ideologue'...with a 'Cheerleading' Media

(Eyeblast.tv) - On the Fox Business Network, Charlie Gaspirino says health care overhaul proves Obama's not a "liberal," but a "leftist" and "ideologue."

MSNBC’s Shuster Then and Now: Biden vs. Cheney

(Eyeblast.tv) - MSNBC’s Shuster Then and Now: Cheney’s F-Bomb Warranted an Overview of Politician’s Language. Six Years Later Portrays F-Bomb as a T-Shirt Slogan.

CNN’s Ed Henry: Cheney’s Outburst ‘Nastier Parts’ of Campaign, Biden’s ‘Unscripted Moment’

(Eyeblast.tv) - CNN’s Ed Henry: Cheney’s Outburst ‘Nastier Parts’ of Campaign, Biden’s ‘Unscripted Moment'.

Chris Matthews Accuses Republicans of 'Criminal' Incitement

(Eyeblast.tv) - Does Chris Matthews want Republican congressmen arrested? On Wednesday's Hardball he actually posed that possibility to Democratic Congressman Chris Van Hollen, as he blamed GOP rhetoric for causing vandalism of Democratic offices as he asked Van Hollen: "Would you say that this incitement, from the Republican leadership is criminal?"

NBC's Ann Curry Hectors McCain to Condemn Palin's 'Incendiary Language'

(Eyeblast.tv) - Picking up the Democratic line that her MSNBC colleagues started repeating yesterday, NBC's Ann Curry, on Thursday's Today show, continually harangued Senator John McCain about Republican lawmakers "encouraging the violence" against Democrats, and even urged the Arizona senator to condemn his former running mate Sarah Palin.

Stokes officials set hearing on hospital's future

WFUBMC ends management of Stokes-Reynolds

DANBURY (By Lisa O'Donnell, Winston-Salem Journal) - Now that Stokes County is in charge of Stokes-Reynolds Memorial Hospital, county commissioners want the public to weigh in on the future of the hospital.

The commissioners decided earlier this week to have a public hearing about the hospital at 7 p.m. May 27 at the Stokes County Government Center.

Earlier this month, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center decided that, for financial reasons, it no longer wanted to manage the hospital after 18 years.

Rep. Eric Cantor Condemns Top Dems for Using Violent Incidents as ‘Media Vehicles for Political Gain’

"It's reckless to use these incidents as media vehicles for political gain. That is why I have deep concerns that some - DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen and DNC Chairman Tim Cain, in particular - are dangerously fanning the flames by suggesting that these incidents be used as a political weapon."

Related Material...

Nancy Pelosi Condemns Threats Against Members of Congress

(ABC News) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday condemned vandalism and threats of violence against members of Congress who voted for sweeping health care change, saying such behavior "must be rejected." She told a news conference Thursday that "I don't want this to be a distraction," but also said that such actions have "no place in a civil debate in our country." She vowed not to let incidents of vandalism and hate-mongering distract the work of Congress.

Amish, Muslims Exempt from Obamacare Mandate?

(The American Thinker) - The Senate health care bill just signed contains some exemptions to the "pay-or-play" mandate requiring purchase of Obamacare-approved health insurance or payment of a penalty fine. As Fox News has pointed out, for instance, the Amish are excused from the mandate:

So while most Americans would be required to sign up with insurance companies or government insurance plans, the church would serve as something of an informal insurance plan for the Amish.

Law experts say that kind of exemption withstands scrutiny.

"Here the statute is going to say that people who are conscientiously opposed to paying for health insurance don't have to do it where the conscientious objection arises from religion," said Mark Tushnet a Harvard law professor. "And that's perfectly constitutional."

Dems Vote to Give Viagra to Sex Offenders

(Politico.com) - Democrats killed an amendment by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn to prevent the newly created insurance exchanges from using federal money to cover Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs for rapists, pedophiles and other sex offenders. The amendment failed 57-42

"The vast majority of Americans don't want their taxpayer dollars paying for this kind of drug for those kind of people," Coburn said.

Democratic Sen. Max Baucus urged his colleagues to defeat the amendment.

"This is a serious bill. This is a serious debate. The amendment offered by the senator from Oklahoma makes a mockery of the Senate, the debate and the American people. It is not a serious amendment. It is a crass political stunt aimed at making 30-second commercials, not public policy," he said.

Democrats have defeated every amendment offered by Republicans so far, arguing that any change will kill the bill.

Ann Coulter responds to Canadian 'Crybabies'

(By Ann Coulter) - Since arriving in Canada I've been accused of thought crimes, threatened with criminal prosecution for speeches I hadn't yet given, and denounced on the floor of the Parliament (which was nice because that one was on my "bucket list").

Posters advertising my speech have been officially banned, while posters denouncing me are plastered all over the University of Ottawa campus. Elected officials have been prohibited from attending my speeches. Also, the local clothing stores are fresh out of brown shirts.

Welcome to Canada!

'Special Report' Online Show: 3/24/10

(Fox News Channel) - The panel discusses Iraq, health care reform law, and takes viewer questions.

Social Security will tip over into annual deficits … now

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Give the New York Times some credit in reporting the retreat of Social Security into red ink … but don’t give them too much credit. We’ve been writing about this for the last few years, and when we wrote about it, we presented the entire political backstory, including how Barack Obama’s OMB Director Peter Orszag predicted in 2008, while running the CBO, that this day would come — in 2019. We included mentions of how Harry Reid and other Democrats insisted in 2005 that George Bush was scaremongering when he attempted to reform SSA through partial, elective privatization, and how they assured us that Social Security was safe for decades without reform.

Does the Times mention any of this? Not exactly. In fact, the name “Orszag” doesn’t appear once, nor does the name “Reid.” Guess how many times the name “Greenspan” appears in this article by Mary Williams Walsh? Five...

Rep. James Clyburn: Health Care Opponents Aiding Terrorism

MSNBC’S Ed Schultz: Congress Should Enforce ‘Socialist’ Talk Radio Plan

Sean Hannity: ‘If You Look Up the Dictionary Definition of Socialism, This Is It’

"Obama is a socialist. If you take over banks, if you take over car companies, if you take over financial institutions, the way that he has--now the health care system. If you're going to use every crooked deal that you can come up with to get a bill like that passed--most recently the health care bill--that is by definition, if you look up the dictionary definition of socialism, this is it."

Jesse Jackson Tries To Clarify The Racial Divide Between Blacks & Hispanics

(By Greg Hengler, Townhall.com) - After a minute of pure confusion, Jesse gives a real answer: The only way to fix this problem, he says, is the government enforcing the Civil Right's Law. Well, at least it's an answer.

Exclusive: Rep. Steny Hoyer explains taxing Americans for lack of health insurance

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Well, actually, he doesn’t, although he should. My good friend Jason Mattera graciously allowed us first crack at publishing his brief interview with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, taped by his colleague Alyssa Cordova of the Claire Boothe Luce Institute. The author of the new book 'Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation' starts off the chat pleasantly enough, disarming Hoyer by thanking him for all his work on health-care reform, before asking him exactly who thought it was a good idea to sic the IRS on Americans for not buying the right kind of health insurance:

Entitlement Rip-Off

(By John Stossel, Townhall.com) - Bernie Madoff took money from people who thought he'd invested it, gave some to others who thought it was a partial return on their earlier investments and kept much for himself. That's called a Ponzi scheme, and his $50 billion fraud was called the biggest ever. But it wasn't the biggest. Social Security and Medicare are much bigger ones.

These are trillion-dollar scams. Medicare has a $36 trillion unfunded liability. Social Security's is $8 trillion. There's no money to keep those promises.

But Congress isn't investigating this scam. Congress runs it. That FICA money you thought government had saved for your retirement is gone. There's nothing left but IOUs backed by nothing. Your money was spent not only on current retirees but on wars, welfare, corporate bailouts, earmarks and all the other stuff Congress wants. For years, this was possible because the FICA tax brought in surpluses that allowed government to pay retirees more than they contributed and still help buy those other things.

Those days are gone. The huge group of baby boomers has started to retire, and that means trouble. In 2008, for the first time, Medicare paid out more than it took in.

Schoolhouse Rock’s ‘I’m Just a Bill’ Gets Joe Biden Remix

How A Bill Really Becomes A Law (A Schoolhouse Rock Parody)

Paying for Health Care Reform Law

(Fox News Channel) - Lawmakers looking for money from taxpayers to carry out reform.

Charles Krauthammer On Obama's "Absurd" Treatment Of Israel

He appears on 'Special Report'

Obama's 'Clearly Unconstitutional' Move

(Fox News Channel) - Rep. Ron Paul says president's executive order on abortion is 'blatantly wrong' because only Congress should be passing laws.

Bill O'Reilly Vs. Anthony Weiner On ObamaCare Provision

Almost as good as when he debated Barney Frank

Related Material...

Neil Cavuto opines: ObamaCare Fine Print Fallout

Miller Time Talking Ann Coulter, Biden: 3/24/10

(Fox News Channel) - Dennis Miller muses about passage of Obamacare and Biden dropping F-word.

It appears to be a wrap for drive-in

Winston-Salem Journal: MOUNT AIRY - The Bright Leaf Drive In movie theater has closed after 55 years in business, according to the theater's Web site.

The drive-in theater on North Andy Griffith Parkway in Mount Airy was closed last weekend. The owner of the land where the drive-in is located decided not to renew the lease with the theater owners.

"It is our understanding that the land is going to be sold and then there will be no more drive-in," the Web site says.

Jason and Nicole White own the theater and have plans to sell all of its equipment. The Whites are previous employees of the business. Jason White did not return a call for comment.

The Bright Leaf, named for the large amount of tobacco grown in Surry County, was started in May 1955 by Don Davis. He died in January 2005.