Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas all!

Enjoy this holiday favorite of yesteryear

My Christmas-Hanukkah-Festivus present to you all


Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) hunting pheasant in Nebraska

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cash for cloture on a clunker

Skilled legislative craftsman Harry Reid has done the impossible-- roped together 60 votes for a bill that no one likes!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

LeftRightLeftRightLeft

Can't tell them apart.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

FiveThirtyEight: In Polls, Much Opposition to Health Care Plan Is From Left

An interesting piece. The title says it all; Silver's analysis is interesting for its inclusion of what I think to be a box and whiskers plot - I haven't seen one of those in awhile!

EDIT: I suppose the lack of 'whiskers' prevents it from being a box and whiskers plot, but still.

Thunder on the left

The Source of American Obesity Has Been Discovered

The Bacon-Maple Donut Bar

Guido quiz show

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Republicans say Sen. Gillibrand should have spoken up during U.S. Airways incident

From Capitol Confidential, Times-Union blog:

This didn’t take long: The GOP is going after not only Chuck Schumer but his protege Kirsten Gillibrand over the now-famous Sunday incident in which Schumer referred to a US Airways flight attendant as a “bitch” when she told him to turn off his cell phone.

Schumer has already apologized. Republican Senate Campaign Communications Director Brian Walsh is now taking Gillibrand to task for failing to condemn her fellow Democratic senator for the presumably sexist remark.

Walsh cites a report in which Gillibrand spokesman Matt Canter downplayed the incident.

“It is the kind of interaction you see on planes all the time,” Canter told Politico. “The senators were on the phone and turned off their phones when they were asked. Sen. Schumer has already said that he should not have used that word and says he regrets it. There is nothing more to add.”

That, Walsh contends, doesn’t cut it. “For a politician who claims to have a ‘family first’ agenda and who claims to fight for women’s rights, Kirsten Gillibrand’s silence is stunning. It appears clear that when push comes to shove, she’s far more worried about offending her political mentor, Chuck Schumer, than standing up for women in the workplace. It’s our hope that those women’s rights organizations that have already endorsed her campaign for the Senate will ask Kirsten Gillibrand why she believes it’s acceptable to call a female flight attendant a ‘bitch.’”

New date for when Whites become minorities...

Has been delayed until 2050. I guess immigrants don't quite see the opportunity for the American Dream when the country is in a recession...

Someone finally got Chuck to shut up!

The audacity of debt

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Now that I've finished my final...



Any chance of this working for me?

D.C. Council approves bill legalizing gay marriage

The bill still has to survive a 30-day legislative review period.

Obama at a Home Depot in Northern Virginia: "Insulation is sexy!"

Fascinating article about the former head of Jordanian Intelligence

A former CIA officer told me about one sublime pitch: Kheir tracked a jihadist to an apartment in Eastern Europe and handed him a cellphone, saying: "Talk to your mother." The man's mom was actually on the line, telling him he was a wonderful son for buying her a new TV and a couch and sending her money. "The spoken message was, 'We can do good things for you.' The unspoken message was, 'We can hurt you,' " explained the CIA officer.

Like many Arab intelligence services, the GID has a reputation for using brutal interrogation methods, and I'm sure that it didn't get the nickname "the fingernail factory" for nothing. But Kheir's successes in interrogation often came from a different kind of intimidation. Colleagues recall him standing behind a suspect, his voice deep with menace, as he talked of the suspect's family, friends and contacts. That was much scarier than physical violence would have been. He waited for them to break themselves, and it usually worked...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Because I just couldn't stop...

If anyone's interested in checking it out, I've started a blog where I will do virtually the same thing I've been doing at PF all semester (aggregating conservative opinion from across the web).

http://legislativeaid.wordpress.com

NYTimes: "New Cases Test Optimism on Extremism by U.S. Muslims"

An interesting article. An extended excerpt:

"As the years passed after Sept. 11, 2001, without another major attack on American soil and with no sign of hidden terrorist cells, many counterterrorism specialists reached a comforting conclusion: Muslims in the United States were not very vulnerable to radicalization.

American Muslims, the reasoning went, were well assimilated in diverse communities with room for advancement. They showed little of the alienation often on display among their European counterparts, let alone attraction to extremist violence.

But with a rash of recent cases in which Americans have been accused of being drawn into terrorist scheming, the rampage at Fort Hood, Tex., last month and now the alarming account of five young Virginia men who went to Pakistan and are suspected of seeking jihad, the notion that the United States has some immunity against homegrown terrorists is coming under new scrutiny....

'The notion of a difference between Europe and United States remains relevant,' Mr. Leiken said. But the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the American operations like drone strikes in Pakistan, are fueling radicalization at home, he said....

'The longer we’ve been in Iraq and Afghanistan,' he said, 'the more some susceptible young men are coming to believe that it’s their duty to take up arms to defend their fellow Muslims....'

'To me, the most interesting thing about the five guys is that it was their parents that went immediately to the F.B.I.,' she said. 'It was members of the American Muslim community that put a stop to whatever those men may have been planning.' "

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Last Post from Work

Nobel Appeasement Prize

Mystery meat?

McCarthy on KSM trial

Carbon bomb

Palin: The Dem's Grinch?

Democrats capitalizing on ridiculing Palin?

From the Jersey Shore

Edit: Unfortunately this image doesn't work like it's supposed to. So go here to see:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/akdobbins/jersey-shore-gif-for-the-ages

I Guess McCain's back as the Publican voice, and not Lou dobbs, palin, or Rush

Boomtown, DC

DC Program at Defcon 1

Conservative vs Conservative

I think some wings of the conservative movement have hit the point where they actually make no sense. Erick Erickson, founder of RedState:

"Lately, we have collectively been saying a lot of people are conservatives, the noun, when we should be saying they are conservative, the adjective. Here is a good example:

George W. Bush is not a conservative. He is conservative, but not a conservative. While Christianity has certainly always defined who George Bush is, conservatism has not. Put another way in which I think we can all agree, George W. Bush’s gut instinct is a conservative one, but the fiber of his being is not that of a conservative.

I don’t mean to pick on a President I like, but it was Rush Limbaugh in 2005, who was the first real conservative (noun) to say George W. Bush was not a conservative, but had conservative instincts.

Here is where the trouble comes in — there is no rule to separate between the two. Congressman Kevin Brady sent out a press notice yesterday that said “House conservatives,” not “House Republicans”, would hold a press conference on the debt ceiling. The congressmen involved were Steve Scalise (R-LA), Eric Cantor (R-VA), Kevin Brady (R-TX), Jim Jordan (R-OH), John Shimkus (R-IL), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Jack Kingston (R-GA), Mike Conaway (R-TX), John Fleming (R-LA), Eric Paulsen (R-MN), Chris Lee (R-NY), and “other House Conservatives.”

I am sure that each of these men is in some way conservative, some absolutely are conservatives, see e.g. Jeb Hensarling, but they are not all one of us. Several on the list are not by definition conservatives, but are by definition Republicans — it is the party that defines them and conservatism only describes one aspect of their being, some more than others.

...

I’ve done my best to make some sense of this. I hope you have been able to follow along. It is important we start paying attention to the difference between the noun and the adjective."

I thought the swamp was drained

State Of Play

Watched this last night, great movie. Zach you should cite it for your paper.

Why isn't Klondar on this list?

Gray panthers don't like health care proposals

Is Nancy Pelosi channelling Tom Delay?

Is Obama going Neocon?


No wonder Lachlan and Evan had a kumbaya moment.

Agility


Have you noticed Agility ads on Metro? Another example of privatizing elements of military ops.

Overblown latke

Blackwater and CIA

Hamilton alum blogs on FrumForum


Lachlan, a kindred spirit.

Cash for grades of C or better!


Your stimulus program at work!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wonkette: Teabaggers To Feign Death In Senate Offices

From the Teabagger website, sponsored by Dick Armey:

So here’s the plan. On Tuesday, December 15 at 8:45 AM thousands of us will meet in Washington, DC at the fountain in Upper Senate Park. From there we will march to the Senate offices, go inside, and demonstrate our opposition to the government takeover of health care. We call this plan “Government Waiting Rooms”. The intention is to go inside the Senate offices and hallways, and play out the role of patients waiting for treatment in government controlled medical facilities. As the day goes on some of us will pretend to die from our untreated illnesses and collapse on the floor. Many of us plan to stay there until they force us to leave. A backup location for this demonstration will be announced if they block us from entering the offices.

I love Fox News.

Without them, how could we get gems like this--a question from the newest Fox poll:

"What do you think President Obama would like to do with the extra bank bailout money -- save it for an emergency, spend it on government programs that might help him politically in 2010 and 2012, or return it to taxpayers?"

Guido is a teacher


One of my peeps.

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa): acorn-shaped cookies at White House are symbolic


From FOX

Problems of big tent

You Heard it on Potomac Fever blog First: U.S. Marshals to Serve Subpoenas To White House Party Crashers

It will be a while before major news sources hear about this.

We just received a call from the House Homeland Security Committee to serve subpoenas to both Tareq and Michaele Salahi. The Committee itself has authority to serve subpoenas; however, they have elected to delegate the serving power in this case to the U.S. Marshals. Perhaps seeing a Deputy U.S. Marshal show up at their doorstep toting a gun and badge will get the message across. If the Salahi's defy a federal subpoena, guess who's coming to look for them... Looks like I may be needed at the office longer than I anticipated.

All further information is classified.

Congress Demands NCAA Football Playoff System

About time they started working on something worthwhile.

Tribute to Obama's Nobel

Watch your back, Big John

"DeMint's comments come as party leaders such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) chairman John Cornyn (R-Texas), and RNC chairman Michael Steele have come under fire from several conservative bloggers and conservative grassroots activists.

They argue that they have not done enough to thwart the Democratic legislative agenda and to back conservative candidates running in primary elections."

Old video, but truly amazing

Enzi (R-Crazy, WY) Says Health Bill Not Long Enough

You can't make this up:

"And we talk about 2,074 pages, which seem like a lot, and it would be for a normal bill that you could debate in a limited period of time, which is what we’re being asked to do. But 2,074 pages isn’t nearly enough to cover health care for America. So why is it only 2,074 pages?"

Medical Marijuana Coming to D.C.?

73% of polled "thrilled"

New Haven Cops finally promoted

Justice is finally served for this officers who had been ruled against by the newest Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor

Public option still popular

59% support-29% oppose. Was 61% support-21% oppose about three weeks ago--no meaningful change.

Nelson Hatch Amendment Voted Down

One more step to stopping the healthcare bill? Apparently a few dems wanted this abortion bill passed and now may be going against the general healthcare bill.

Cheney Makes Prediction for 2010

President Obama channels Harrison Ford

In his nobel speech today, the President said, "For peace is not merely the absence of visible conflict. Only a just peace based upon the inherent rights and dignity of every individual can truly be lasting. " Very similar to Harrison Ford's line in one of my favorite movies, Air Force One. "True peace is not merely the absence of conflict, it is the presence of justice." That is one of my favorite lines, and I think the Air Force One line is more succinct and powerful than President Obama's.
But I loved today's speech and found it very inspiring.

Dems to lift debt ceiling by $1.8 trillion, fear 2010 backlash

Stefanopolawhatever

Not a fan. Walter, what are your thoughts?

I have achieved my goal for the semester

Media Matters attacked my most recent NB post. I wasn't around for the previous post they refer to, but they have a fair point. I'm just pumped that my reporting was prominent enough to warrant an attack from the Soros Stenographers.

This is what passes for journalism today

"This morning, Gore appeared on MSNBC, where Andrea Mitchell read from Sarah Palin’s Facebook page to ask the former vice president questions about climate change."


(via.)

Rove on 2010 Senate races

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Most Amazing Christmas Light Display I've Seen...

Very cool display, but if I was this person's neighbor I would be really pissed off. Enjoy!

FAIL: The Boss refuses to play at Gov. Christie's inauguration



Can't win 'em all, I suppose...

Homeland Security Panel Subpoenas Salahis

The House Homeland Security Committee voted Wednesday to compel the Virginia couple that crashed the White House’s state dinner last month to testify before the panel.

Committee members approved the resolutions to subpoena Tareq Salahi by a 26-3 vote and Michaele Salahi by a 27-2 vote.

Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) originally requested that the Salahis appear in front of the committee during a hearing last week “on the breakdown in security arrangements” surrounding the Nov. 24 state dinner.

When the now-infamous pair didn’t show, Thompson vowed to send them an invitation that they couldn’t refuse.

Should the Salahis choose to ignore the subpoenas, they could be held in contempt of Congress.

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), ranking member of the panel, attempted to amend the Salahi resolution to include a subpoena for White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers, but the committee rejected his amendment. The White House declined to send Rogers to last week’s hearing, citing executive privilege.

Source:
Jackie Kucinich
Roll Call Staff

Dec. 9, 2009, 4:16 p.m.

Cook: "Retirements Key To Holding House"

"For House Democrats, the difference between a bad election night and a horrific election night is probably the number of open seats in marginal or GOP-leaning districts."

***

"If Democrats can keep that number to a single digit, they will have impressively and significantly limited their exposure. If the number ends up between 10 and 15, Democrats will still have kept their retirements within expectations and would be favored to keep their majority. But if that number balloons past 15, Democratic open seats would present House Republicans with a real opportunity to hit one out of the park."

'It was a political and cultish love-fest'

PJTV reporting from Copenhagen.

A year later, we haven't come so far

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Mike Huckabee Pt. 2
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis


Worth watching again. Huckabee was on Jon Stewart again tonight, but it was much less interesting.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Orrin Hatch writes Hanukkah song

Eight Days of Hanukkah from Tablet Magazine on Vimeo.

DOJ patronage

Weren't these the same people wringing their hands over Alberto Gonzalez politicizing the DOJ?

A Christmas Question



"May I ask you this Christmas question? Do you believe Tiger Woods may actually be O.J. Simpson?"

East Wing of National Gallery is falling

Because I know people need help making it through that last stretch of the day...and I think I can get away with it

#5 is my personal favorite.

$246,436 per job

Keep in mind that the average American worker makes $59,867 per year.

NPR reporter pressured over Fox role

Punishment: spend 30 days watching Fox News and see if you really want to be associated with the network.

Oh and, "An NPR spokeswoman told POLITICO that the Obama administration’s attempts to discourage other news outlets from treating Fox as a peer had no impact on any internal discussions at NPR." Not so sure I believe that, but interesting story nontheless.

Time to implement a Tan Tax?

The Democrats' newest plan to anger Boehner.

No post here, just a question

Is anyone really upset about those three Navy SEALs allegedly punching the terrorist? I mean, really? We're going to punish members of our special forces for giving the enemy a love tap? I understand that our military can't be assaulting detainees, and once you allow them to pop a terrorist in the lip, it's a slippery slope to more serious assaults. That said, these three were apprehending a violent member of the opposing side, who is suspected (confirmed?) of killing and maiming American contractors and hanging their dead bodies. Does anyone really think that punching this man was so terrible to warrant a discharge?

Shocking observation from WaPo's Robinson: Tiger likes tall, skinny blondes

What a weirdo.

Obama's technocratic tendencies

Being from Philly has its benefits

Made the front page of Matt Yglesias' blog with a tidbit of knowledge from home:

Crack intern E.K. alerts me to the Belmont 112, a real-life analogue to Scott's Tots, except where he paid the money in the end.

5 Interesting Things to Watch in the Massachusetts Primary

Even RCP doesn't seem to be interested, but here are some interesting things to look at during the Massachusetts Special Election Primary. In case you don't know the four Democratic candidates are Martha Coakley, Attorney General (large front runner in most polls pre-election); Michael Capuano, Rep. D-MA (endorsed by Pelosi); Alan Khazei, Founder of City Year (sort of like Teach for America); and Steve Pagliuca, co-owner of the Celtics. Early coverage by the Boston Globe shows extremely low turnout.

Wonderful. Marxist academic teams up with history channel to preach anti-Americanism to 4-year-olds

Crazy lefties Fred Kagan and Bill Kristol call on Americans to support Obama

After the World Bank, a more uplifting look at America's future

The U.S. remains the world’s most competitive economy, the leader in information technology, biotechnology and nearly every cutting-edge sector.

The American model remains an impressive growth engine, even allowing for the debt-fueled bubble. The U.S. economy grew by 63 percent between 1991 and 2009, compared with 35 percent for France, 22 percent for Germany and 16 percent for Japan over the same period. In 1975, the U.S. accounted for 26.3 percent of world G.D.P. Today, after the rise of the Asian tigers, the U.S. actually accounts for a slightly higher share of world output: 26.7 percent.

The U.S. has its problems, but Americans would be crazy to trade their problems with those of any other large nation.

NYT: Millions in U.S. drink dirty water

Break out your Britas, folks.

"More than 20 percent of the nation’s water treatment systems have violated key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act over the last five years, according to a New York Times analysis of federal data. The law requires communities to deliver safe tap water to local residents. But since 2004, the water provided to more than 49 million people has contained illegal concentrations of chemicals like arsenic or radioactive substances like uranium, as well as dangerous bacteria often found in sewage."


Yummy.

More from the ACORN files:

If true, this adds a layer to an already weird story, and could be a big black eye for Breitbart:

The videos that have been released appear to have been edited, in some cases substantially, including the insertion of a substitute voiceover for significant portions of Mr. O'Keefe's and Ms. Giles's comments, which makes it difficult to determine the questions to which ACORN employees are responding. A comparison of the publicly available transcripts to the released videos confirms that large portions of the original video have been omitted from the released versions.

Hey it worked for LiveAid. Oh, right.

Megan McArdle's post in full:
Considering LiveAid's success at ending hunger in Africa, I'm awfully glad newspapers are finally applying this model to global warming. There's nothing like the sight of fifty-four newspapers performing a synchronized exercise in smug self-congratulation to induce life-altering change.

I am, of course, in favor of not slow-roasting the planet. But these sort of exercises in mindless collectivism are excruciatingly silly. Unsurprisingly, the op-ed it produced was puerile and unlikely to be read by anyone who does not already agree with its premise. If fifty-four newspapers had wanted to make a serious statement about the environment that their readers were sure to pay attention to, they might have stopped printing and distributing their energy intensive product for a day.

Karma: Palin hater pelts cop in the face with tomato

So that's why they hate us

Ahmadinejad rails on the US for blocking the return of the Messiah, or something.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Scandalous Green peace Ads

This one speaks for itself

(Re)debunking the 'coporations vs. liberals' myth

Tim Carney coming through again.

Did environmental building regulations cause the inflation of the housing bubble?

Paving the road to Hell.

Amazing. Time Inc. a pioneer in the future of magazines

This story is really wacky, and getting weirder

Worth reading if you've got spare time.

What drunk took this photo?


Some painfully sensible stuff on Copenhagen/AGW

Bjorn Lomborg, better than any other commentator, sums up my own views on climate change.

Uncertainty is keeping unemployment high

Uncertainty about the dollar, health care, cap and trade, financial and debt markets, and international trade.

MIT students solves 9-Day contest in matter of hours

Pretty cool experiment and even cooler how fast it was solved. Shows the power of social networking.

Next on my list: "Unchecked and Unbalanced: How the Discrepancy between Knowledge and Power Caused the Financial Crisis and Threatens Democracy"

"If it seems to you as if politicians and government officials are getting dumber, Arnold Kling has the explanation: As their power grows, they know less of what they need to know to exercise it wisely. Kling offers a remedy that is likely to arouse interest in the electorate, and apprehension in officialdom." --Glenn Reynolds, Beauchamp Brogan Distinguished Professor of Law at University of Tennessee and author of the blog instapundit

Tiger Mistress Count: 9

Just wanted to keep everyone posted.

Secret Service counts 91 security breaches since 1980

Salahis aren't the first, and probably won't be the last.

Also, for your entertainment: http://www.hulu.com/watch/113206/saturday-night-live-obama-afghanistan-cold-open

Dems attempt to workout public option

10 Democrats: 5 Liberals, 5 Moderates: the public option...how will this work out?

For All Those Who Doubted the Bailout

How long until this causes conservatives to freak out?

I'll set the over/under at 6 hours from now. And I'll take the under (that is, sooner than 6 hours for a major freakout.)

The Necessity for Delivery System Reform


Era of "Blame Bush" Over?

This columnist thinks so

New press secretary for Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH): Hamilton Alum Matt House

From 12/7 Roll Call:

...taking on new duties for Hodes is Matt House, 23, who was recently promoted to press secretary. As press secretary, House’s duties primarily involve press releases, media communication and managing Hodes’ Web site and e-communications.

This job represents House’s fourth position with the lawmaker.

While a senior in college in 2007, House interned for Hodes. House had followed Hodes’ first successful run for office in 2006 and said he knew he wanted to intern for the lawmaker after that election.

Fortunately for House, that internship would pay off with a job. House said he jumped at a staff assistant opening in Hodes’ office after graduating from Hamilton College in 2008. After several months, House was promoted to office manager/press assistant, the position he held immediately before becoming press secretary.

House echoes his colleague’s sentiments on how the little things make life on Capitol Hill the most worthwhile. At the 2008 passing of Michelle’s Law — legislation extending health insurance coverage to dependent college students who take a medical leave of absence — the staffer had the opportunity to sit next to the mother of the late Michelle Morse, for whom the law was named.

“Michelle was diagnosed with colon cancer during college, and her doctors advised her to take a leave of absence to battle the disease,” House said in an e-mail. “Michelle had to stay in school in order to keep her insurance coverage and died shortly after graduating. Michelle’s mom worked with Congressman Hodes, and he wrote the bill to prevent insurance companies from forcing families to make the choice Michelle’s had to make. I was sitting with Michelle’s mother in the gallery when it passed the House.”

House is a native of Keene, N.H., one of the largest towns in Hodes’ district.

As a native of the Granite State, House has had his fair share of contact with presidential primary campaigns. In the 2008 cycle, House even got involved: “I did a little bit of work on [Joseph] Biden’s campaign in weeks leading up to the vote.”

But presidential campaigns don’t last forever, so nowadays when the staffer goes back home — as he will do over the holiday season — it will be to visit family and ski.

When in Washington, the staffer finds athletic satisfaction other ways. House said he gets his sports fix by attending “high-quality” Major League Baseball games, such as when the Red Sox come to town to play the Nationals.

The staffer’s other indulgences include Capitals’ games, golfing and cooking. And when House does decide to cook, he said he tends to be “pretty good at it.”

Poll: Tea Party Party more popular than Republican Party

How a generic congressional ballot plays out: Democratic 36%, Tea Party 23%, Republican 18%.

Understanding why skeptics are up in arms

This is a great summary of Phil Jones's "hide the decline" technique designed to massage and cherrypick data that supports his conclusions (that temperature has been rising since 1980). I won't try to summarize it. Just read it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Gitmo Detainees likely bound for Illinois

Wait, scientists were wrong? But...but...there was a conensus!

"During the last 20 to 30 years, world temperature has fallen, irregularly at first but more sharply over the last decade. Judging from the record of the past interglacial ages, the present time of high temperatures should be drawing to an end…leading into the next ice age." - U.S. National Science Board, 1974.

Good thing we didn't immolate our economy and way of life for this consensus.

Black Panthers defend AG Holder's decision to drop voter intimidation charges against...the Black Panthers

I wonder what they would have said if the John Birch Society had dispatched armed, fatigue-clad shock troops to polling stations.

What if Kenneth Gladney were selling rainbow flags?

He probably wouldn't have been beaten by astroturfing thugs, and if he had, he would have been a martyr for the cause, and puppeted on all the morning talk shows and evening cable news broadcasts. The double standard is glaring.

GW on the climate industrial research complex

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Just your average Joe

Health reform may exacerbate country-doctor deficit

" 'I'm always behind,' Ben Edwards says, summing up what it's like to be the only doctor within a 45-mile radius, and in that simple statement is his worry about what reform will mean.

What will happen in a place like Post, Texas, where the uninsured are waiting for a system to see a doctor regularly -- and there's only one doctor to see them all?

If all of Post's 3,708 residents had full health coverage, Edwards believes they would flock to his clinic, but his practice is already full with more than 2,000 patients. He has no idea how he would fit in anyone else."

Honey, would you like to be US Attorney

Ode to Jor-el

All those ads for gold


Remember, gold has never gone to zero in value!

Comparison of health care and other entitlement legislatio

Others were enacted with large bipartisan majorities.

Heath care death march

Friday, December 4, 2009

BOOOOOOOOOO!

A temporary solution to the job drought: work for the Census, Senators say

WASHINGTON, DC—As the U.S. Census Bureau begins to fill over 1 million new jobs ahead of next year’s nationwide head-count, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Mark Begich (D-AK), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) urged the Obama administration Wednesday to give a hiring preference to out-of-work Americans and to actively recruit these individuals at unemployment offices across the country.

There may still be hope for jobs!

Keynes, vindicated?

This is exciting to me. But if it's validated by later analysis, will it mean anything?

In a recent report, the Congressional Budget Office took into account the impact of the entire stimulus package. According to its calculations, GDP was 1.2% to 3.2% higher in the third quarter than it would have been in the absence of stimulus. (According to the latest Commerce Department data, real GDP grew 2.8% in the third quarter vs. a decrease of 0.7% in the second and a decrease of 6.4% in the first.) The CBO estimates that between 600,000 and 1.6 million additional people were employed as a consequence.

The CBO also looked at the stimulative effect of various parts of the stimulus package. It found that purchases of goods and services by the federal government--such as for public works--had the largest bang for the buck, raising GDP by $2.50 for each $1 spent. Transfer payments had a lesser impact, but were still significantly more stimulative than tax cuts. Moreover, tax cuts of the sort favored by Republicans have the least impact. According to the CBO, tax cuts for low-income individuals raise GDP by as much as $1.70 for every $1 of revenue loss, while those for the rich and for corporations raised GDP by at most 50 cents for every $1 of revenue loss.

Lest one suspect the CBO of bias, private economists have also found that tax cuts are far less stimulative than spending under current economic conditions. Mark Zandi of Moody's ( MCO - news - people ) Economy.com, an advisor to John McCain last year, recently testified before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress that the Republicans' favorite tax proposals--making all the Bush tax cuts permanent and cutting the corporate tax rate--would raise GDP by at most 37 cents for each $1 of revenue loss. By contrast, increased outlays for infrastructure, aid to state and local governments and extended unemployment benefits increase GDP by between $1.41 and $1.57 for every $1 spent.

Indeed, one can argue that the failure of the stimulus to create or save more jobs occurred largely because Obama included too many non-stimulative tax cuts in the stimulus package. These tax cuts, such as the Making Work Pay Credit, accounted for more than 40% of the cost of the $787 billion stimulus package. Based on the CBO analysis, I don't think there is any question that the economy would be much worse off today if Republicans had gotten their wish and 100% of the stimulus had been in the form of tax cuts.

Is John Boehner a Character from Mad Men?

The Drone War

i don't know if you read todays times article about drones in Pakistan, but this article from New Republic offers more indepth analysis

Showdown Between Reporter and WH Press Secretary

Don't know how to embed video, but it is in link with the article. I am personally on the side of the WH staff member. The reporter was completely unreasonable in both her demeanor and question.

The USA Patriot Act: Renew, Revise, or Repeal?

Yesterday, the Cato Institute held a discussion titled "The USA Patriot Act: Renew, Revise or Repeal?" featuring Julian Sanchez, Research Fellow, Cato Institute; Gregory Nojeim, Senior Counsel, The Center for Democracy and Technology; Jena Baker McNeill, Homeland Security Policy Analyst, The Heritage Foundation; and Richard Samp, Chief Counsel, Washington Legal Foundation. Moderated by Tim Lynch, Director, Project on Criminal Justice, Cato Institute.

This is of particular interest to me because I am writing my research paper on the Patriot Act and analyzing its durability from its enactment in 2001 to the present. The entire 80-minute discussion was recorded and provided for online webcast below:


This one might go down worse than birtherism

This sounds bad:

But Palin’s father, Chuck Heath, gave a different account [of Palin's college time in Hawaii] to Conroy and Walshe. According to him, the presence of so many Asians and Pacific Islanders made her uncomfortable: “They were a minority type thing and it wasn’t glamorous, so she came home.” In any case, Palin reports that she much preferred her last stop, the University of Idaho, “because it was much like Alaska yet still ‘Outside.’ ”

Some more sensible stuff about global warming

Referring to the second to last graf, but had to quote at length because the first part is so great.
Back in the summer, I wrote in a column south of the border:
If you’re 29, there has been no global warming for your entire adult life. If you’re graduating high school, there has been no global warming since you entered first grade. There has been no global warming this century. None. Admittedly the 21st century is only one century out of the many centuries of planetary existence, but it happens to be the one you’re stuck living in.
In response to that, the shrieking pansies of the eco-left had a fit. The general tenor of my mail was summed up by one correspondent: “How can you live with your lies, dumb­f–k?” George Soros’s stenographers at Media Matters confidently pronounced it a “false claim.” Well, take it up with Phil Jones. He agrees with me. The only difference is he won’t say so in public.

Which is a bit odd, don’t you think?

How about we do a bunch of easy stuff first with deregulation and money that is already committed, like making it a lot easier to build nuclear power plants and spending that "stimulus" money on a massive upgrade of electrical grid instead of repaving 12 miles of highway in each Congressional district? Maybe some experimental seeding of the Arctic atmosphere with reflective particulates. All cheap, reversible stuff that will give governments some chance to show competence.

No, really.

When you start with a massive transfer of wealth and an almost gleeful deconstruction of consumer capitalism, you are bound to trigger equally massive resistance, almost no matter how swell your science and how scary your predictions of catastrophe. That is so obvious, one is forced to wonder whether the real point is the massive transfer of wealth and the deconstruction of consumer capitalism.
Nicely put.

Ouch: Tiger's mistress says he was 'horrible in bed'

Jamie Grubbs adds insult to injury.

Some recommended reading from Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings

Absolutely unreal. These are excerpts from a number of books on the recommended reading list for grades 7-12 from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network. Jennings was the organization's co-founder and Executive Director. These exceprts are extremely graphic so be prepared. This is what our top federal education official has recommended for reading. Very disturbing.

Dear Sarah: shut up. Sincerely, America.

Obama's Approval Rating Drops below 50%

CNN's latest polls show Obama's ratings below 50% for the first time. Although Jones has taught us that approval ratings mean nothing, still thought it was a news worthy story

10 Tips Obama can take from Tiger!

Golf Magazine doesn't have the best timing in the world.

If You're Not Bored of Tigergate Yet

This is a hilarious reenactment video courtesy of Taiwanese News.

Locked and loaded, Palin aims at her own foot and opens fire

Some Really Insightful Quotes I Thought I'd Share

"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life." (Brooke Sheilds during an interview to be a spokeswoman for an anti-smoking campagn)

“I've never had major knee surgery on any part of my body.”
-Winston Bennett(University of Kentucky basketball forward, American Basketball Player)

"Outside of the killings, Washington D.C. has one of the lowest crime rates in the country."
-Mayor Marion Barry, Washington D.C.

“That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I'm just the one to do it”
- Congressional candidate in Texas

"I love California, I practically grew up in Phoenix"
- Dan Quayle

"We dont necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude certain types of people."
- Colonel Gerald Wellman, ROTC Instructor.

"Half this game is ninety percent mental."
- Philadelphia Phillies manager, Danny Ozark

" Its no exaggeration to say that the undecided could go one way or another"
- George Bush, US President

"If we dont succeed, we run the risk of failure."
- Bill Clinton, President

"Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances."
- Department of Social Services, Greenville, South Carolina

"If somebody has a bad heart, they can plug this jack in at night as they go to bed and it will monitor their heart throughout the night. And the next morning, when they wake up dead, there"ll be a record."
- Mark S. Fowler, FCC Chairman

Possibly the greatest headline of all time

And certainly the best Christmas-related one.

Scottish Christmas March

This Saturday, from 11-1 in Alexandria's Old Town, "More than 100 Scottish clans, dressed in tartans and playing bagpipes, will march through Alexandria's historic Old Town....

Scottish dancers and dog breeds are some other featured attractions in the parade, but the star of the show for some is surely Santa Claus's arrival.

The parade begins at Wilkes and S. Saint Asaph streets, follows Saint Asaph Street, turns right on Queen Street, right on Fairfax Street and right on King Street to end at King and Royal streets."

Who is down for this?

US Jobless Rate drops to 10%-FT

"Teflon John"? NY Charges Don't Stick To Gotti, Jr. Fourth Mistrial in 5 years




Houston braces for about 2 inches of snow

Today marks the earliest date in recorded history that it has snowed in Houston. History is in the making.

A sensible environmental policy...and a longshot

Wall Street Journal...voice of reason.

How Dems can avoid a midterm catastrophe

Tack to the right.

Room for Debate: Does Tiger Woods have a right to Privacy?

Frosty the inappropriate snowman

Best and Worst Congressional Website

I don't know if anyone else searches through Committee websites at work, but some of them are just flat out awful. Here's an amusing analysis of the best and worst websites by the National Journal. Maybe the Committee's will finally take a hint...

Zoo to announce Tai Shan is leaving Washington for China


:-'(

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Peta Kills Animals

Here's the link, It could be wrong, but believe if you'd like...

Bringing the Bubble Back

Remember too that when you have a progressive tax system, especially when there are surcharges on people making seven-figure incomes, you also have a system where for any given level of national income, the greater the inequality, the greater the government’s tax revenues. And indeed federal revenues have been rising faster than median wages for decades now, thanks to the rich getting ever richer.

Given the government’s insatiable appetite for cash, it’s only natural that it would prefer to tax plutocrats, spending some of that money on poorer Americans, rather than move to a world where poorer Americans earn more (but still don’t pay that much in taxes), and the plutocrats earn less, depriving the national fisc of untold billions in revenue.

The government’s interests, then, are naturally aligned with those of the plutocrats — and when that happens, the chances of change naturally drop to zero.

Kos concerns

Tom Friedman "This I believe"

Although I strongly support President Obama's decision on Afghanistan, this is the most compelling argument against it that I have read.

I wonder why I didn't see this sooner



Rush realized that Democrats want to cut Medicare for a very specific purpose: to kill off those who remember the Reagan years. Seeing this, I obviously can no longer support the health reform bills.

If this is real journalism...

Frank Ahrens is an economics reporter for one of the most well-read newspapers in the country, and "back atcha" is the best he can muster as a response to being proven wrong?

(via Balloon Juice.)


Taxes are killing us.: The US at 26.1% pays less tax than any other industrialized country except Japan at 25.8%. Sweden is at 50.2%, the UK at 35.8%, and Spain at 35.5%, for example. BTW each of these three countries had higher growth (average per capita growth 1995 - 2005) than we did. 2.5%, 2.4% and 3.1% resp. compared to our 2.1%. Also Japan's was 1% growth.

Frank Ahrens: But did you know our corporate tax rate is among the highest in the world? That makes a real difference if you're a business and you're thinking about locating in the U.S. or, say, India.

But did you know our corporate tax rate is among the highest in the world?
: Dead wrong. Our nominal tax rate of 35% is among the highest, but because of loopholes our real tax rate of 18% is among the lowest real corporate tax rates.

Frank Ahrens: Back atcha.

Crossovers for Castle

Jon Stewart: how dare Obama pursue Bush's successful strategy!

Searching for hope and change. Finding leadership.

Apparently someone knows what needs to be done

Candid photo from West Point speech


WH staff demands F-22 be removed from Obama photo op

Louless CNN sinks even lower in ratings

Obama lost, Obama found

Interesting NYMag essay about year one.

Steny Hoyer to speak at CAP next Monday

If anybody's interested in sneaking out of work next Monday afternoon, this should be a really good talk:

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer will appear at the Center for American Progress Action Fund to discuss the minority party's role in Congress and the current Republican leadership's record of pushing them to be the "Party of No." From creating jobs and addressing the economic crisis, to health reform and climate change, the Republican leadership has put up roadblocks rather than work constructively to find solutions to the challenges facing our country.

The Majority Leader will discuss the history of the "Party of No" strategy, which is based on the assumption that the minority party benefits most when Congress is deadlocked. He will also discuss historical examples of constructive minorities in Congress, to demonstrate that more productive alternatives are possible—alternatives that would enable Congress to better address the needs of the American people at a critical time in our nation’s history.


You've gotta RSVP, the RSVP is on the page I link to.

Another shoe dropping in climategate?

Making a Statement?

Climategate or emailtheftgate

Network coverage of climategate

She should have used a driver!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Isn't this guy coming to Hamilton next semester?

He seems like kind of, um, a dick:

"The Obama Left can tolerate, barely, the appearance of waging war if that’s what it takes to prevent rank-and-file Democrats from revolting. But they have no interest in defeating anti-American Muslims (who, after all, have a point, right?) or in pursuing American interests for their own sake," - Andy McCarthy, NRO.

On that "10% of Obama's cabinet worked in the private sector..."

Well, here's a surprise: Glenn Beck said it, and it was wrong.

Judd Gregg's Blueprint for GOP Obstruction

Apparently the GOP needed to be informed of all their rights to block the health care bill.

Senator Moves to Hold Up Bernanke Confirmation

On the topic of world finance, this is the hearing im covering tomorrow. should be exciting. click here in the am to get the live webcast....

http://banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=371e8d90-86aa-4278-9d44-eae44ec14a77

Most googled

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Climate change legislation defeated

An amazing new way to cope with the stresses of political reporting: drunkblogging!

Make sure you read towards the end. The updates keep getting better, for reasons that should be obvious.

Buzz: Roy Halladay will Consider Everyone

Buzz: Roy Halladay will Consider Everyone

Posted using ShareThis

Vietnam all over again?

From Politico's Glenn Thrush:

"California Dem Jane Harman, likes Obama's overall strategy, but says the reported 34,000 troop build up goes too far -- comparing it to (gulp) LBJ's failed Vietnam escalation: "...There are eerie echoes of Vietnam and the crucial 1965 memo to President Johnson in which National Security Adviser McGeorge Bundy wrote, ‘The situation... is deteriorating, and without new U.S. action defeat appears inevitable. There is still time to turn it around, but not much.’ Bundy turned out to be wrong, and I think a troop build-up as part of an otherwise careful and thoughtful strategy is also wrong.”

Vodka in pill form - what could go wrong?

Politico on enemies list?

Paving the road to hell

Oops. Billboard gives the impression that local TV anchors are gang rapists

You really need to see this. I died laughing. Some advertising agent just got fired.

Conservatives Praise Obama

Is this the first time conservatives have actually agreed with Obama? Has Obama finally reached an age of post-partisanship?

Speaking of shoes, Iraqi shoe-thrower gets a taste of his own medicine

Another shoe drops in climategate

Pelosi comes up with new and exciting ways to waste taxpapyer money

Madoff's Investors Next in Line to Pull Shifty Moves

Some of Madoff's victim's are claiming that they deserve to be paid back more money than they actually lost.

"Thousands of long-term investors, including elderly people who lived for decades on withdrawals from their Madoff accounts, do not qualify for S.I.P.C. payments because they withdrew considerably more over time than they originally entrusted to Mr. Madoff, Barry Lax, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said."

A lot of Madoff's investors are arguing that they should receive an amount reflecting the fictional account balances that Madoff had fabricated. Do these people really deserve to receive money that never actually existed or belonged to them, especially if they withdrew more over time than they originally payed in?

Less than 1 in 10 Obama cabinet members come from the private sector

Not sure if I agree with the headline of this piece (FDR was, after all, King of the Statists), but the statistic is interesting. A telling graphic:

Italian police crash Lamborghini supercar

Okay, so this isnt really about politics, but i thought it was kindof funny

The Plot Thickens.....but not really

So who thinks they are honest, aspiring socialites or two-faced liars?

For Obama, Success Around the Corner

D.C. Council votes to legalize same-sex marriage in preliminary vote

Poll: Rush Most Influential Conservative

I suppose this is better than Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, but they are not far behind...

This story reports the results of a few additional poll questions asked by "60 Minutes" and Vanity Fare magazine poll that was published Sunday. I know the one about which president should be added to Mt. Rushmore was posted yesterday, but I would like to add one additional result.

"With all the talk on the news about whether Americans should have the choice of a government-run health insurance plan in any health care reform, only 26 percent of those who responded said they felt confident explaining the "public option" to someone who didn't know about it." I still continue to wonder why there is so much backlash for something that a majority of people do not understand.

How the Financial Crisis Spawned a Paradigm Shift in Economic Throught

Dubai: Who Cares?

Why Afghanistan is Worth the Fight

Questions for tonight

Just what's on my mind, although I don't really expect it to be answered. I'm surprised we aren't hearing more of this from conservatives (or liberals, for that matter):

Why is this worth the human and financial cost? How is it being financed?

What is victory, and at what point can we say we've won this war?

What non-military actions will we be taking to stabilize Afghanistan?

7 Interesting Items most people do not know are included in the senate bill

"Being a teenager is tough. The Senate wants to help with a provision allocating $400 million from 2010 to 2015 to help teens make the transition to adulthood.

The money goes to states primarily to set up sex education programs. But the money can also be used for "adult preparation" programs that promote "positive self esteem, relationship dynamics, friendships, dating, romantic involvement, marriage and family interaction.""


I feel like most people are able to do this without $400 million dollars of help but what do I know?

The more I read about this bill, the more I think they should just scrap the whole thing and start over; this bill just does not seem like a good idea.

Obama and Spock: One and the same?

Apparently thinking and deliberation are not good qualities for a President to have...

Idaho Plant Gets Permit With CO2 Limits

Big government in service of big business

Tim Carney turning conventional wisdom on its head. Looking forward to his new book.

Other news agencies report, Politico transcribes

Who's Responsible for State Dinner Security Breach?

A growth industry in a down economy

Environmentalists on ClimateGate

Quote of the day: "You're wrong, we're right, and I don't care where you go with this, but you're wrong... I don't honestly care what [scientists] do as long as they come out with the right conclusions, and the right conclusions are the science that drives policy."

To their credit, Evan's peeps at CAP handle the situation very well (and courteously), unlike the folks at the Sierra Club and Greenpeace.

Cash for deer hunters

Monday, November 30, 2009

Climategate and the power of the internet

Rep Hinchey: Bush Administration 'Intentionally Let bin Laden Get Away' to Justify Iraq War

The End of the 2000s: Goodbye to the Decade From Hell. Time Magazine.

i like that they didn't mention W.

From Wonkette: "Saxby Chambliss Thinks Georgia Looks Like *This*"




"Georgia slaveowner Sen. Saxby Chambliss recently participated in this thing from National Geographic, which “invited all 100 U.S. Senators to draw a map of their home state from memory and to label at least three important places.” Most of the participating Senators sketched their states admirably. Chambliss, meanwhile, drew Mississippi, but with more saw teeth on the borders (to keep the Africans out) and a rectangle called “mountains.” This is truly catastrophic."

First GOP amendment to health reform bill would make the bill cost $500bln more

It was a motion to remove the Medicare spending changes. The Dem-backed changes save $500 billion over 10 years.

Media amnesiacs suddenly appalled at Hitler comparisons

Sometimes they make it too easy.

Hypocrisy over Stimulus $

It's always interesting when the Republicans who vehemently oppose and critisize the stimulus package then ask for hand-outs... It may not be perfect, but if you're going to knock it, then at least refrain from pilfering its funds. However, I still think high speed rail is a fabulous idea, so I'll let it slide just this once...!

Premiums


Lower if you're getting subsidies. Higher if not. If you're young, you're mandated to get insurance at high rates to subsidize the AARP crowd. Reverse Robin Hood?

Watergate