Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rasmussen : More people now believe stimulus hurt economy rather than helped


Is it any wonder why the Chosen One has a disapproval rating of 56%?

Rasmussen

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 30% of voters nationwide believe the $787-billion economic stimulus plan has helped the economy. However, 38% believe that the stimulus plan has hurt the economy. This is the first time since the legislation passed that a plurality has held a negative view of its impact. 

The number who believe that the stimulus plan has hurt the economy rose from 28% in September, to 31% in October, and 34% in November before jumping to 38% this month. The week after the president signed the bill, 34% said it would help the economy, while 32% said it would hurt

The underlying reason for skepticism about the stimulus plan is that 50% of voters believe increasing government spending is bad for the economy. 

National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
December 20-21, 2009

Earlier this year, Congress and the president enacted a $787 billion economic stimulus plan. So far, has the economic stimulus plan helped the economy, hurt the economy or had no impact on the economy?

Helped         30%
Hurt            38%
No Impact    28%
Not Sure        5% 

So take that Mr Krugman and the rest of your Keynesian friends. The American people are starting to come around to the fact that Austrian Economic Theory and people like Ron Paul know what's best for the country and the economy.

Neocon Joe Lieberman : "Yemen will be tomorrow's war"

In the wake of the bomb plot on Flight 253 by alleged terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, Sen Lieberman (I-CT) and the Obama administration seem ready to ramp up the war machine to go after Yemen now.

The Hill
Lieberman, who helms the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said on "Fox News Sunday" that the U.S. will have to take an active approach in Yemen after multiple recent terrorist attacks on the U.S. were linked back to the Middle Eastern nation.

The Connecticut senator said that an administration official told him that "Iraq was yesterday's war, Afghanistan is today's war. If we don't act preemptively, Yemen will be tomorrow's war."

Lieberman, who is known to be hawkish on security issues, said that Yemen needs to be a focal point because two recent attacks were linked back to a growing al-Qaeda presence there.

Interestingly enough US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano continues to downplay the attempted bombing as an al-Qaeda attack Sunday on CNN's State of the Union.
"Right now we have no indication that it is part of anything larger, but obviously the investigation continues,"
So which is it, was al-Qaeda involved or not? Maybe we should have a preemptive strike against Britain too since that is where Abdulmutallab went to college and where shoe bomber Richard Reid lived.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Who is Sibel Edmonds?

That was a question I was asking myself this morning when her name came up in a LRC.com article I was reading over coffee and toast so I clicked the link and was amazed what I read. Now granted it was to Alex Jones' Info Wars site so I took it with a grain of salt and decided to google her name to see what came up.

I am amazed and awestruck that I have never heard of her before and appalled that her allegations have not received more attention in the LSM or even with Fox.

Her implications reach the highest levels of government within the Bush administration and should not be ignored. Nor should any links to Illinois politics, namely former House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

So here is who Sibel Edmonds is.

Sibel Deniz Edmonds (born 1970) is a Turkish-American former FBI translator and founder of the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC). Edmonds was fired from her position as a language specialist at the FBI's Washington Field Office in March, 2002, after she accused a colleague of covering up illicit activity involving foreign nationals, alleging serious acts of security breaches, cover-ups, and intentional blocking of intelligence which, she contended, presented a danger to the United States' security.

Her main allegation is that US government officials within the Department of State, the Pentagon and Congress were aiding foreign agents in Turkey and Israel (Who’s Afraid of Sibel Edmonds?) but she also claims that the FBI has advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks (FBI & 9/11) but missed the clues.

Here are some other articles chronicling Sibel Edmonds and the claims that she makes

Vanity Fair An Inconvenient Patriot
The American Conservative Found in Translation
The UK Sunday Times For sale: West’s deadly nuclear secrets
60 Minutes Lost In Translation

Here is also an interesting French documentary on Sibel Edmonds from 2005 entitled Kill The Messenger



So what is the government trying to hide?

Even Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) wanted the case looked into further as their letter to Atty General John Ashcroft shows.

The American people deserve to know all the facts in this case. We need to know if Sibel Edmonds is telling the truth or not and if she is, the corruption in our government needs to be exposed.

Jasper Schuringa : hero of flight 253

H/T Libertarian Republican

NY Post
"Suddenly, we hear a bang. It sounded like a firecracker went off," said Jasper Schuringa, a film director who was traveling to the US to visit friends.

"When [it] went off, everybody panicked ... Then someone screamed, ‘Fire! Fire!’"

Schuringa, sitting in seat 20J, in the right-most section of the Airbus 330, looked to his left. "I saw smoke rising from a seat ... I didn’t hesitate. I just jumped," he said.

Schuringa dove over four passengers to reach Abdul Mutallab’s seat. The suspect had a blanket on his lap. "It was smoking and there were flames coming from beneath his legs."

"I searched on his body parts and he had his pants open. He had something strapped to his legs."

The unassuming hero ripped the flaming, molten object — which resembled a small, white shampoo bottle — off Abdul Mutallab’s left leg, near his crotch. He said he put out the fire with his bare hands.

"I don’t feel like a hero," Schuringa told the Post as he recuperated with pals. "It was something that came completely natural ... It was something where I had to do something or it was too late."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas



Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night
from Chris, Christine and the kitty army

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Kill the Bill : sign the Firedoglake petition

Now mind you, the ultra-lefties hate this bill for the opposite reasons many of us do, they don't think the bill is socialist enough. With that in mind though, does it really matter why they want it killed, just that they want it killed.

So let's unite join our "friends" on the left and spread the word, sign the petition to kill the socialistic health care disaster that the Chosen One is trying to ram through. The Democrats are more likely to listen if it comes from somewhere like Firedoglake anyway and we get to live to fight another day.

And who says that Obama isn't uniting the country? This is something we all can agree on.



Kill the Senate Health Care Bill. Sign the Petition.

The Senate's health care bill must be killed.  Sign our petition to Congress and President Obama: We must do better for health care than this bill.

The Senate health care bill is an ungodly mess of errors, loopholes, and massive giveaways. When the American people find out what's actually in this bill, they will revolt. Here's why:

  1. Forces you to pay up to 8% of your income to private insurance corporations -- whether you want to or not (#)
  2. If you refuse to buy the insurance,  you'll have to pay penalties of up to 2% of your annual income to the IRS (#)
  3. After being forced to pay thousands in premiums for junk insurance, you can still be on the hook for up to $11,900 a year in out-of-pocket medical expenses (#)
  4. Massive restriction on a woman's right to choose, designed to trigger a challenge to Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court (#)
  5. Paid for by taxes on the middle class insurance plan you have right now through your employer, causing them to cut back benefits and increase co-pays (#)
  6. Many of the taxes to pay for the bill start now, but most Americans won't see any benefits -- like an end to discrimination against those with preexisting conditions -- until 2014 when the program begins (#)
  7. Allows insurance companies to charge people who are older 300% more than others (#)
  8. Grants monopolies to drug companies that will keep generic versions of expensive biotech drugs from ever coming to market (#)
  9. No reimportation of prescription drugs, which would save consumers $100 billion over 10 years (#)
  10. The cost of medical care will continue to rise, and insurance premiums for a family of four will rise an average of $1000 a year -- meaning in 10 years, you family's insurance premium will be $10,000 more annually than it is right now (#)

We desperately need health care reform.  But we can't pass the Senate's bill.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A view from a parallel universe


I'd really like to know which Obama administration Terry Mancour has been watching?
We got competent governance and sane policy, cleanly delivered. We got an administration that treats the citizenry as adults to be considered, not obstacles to be overcome. We saw our standing on the world stage restored. We got an adept politician in a difficult situation using his intelligence and his persuasiveness to calm fears and inspire hope, when the conventional wisdom was all doom and gloom. We got an economy that would likely be much, much worse under the opposition candidate. We saw science restored to its proper role, we saw the glimmer of sane drug control policy and we saw, finally, a man in power who was willing to tackle the issues before us, not try to dodge them.
Can he really write this with a straight face? The past year under the Chosen One has been anything but competent, sane or cleanly delivered. Nor has the administration treated us like adults. Instead we have been treated like children who's parents know what's in our best interest.

This adept politician that Mancour speaks of has done nothing but pout and deride any criticism that comes his way, even going as far as letting his attack dogs loose on a news organization that does not bow down to his will. Obama has done nothing to end partisan politics or increase transparency in the administration. On the contrary, he has shut out and ignored opposing views and the transparency he promised has been nonexistent.

Our economy is so much better too. 10% unemployment, a $12T+ national debt that is growing at an unprecedented rate, a government takeover of the banking and auto industries and let's not forget the Treasury printing presses that are churning out more devalued dollars every day. As a believer in Austrian Economics, I'd take the worse. That is to say that I'd let unsustainable businesses fail and let the free market dictate who survives. Sure it would have been bad but the bottom would have happened already instead of this prolonging of the inevitable.

And you have to be kidding me that the role of science has been restored to its proper role. In the light of Climategate and all the other fraud that has been exposed in regards to AGW, the Chosen One still went to Copenhagen to get a global treaty done and will still try to ram Cap and Trade down our throats.

But Terry Mancour is correct in one respect, Obama has tackled the tough issues. More to the point he as blindsided them with a baseball bat, beat them when they were down and left them for dead in the gutter. One only needs to look at the health care debacle where the Democrats have had to beg, borrow, steal and bribe to have any hope of passing their socialized medicine plan.

Obama has been wrong in just about every decision he has made and his approval rating is the lowest of any President at this point in his first term. Even his base is turning against him but people like Terry Mancour can still find a positive in all this.

What is a right?

By Andrew P. Napolitano



From Glenn Beck 12/18
In the continually harsh public discourse over the President’s proposals for federally-managed healthcare, the Big Government progressives in both the Democratic and the Republican parties have been trying to trick us. These folks, who really want the government to care for us from cradle to grave, have been promoting the idea that health care is a right. In promoting that false premise, they have succeeded in moving the debate from WHETHER the feds should micro-manage health care to HOW the feds should micro-manage health care. This is a false premise, and we should reject it. Health care is not a right; it is a good, like food, like shelter, and like clothing.

What is a right? A right is a gift from God that extends from our humanity. Thinkers from St. Thomas Aquinas, to Thomas Jefferson, to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to Pope John Paul II have all argued that our rights are a natural part of our humanity. We own our bodies, thus we own the gifts that emanate from our bodies. So, our right to life, our right to develop our personalities, our right to think as we wish, to say what we think, to publish what we say, our right to worship or not worship, our right to travel, to defend ourselves, to use our own property as we see fit, our right to due process – fairness – from the government, and our right to be left alone, are all rights that stem from our humanity. These are natural rights that we are born with. The government doesn’t give them to us and the government doesn’t pay for them and the government can’t take them away, unless a jury finds that we have violated someone else’s rights.

What is a good? A good is something we want or need. In a sense, it is the opposite of a right. We have our rights from birth, but we need our parents when we are children and we need ourselves as adults to purchase the goods we require for existence. So, food is a good, shelter is a good, clothing is a good, education is a good, a car is a good, legal representation is a good, working out at a gym is a good, and access to health care is a good. Does the government give us goods? Well, sometimes it takes money from some of us and gives that money to others. You can call that taxation or you can call it theft; but you cannot call it a right.

A right stems from our humanity. A good is something you buy or someone else buys for you.

Now, when you look at health care for what it is, when you look at the US Constitution, when you look at the history of human freedom, when you accept the American value of the primacy of the individual over the fleeting wishes of the government, it becomes apparent that those who claim that healthcare is a right simply want to extend a form of government welfare.

When I make this argument to my Big Government friends, they come back at me with…well, if people don’t have health insurance, they will just go to hospitals and we will end up paying for them anyway. Why should that be? We don’t let people steal food from a supermarket or an apartment from a landlord or clothing from a local shop. Why do we let them take healthcare from a hospital without paying for it? Well, my Big Government friends contend, that’s charity.

They are wrong again. It is impossible to be charitable with someone else’s money. Charity comes from your own heart, not from the government spending your money. When we pay our taxes to the government and it gives that money away, that’s not charity, that’s welfare. When the government takes more from us than it needs to secure our freedoms, so it can have money to give away, that’s not charity, that’s theft. And when the government forces hospitals to provide free health care to those who can’t or won’t care for themselves, that’s not charity, that’s slavery. That’s why we now have constitutional chaos, because the government steals and enslaves, and we outlawed that a long time ago.

Via LRC.com

Military cyber security


Coming on the heels of the Skygrabber scandal, now comes word that North Korea hackers may have accessed US/South Korea secret defense plans in the event of an escalation in hostilities.

Guardian UK
South Korea's military is investigating a cyber attack in which North Korean hackers may have stolen secret defence plans outlining Seoul and Washington's strategy in the event of war on the Korean peninsula.

The highly sensitive information, codenamed Oplan 5027, may have found its way into hostile hands last month after a South Korean officer used an unsecured USB memory stick to download it.

It reportedly contained a summary of military operations involving South Korean and US troops should North Korea conduct a pre-emptive strike or attempt to invade.

According to the Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, the document outlines troop deployments, a list of North Korean targets, amphibious landing scenarios and how to establish a post-war occupation.

The Yonhap news agency said the plan allowed for the deployment of 700,000 US troops in the event of a full-scale war.

So just how secure are we?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

You need to watch what you Tweet

Big Brother is watching you.

NY Times
Twitter Tapping
The government is increasingly monitoring Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites for tax delinquents, copyright infringers and political protesters. A public interest group has filed a lawsuit to learn more about this monitoring, in the hope of starting a national discussion and modifying privacy laws as necessary for the online era.

Law enforcement is not saying a lot about its social surveillance, but examples keep coming to light. The Wall Street Journal reported this summer that state revenue agents have been searching for tax scofflaws by mining information on MySpace and Facebook. In October, the F.B.I. searched the New York home of a man suspected of helping coordinate protests at the Group of 20 meeting in Pittsburgh by sending out messages over Twitter.

In some cases, the government appears to be engaged in deception. The Boston Globe recently quoted a Massachusetts district attorney as saying that some police officers were going undercover on Facebook as part of their investigations.

Senate passes $1.1 trillion spending measure, 57-35

Joy, just what I wanted for Christmas, more debt.

The Hill

Senate passes $1.1 trillion spending measure, 57-35
The Senate passed a huge end-of-the-year $1.1 trillion omnibus spending measure Sunday afternoon by a vote of 57-35.

The chamber was forced to work for the second consecutive weekend after talks broke down late Thursday to move the massive spending package and Republicans continued to filibuster it. Senate Democrats overcame the opposition Saturday when the Senate voted 60-34 to end debate and clear the way for a final vote.

The bill, which includes $447 billion in appropriations for a number of cabinet departments and $650 billion for Medicare and Medicaid, combines six of the 12 annual spending bills Congress had been unable to pass separately because of Republican concerns that the measure is over-inflated and exceeds the cost of inflation in its government budget increases.

Criminals saved banks says UN

Not the politicians but the real bad guys. And who says we needed TARP?

Guardian UK
Drug money saved banks in global crisis, claims UN advisor
Drugs money worth billions of dollars kept the financial system afloat at the height of the global crisis, the United Nations' drugs and crime tsar has told the Observer.

Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, said he has seen evidence that the proceeds of organised crime were "the only liquid investment capital" available to some banks on the brink of collapse last year. He said that a majority of the $352bn (£216bn) of drugs profits was absorbed into the economic system as a result.

This will raise questions about crime's influence on the economic system at times of crisis. It will also prompt further examination of the banking sector as world leaders, including Barack Obama and Gordon Brown, call for new International Monetary Fund regulations. Speaking from his office in Vienna, Costa said evidence that illegal money was being absorbed into the financial system was first drawn to his attention by intelligence agencies and prosecutors around 18 months ago. "In many instances, the money from drugs was the only liquid investment capital. In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system's main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor," he said.

Some of the evidence put before his office indicated that gang money was used to save some banks from collapse when lending seized up, he said.

What if?

Maybe it's not enough sleep, too much caffeine, watching 1984 or maybe my tinfoil hat is on too tight but these are interesting times we are living in.

It's been a year since we were told that our financial system was on the verge of a complete collapse if the government didn't step in and do something to prevent it. We've had bank bailouts, TARP, TALF, stimulus, government takeover of the US auto industry, monetizing of debt and the Treasury's printing presses working overtime.

What has this gotten us? Right now unemployment is at 10%, our national debt is over $12T (Congress is looking to raise the ceiling to $14T) and with things not looking to get better anytime soon, Americans are starting to get impatient as you can see with the POTUS' approval rating below 50%. Now you might say that things are getting better, that the stock market is up. Well ok but so are gold and silver prices. People are also stocking up on food, water and ammunition in case SHTF.

So this is what I am getting at, is the United States heading for a collapse and is the administration preparing for this?

Don't forget that candidate Obama did call for the creation of a "civilian national security force".
"We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."
And we have a recently released RAND Corporation study entitled A Stability Police Force for the United States: Justification and Creating U.S. Capabilities that outlines the creation of a Stability Police Force (SPF) for use “in a range of tasks such as crowd and riot control, special weapons and tactics (SWAT), and investigations of organized criminal groups” and recommended using the US Marshals Service rather than the US Army’s Military Police as host for the SPF in order to avoid conflicts with the Posse Comitatus Act, which forbids the domestic use of the military as a law enforcement body.

Why would the government need to create a paramilitary police force for use in the US unless they are concerned that there will be civil unrest because either the economy has collapsed or people will revolt against the socialist laws being forced upon them or both?

Worried yet? Well read what the fringe European Union Times writes in two articles entitled Obama Orders 1 Million US Troops to Prepare for Civil War and U.S. Forces Plan Direct Action Against American Citizens

From Obama Orders 1 Million US Troops to Prepare for Civil War
Russian Military Analysts are reporting to Prime Minister Putin that US President Barack Obama has issued orders to his Northern Command’s (USNORTHCOM) top leader, US Air Force General Gene Renuart, to “begin immediately” increasing his military forces to 1 million troops by January 30, 2010, in what these reports warn is an expected outbreak of civil war within the United States before the end of winter.

According to these reports, Obama has had over these past weeks “numerous” meetings with his war council about how best to manage the expected implosion of his Nations banking system while at the same time attempting to keep the United States military hegemony over the World in what Russian Military Analysts state is a “last ditch gambit” whose success is “far from certain”.

From U.S. Forces Plan Direct Action Against American Citizens
“There is an event coming in the very near-term future that is going to effect the USA to its very soul,” former Kansas State Trooper Greg Everson of The Heartland USA and former host of Republic Broadcasting “Voices from the Heartland” told host Steve Quayle in a special two hour “Survive 2 Thrive” broadcast Thursday.

“What is being planned and what is coming together is a perfect storm brewing right over our heads.” Everson cited verifiable information confirmed by an active duty US Air Force Colonel, three chiefs of Police, a local Sheriff, State Troopers in 3 neighboring Midwest states and a Federal agent he has known for twenty years.

“There is being made an effort to bring together the Armed Forces of this Nation in preparation for responding to and acting against the interests of our Citizens,” Everson said. Such efforts include actions that will be so deep and penetrating that the United States will never be the same. Everson explained that the deteriorating economy combined with Federal Reserve theft of trillions unaccounted for has had a devastating effect on Americans who had have enough and the US Military expects will respond by defending what little they have left.

Ok so this seems like it is just crazy talk from some new, fringe website but consider now this article from the Wall Street Journal from December 2008 As if Things Weren't Bad Enough, Russian Professor Predicts End of U.S.. Now, he's a few months off but no one said predictions about the of the collapse of a world superpower are an exact science.
For a decade, Russian academic Igor Panarin has been predicting the U.S. will fall apart in 2010. For most of that time, he admits, few took his argument -- that an economic and moral collapse will trigger a civil war and the eventual breakup of the U.S. -- very seriously. Now he's found an eager audience: Russian state media.

"There's a 55-45% chance right now that disintegration will occur," he says. "One could rejoice in that process," he adds, poker-faced. "But if we're talking reasonably, it's not the best scenario -- for Russia." Though Russia would become more powerful on the global stage, he says, its economy would suffer because it currently depends heavily on the dollar and on trade with the U.S.

Mr. Panarin posits, in brief, that mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation will trigger a civil war next fall and the collapse of the dollar. Around the end of June 2010, or early July, he says, the U.S. will break into six pieces -- with Alaska reverting to Russian control.

He based the forecast on classified data supplied to him by FAPSI analysts, he says. He predicts that economic, financial and demographic trends will provoke a political and social crisis in the U.S. When the going gets tough, he says, wealthier states will withhold funds from the federal government and effectively secede from the union. Social unrest up to and including a civil war will follow. The U.S. will then split along ethnic lines, and foreign powers will move in.

California will form the nucleus of what he calls "The Californian Republic," and will be part of China or under Chinese influence. Texas will be the heart of "The Texas Republic," a cluster of states that will go to Mexico or fall under Mexican influence. Washington, D.C., and New York will be part of an "Atlantic America" that may join the European Union. Canada will grab a group of Northern states Prof. Panarin calls "The Central North American Republic." Hawaii, he suggests, will be a protectorate of Japan or China, and Alaska will be subsumed into Russia.




I really don't see any states coming under control of foreign governments especially Mexico or the EU and I think the alignment would be slightly different. The North Atlantic states would stick together as would the Southern states and North Western states. The Mid-West would be more fragmented and the Western and South Western states would be grouped together. California would definately be on it's own.

But what would happen if our economy collapsed? Would states band together to form their own republics? Would the government declare martial law to try to hold things together? And most importantly would US military troops take up arms against fellow Americans?

Scary stuff for scary times.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Russia wins big oil contract in Iraq

H/T BBCW

Unbelievable, over 4000 US soldiers killed and nearly $800B spent to "free" Iraq and this is what we get?

Now I understand that this is how capitalism is supposed to work, but why is it that the free market is fine to operate outside of the US while our government is restricting it here and taking over business and industry left and right?

The irony in this is that in 2007 the US helped Iraq void a contract with Lukoil for the same field. I wonder if this was another payoff by the administration to Russia?

Forbes

Russia's Lukoil Big Winner At 2nd Iraq Oil Auction
The privately held oil company wins rights to develop one of the world's largest untapped 'supergiant' fields.
Russian oil giant Lukoil was a big winner from the 2nd round of Iraq oil license auctions concluded Saturday.

The privately owned company, in partnership with Norway's state-owned Statoil, won the contract to develop the West Qurna Phase Two oil field in southern Iraq, one of the world's largest untapped 'supergiant' fields. The pair beat out a consortium led by BP, France's Total and Malaysia's state-oil company Petronas.

Other 2nd-round license winners included Royal Dutch Shell, which won the contract for the the 12.6 billion barrel supergiant Majnoon field in partnership with Petronas, Gazprom, which led a group that will develop toe Badrah field[.]

None of the U.S.oil majors, such as Exxon Mobil or Chevron submitted bids, leaving only Occidental among U.S. companies to make one failed offer on the auction's first day.

Friday, December 11, 2009

HR 1207 Audit the Fed passes

This should be a victory for Ron Paul and the American people but it was an amendment to a bad bill, HR 4173 The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009.

Dr Paul, being the man of conscience that he is, voted against HR 1473 even if it did mean voting against a bill that he had been working on for over 20 years.

It is still not to late to contact your Representative and ask her/him to support a standalone vote on HR 1207. Please don't forget to let your Senators know to support S 604 also.

We still have a long way to go before this becomes law and the criminals at the Federal Reserve are forced to open the books for all to see.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A White House Power Grab that Congress and America Doesn’t See


My head is spinning tonight.

First news out of Hopenhagen that the rich nations are making a global power grab to co-opt the UN Climate Conference into a global governance scheme.

Now Big Government is breaking news that the Administration and Congress will attempt to sidestep the legislative process in health care by giving power to the executive branch by amending the Social Security Act over Medicare regulations and shifting the power to Health and Human Services (HHS) and away from Congress.

We must take action and urge our elected official to not only vote against their respective Obamacare bills but to also vote against "MedPAC Reform of 2009" (SB 1110 and HR 2718) before it's too late.

Big Government

A White House Power Grab that Congress and America Doesn’t See
The deliberate setup for the White House power grab is built into the each of the health care bills and, if they fail, little-known twin bills called “MedPAC Reform of 2009” are waiting in the wings. The bills, S.B. 1110 and H.R. 2718, craftily amend the Social Security Act and transfer the Medicare guideline and rule setting processes, from the legislative branch to the executive branch. These bills offer cover to one another in case one doesn’t pass the House or Senate, respectively. Remember, Democrats need to gain executive branch authority by amending the Social Security Act over Medicare regulations and physician fee schedules to transform the health care system in a single-payer, socialized system.

More importantly, Medicare’s regulations and physician fee schedules are the keystone to developing payer systems and reimbursement models across the entire health care industry. And where Medicare goes, insurers follow.

Specifically, the language in the Reid bill intentionally places unlimited power directly in the hands of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, including the ability to designate covered services, or rationing. The Pelosi bill creates a Health Choices Commission and its “commissioner” is empowered to make the same decisions. More alarming, both will have to take direction from the White House–and its unconfirmed czars–due to their executive branch affiliation.

Therefore, the MedPAC Reform bill creates a new MedPAC–the Medicare Payment and Access Commission–and gives the Obama White House and its advisors over-reaching control of several factors governing the economy of the health care system. The new MedPAC, which is exempted from judicial review, would have the authority to rewrite physician fee schedules, redefine medical necessity, evaluate coverage of treatment options, rewrite beneficiary definitions and coverage, and redesign diagnostic definitions and coverage.

In any of these legislative scenarios–Pelosi, Reid or MedPAC bills–the White House gets the power it seeks–and needs–in order to accomplish the task at hand–a single payer, government-run health system.

These bills must be defeated; the power grab thwarted because after the Social Security Act is amended in any form these bills present and the rule changes take effect, it is not likely for the Act to be reopened and amended again. The problem is Congress doesn’t even comprehend what’s at stake in either of the health care bills or MedPAC Reform–and you can’t stop something you don’t see.

Something rotten in Denmark

H/T Track-A'-Crat
H/T Left Coast Rebel

Ok seriously who didn't see this coming? Lord Christopher Monckton called it, that's for sure (Obama Poised to Cede US Sovereignty, Claims British Lord) and it looks like the rich and powerful nations are banding together to make their One World Global Government a reality.

Now nothing is written in stone but to me it seems that the US, UK, Denmark and others are teaming up with the World Bank, not to stop global warming or to save the polar bears or any of that other enviro-nazi stuff, but to create a global governance to control the world's economy under the guise of saving the planet.

Hopenhagen my ass, we are so very screwed if they can pull this off.

Guardian UK

Copenhagen climate summit in disarray after 'Danish text' leak

Developing countries react furiously to leaked draft agreement that would hand more power to rich nations, sideline the UN's negotiating role and abandon the Kyoto protocol


The UN Copenhagen climate talks are in disarray today after developing countries reacted furiously to leaked documents that show world leaders will next week be asked to sign an agreement that hands more power to rich countries and sidelines the UN's role in all future climate change negotiations.

The document is also being interpreted by developing countries as setting unequal limits on per capita carbon emissions for developed and developing countries in 2050; meaning that people in rich countries would be permitted to emit nearly twice as much under the proposals.

The so-called Danish text, a secret draft agreement worked on by a group of individuals known as "the circle of commitment" – but understood to include the UK, US and Denmark – has only been shown to a handful of countries since it was finalized this week.

The agreement, leaked to the Guardian, is a departure from the Kyoto protocol's principle that rich nations, which have emitted the bulk of the CO2, should take on firm and binding commitments to reduce greenhouse gases, while poorer nations were not compelled to act. The draft hands effective control of climate change finance to the World Bank; would abandon the Kyoto protocol – the only legally binding treaty that the world has on emissions reductions; and would make any money to help poor countries adapt to climate change dependent on them taking a range of actions.
Via Memorandum

Monday, December 7, 2009

Wanda Sykes "disapointed" in Obama

As promised, here is Wanda Sykes questioning the POTUS last Saturday night.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Climategate : “Mike’s Nature Trick” explained

American Thinker

Understanding Climategate's Hidden Decline
By Marc Sheppard

[T]he decline Jones so urgently sought to hide was not one of measured temperatures at all, but rather figures infinitely more important to climate alarmists – those determined by proxy reconstructions. As this scandal has attracted new readers to the subject, I ask climate savvy readers to indulge me while I briefly explain climate proxies, as they are an essential ingredient of this contemptible conspiracy.

Truth be told -- even reasonably reliable instrumental readings are a relatively modern convenience, limiting CRU’s global measured temperature database to a start date somewhere in the mid-19th century. That’s why global temperature charts based on actual readings typically use a base year of 1850 or somewhere thereabouts.

And yet -- most historical temperature charts, including the one Al Gore preached before in An Inconvenient Truth, go way back to 1000 AD. That’s where proxies come in.

While historical documents (e,g, ship’s logs, diaries, court and church records, tax rolls, and even classic literature) certainly provide a glimpse into past temperature trends, such information is far too limited and generalized to be of any statistical value. So climate scientists have devised means to measure variations in such ubiquitous materials as lake sediments, boreholes, ice cores, and tree rings to evaluate past temperature trends.

They then employ complex computer programs to combine such “proxy” data sampled throughout a region to plot that area’s annual relative changes in temperature hundreds or even thousands of years prior. By then combining the datasets, they believe they can accurately reproduce hemispheric and global temperature trends of the previous millennia.

Warmist Public Enemy Number One: The Medieval Warming Period

It’s important to understand that early analyses of these “proxies” clearly demonstrated that three radical temperature shifts occurred within the past millennium, as do many contemporary studies. Indeed, the years 900-1300 AD were labeled the Medieval Warming Period (MWP), as global temperatures rose precipitously from the bitter cold of the previous Dark Ages to levels several degrees warmer than today. The Little Ice Age, a sudden period of cooling, then followed and lasted until the year 1850. And then began the modern warming period, which was by no means unique and appears to have ended with the millennium itself.




Originally, even the IPCC accepted that pre-20th century analysis. In fact, the 1990 First Assessment Report used this schematic IPCC 1990 Figure 7c (courtesy of Climate Audit) to represent last millennium’s dramatic temperature swings.

But this image of a fluid climate system subject to abrupt and natural up-and-downturns made unprecedented 20th century warming about as marketable as Florida swampland. And opportunists who depended on the aberrance of post-industrial revolution warming in order to condemn and control mankind’s CO2 emissions soon recognized that perhaps the LIA but most certainly the MWP simply had to go.

And as many of these hucksters were closely connected to the IPCC – both sender and recipient names on those illuminating CRU emails include many of its editors, lead authors and contributors -- that task was far less daunting than one might imagine.

Proxies, Tricks and Hockey Sticks

The first step was taken in the 1995 Second Assessment Report, when the above Figure 7c was replaced with a 1993 reconstruction from RS Bradley and Phil Jones himself that used 1400 AD as its base – effectively wiping the MWP off the radar-screen.

But it wasn’t until the 2001 Third Assessment Report (TAR) that the MWP simply vanished. This multi-proxy reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere temperature anomalies appeared in chapter 2, page 134, of the Working Group 1 (WG1) report



IPCC 2001 WG1 Fig 2.20

Of course, the first thing you’ll notice is that both the MWP and LIA have indeed disappeared. In fact, temperatures appear to trend downward throughout the millennium until a sharp jump upward last century. But if you look closer, you’ll also notice that the “reconstructed” series terminate in 1980. What forms the dramatic blade to the hockey stick shape (yes, this is indeed the famous “Hockey-Stick” graph) is instead the distal segment of the 1902 to 1999 instrumental data series.

Mann has recently claimed that the available proxy data ended in 1980, but even his coconspirators at RealClimate admit that’s nonsense. The truth is that the proxy data was scrapped because unlike those measured, reconstructed temperatures showed a marked decline after 1980. And, as the chart plotted temperature anomalies against what the plotters selected as the “normal” period and temperatures of 1961 to 1990, the reconstruction would have been quite unremarkable otherwise. So at the 1980 mark, the actual post-1980 measurements were actually attached to the truncated proxy series to create the illusion they were one.

The figure below, found on the same page of the WG1 report reveals this trick more clearly. This chart plots the original 4 reconstructions used: 2 from Mann et al, 1 from Jones et al and 1 from Briffa et al. Notice how all but the first series continue to trend downward around 1960 while instrumental readings begin to trend upward? And even that series ends abruptly in 1980.



IPCC 2001 WG1 Fig 2.21

So not only did conspirators cherry-pick the one series of the four that approximated measured temperatures the longest, they also terminated that series at the point that it too, began to trend down. They then joined it to the actual 1980-1999 temperatures to “hide the decline” in the final product, as that decline created an inexplicable divergence between the reconstructed and measured temperatures. The existence of which challenges the entire series dating back to 1000 AD.

Remember, all of the temperatures prior to 1850 were estimated by computer algorithms and no actual readings exist to prove or disprove those figures. So a relatively short window of opportunity exists to test the programs against observations. Had 20th century measured temperatures continued to align with those recreated as smoothly after 1960 as they did previously, then the programmers could declare their code and hence their millennial temperatures sound. But the divergence, if allowed to stand, instead revealed serious design flaws in the proxy reconstructions. Which suggests that just as the decline was dealt with through trickery, so was the MWP.

And it seems that each time the trick was used, its involvement would be more deeply concealed.


Via Memeorandum

Saturday, December 5, 2009

WaPo op-ed column takes swipe at Obama

Just wow. The bloom must really be off the rose.

As I wrote earlier this week in Mr President, it looks like you are about to be one and done, Michael Moore, Paul Krugman and New York Magazine all called out the POTUS for his betrayal of the left and his lack of leadership. And let's not forget SNL got some shots in a while back too. Now even the Washington Post is getting in the game with a Sunday op-ed piece by Dana Milbank entitled Obama the mortal.
"Some parishioners in the Church of Obama discovered last week that their spiritual leader is a false prophet.
...
It was bound to happen eventually. Obama had become to his youthful supporters a vessel for all of their liberal hopes. They saw him as a transformational figure who would end war, save the Earth from global warming, restore the economy -- and still be home for dinner. They lashed out at anybody who dared to suggest that Obama was just another politician, subject to calculation, expediency and vanity like all the rest.

Certainly, Obama gets some blame for encouraging the messianic cult as he stumped for change and hope. "I am asking you to stop settling for what the cynics say we have to accept," he would say as he wrapped up speeches. "Let us reach for what we know is possible: A nation healed. A world repaired. An America that believes again."

In other cases, Obama truly has gone back on campaign vows. Even some of his advisers are disappointed that he has moved so slowly to close the Guantanamo Bay prison. Civil libertarians are justifiably disappointed with his decision to continue much of the Bush administration secrecy. Clean-government types are understandably frustrated that Obama vowed that lobbyists "will not get a job in my White House" but now grants waivers so that lobbyists can work in key administration jobs.
...
This is what happens when true believers mistake a mortal for a messiah."


Things aren't looking good for the President right now and if the economy continues to flounder, if Obamacare fails or gets watered down, if things go bad in Afghanistan and if the Republicans grab some seats in both houses in 2010, it is going to be a tough road to hoe for him to get anywhere near the support from the left in 2012 as he did in 2008.

(by the way, you can just as easily substitute when for if in the above examples, because they are all going to happen)

UPDATE - I just watched Wanda Sykes spend the first 5 minutes of her show calling out Obama as a disappointment. I'll post the video if it becomes available.

Via Memeorandum

Climategate : You can't say that on TV edition

It's bad enough that we are being subjected to commercials calling the UN Climate Change Conference later this month Hopenhagen.

From Climate Depot

A professor who is accusing global warming skeptics of engaging in "tabloid-style character assassination” of scientists, called an American climate skeptic “an asshole” on the December 4, 2009 live broadcast of BBC's Newsnight program.

“What an asshole!” declared Professor Watson at the end of the contentious debate with Climate Depot's executive editor Marc Morano. A clearly agitated Watson had earlier shouted to Morano “will you shut up.”

Video of BBC “Asshole” clip is here.

Full one-on-one BBC debate segment between Prof. Watson and Climate Depot's Morano is here in two parts.

The remark was broadcast live on BBC and prompted an on-air apology to viewers from the BBC later in the program for the offensive language.

Watson (Email: a.watson@uea.ac.uk) is a professor at the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, which was the source of the disclosed files. Watson's emails appear in the hacked Climategate files.

“[Watson's] colleague, [Professor] Mike Hulme at the University of East Anglia is saying this is authoritarian science, he is suggesting the [UN] IPCC should be disbanded based on what Climategate reveals," Morano said.

"[UK environmentalist] George Monbiot is saying many of his friend in the environmental and the climate fear promoting business -- as Professor Watson is part of -- are in denial. You have to feel sorry for Professor Watson in many ways here,” Morano explained.

A clearly agitated Watson called Morano his “excited colleague" and blurted out “Will you shut up just a second!?”

Morano summed up his views on what ClimateGate reveals during the debate. “It exposes the manufactured consensus. Your fellow colleagues are saying this,” Morano said to Watson.

Morano also noted that President “Obama is probably attending [the UN Conference] because they are circling the wagons because of the magnitude of this scandal.”


Read the rest at Climate Depot

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Afghanistan quagmire

"The conflict in Afghanistan is the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time. Instead of concentrating on the critical mission of keeping Islamist terrorists on the defensive, we've mired ourselves by attempting to modernize a society that doesn't want to be — and cannot be — transformed.

In the absence of a strategy, we're doubling our troop commitment, hoping to repeat the success we achieved in the profoundly different environment of Iraq. Unable to describe our ultimate goals with any clarity, we're substituting means for ends.

Expending blood and treasure blindly in Afghanistan, we do our best to shut our eyes to the worsening crisis next door in Pakistan, a radicalizing Muslim state with more than five times the population and a nuclear arsenal. We've turned the hose on the doghouse while letting the mansion burn.

Initially, Afghanistan wasn't a war of choice. We had to dislodge and decimate al-Qaeda, while punishing the Taliban and strengthening friendlier forces in the country. Our great mistake was to stay on in an attempt to build a modernized rule-of-law state in a feudal realm with no common identity.

We needed to smash our enemies and leave. Had it proved necessary, we could have returned later for another punitive mission. Instead, we fell into the great American fallacy of believing ourselves responsible for helping those who've harmed us. This practice was already fodder for mockery 50 years ago, when the novella and film The Mouse That Roared postulated that the best way for a poor country to get rich was to declare war on America then surrender.

Even if we achieved the impossible dream of creating a functioning, unified state in Afghanistan, it would have little effect on the layered crises in the Muslim world. Backward and isolated, Afghanistan is sui generis (only example of its kind). Political polarization in the U.S. precludes an honest assessment, but Iraq's the prize from which positive change might flow, while Afghanistan could never inspire neighbors who despise its backwardness."

Telling words about the situation in Afghanistan from a Neocon, Lt Col Ralph Peters (ret).

So if this is what someone with a military background thinks of the situation there, it must be bad. And this is from an opinion written back in February 2009 entitled The mendacity of hope by Lt Col Peters where he outlines his solution to the Afghan situation.

Here are what he believes would be the best outcomes
Ranked from best to worst, here are our four basic options going forward:

Best. Instead of increasing the U.S. military "footprint," reduce our forces and those of NATO by two-thirds, maintaining a "mother ship" at Bagram Air Base and a few satellite bases from which special operations troops, aircraft and drones, and lean conventional forces would strike terrorists and support Afghan factions with whom we share common enemies. All resupply for our military could be done by air, if necessary.

Stop pretending Afghanistan's a real state. Freeze development efforts. Ignore the opium. Kill the fanatics.

Good. Leave entirely. Strike terrorist targets from over the horizon and launch punitive raids when necessary. Instead of facing another Vietnam ourselves, let Afghanistan become a Vietnam for Iran and Pakistan. Rebuild our military at home, renewing our strategic capabilities.

Poor. Continue to muddle through as is, accepting that achieving any meaningful change in Afghanistan is a generational commitment. Surge troops for specific missions, but not permanently.

Worst. Augment our forces endlessly and increase aid in the absence of a strategy. Lie to ourselves that good things might just happen. Let U.S. troops and Afghans continue to die for empty rhetoric, while Pakistan decays into a vast terrorist refuge.

To me, the best outcome would be to leave entirely. Actually, like Lt Col Peters, I believe that we had won in Afghanistan by 2002 but our short-sighted government stayed to rebuild a nation we had no place in being after the objective was met. The Taliban and Al-Qaeda were essentially beaten and besides, the man we went in there after, Osama Bin Laden was most likely dead anyway.

Now we are just mired in a quagmire that we now have no possibility of winning and President Obama has chosen the worst of all possible options, to escalate troop counts without a clear strategy.

One needs to look no further than Vietnam to see that current US strategy will not work against a determined guerilla opponent.

If you don't believe me, read Sun Tzu's The Art of War. Obviously, our leaders have not.

And our troops deserve better.
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