Archive for July 2nd, 2009

I Stand at the Door and Knock

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

I Stand at the Door and Knock

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

Revelation 3:20 (New International Version)

Quote of the Day – Media Duplicity

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

In regards to the news coverage of a Duke University official accused of raping his adopted 5-year-old son and offering the child to someone else for sex:

“Did you hear there has been an actual rape at Duke University? An actual rape in Durham, North Carolina. It’s not a phony one. Not a false charge. An actual rape. A guy sold his adopted 5-year-old son to a sex practitioner. A 5-year-old kid, yeah. There’s a problem with this, too, because the guy is gay, a gay adoption.”

“This is why you haven’t heard about it. This does not fit the template. A false charge of rape at Duke when you had the poor, black, down-on-her-luck dancer and the rich, white, lacrosse players, oh, that fit the template. They were guilty before any evidence. This you haven’t heard about because this doesn’t fit the template here of what we’re trying to accomplish.”

-Radio host Rush Limbaugh

Read the complete article here (warning: graphic language).

“Obama’s Breaking Promises and the Bank” by Donald Lambro

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s domestic agenda is losing steam in an increasingly contentious Democratic Congress amid growing public doubts about the veracity of raising taxes in a deep recession.

The economy remains sick. The stimulus plan isn’t working. Investment capital, the lifeblood of a vigorous economy, is still on strike. More than 40 House Democrats voted against his energy tax bill, which barely passed by a seven-vote margin, and now faces huge obstacles in the Senate. His healthcare plan is on shaky ground. His promise not to tax middle class workers is in shreds, and massive deficits are piling up as fears mount that the economy may face months, if not years, of anemic growth.

The White House fashions new, defensive arguments weekly on behalf of Obama’s stimulus. The latest argument coming out of the president’s economic advisers is that they never actually expected the stimulus bill to trigger growth this early in the year. It’s going to take a lot longer to show results, they now say.

The Gross Domestic Product, the measurement of all the goods and Services the economy produces, shrank at an annual rate of more than 5 percent in the first quarter. It is expected to shrink further in the second quarter but at a slower pace.

Americans are not spending, they’re saving. The savings rate jumped to 6.9 percent in May, a 15-year high, while spending barely budged by 0.3 percent. “As the first half of ’09 ends, investors are growing more anxious about whether the economy can bounce back later this year,” AP reported last week.

Holding the economy back is unprecedented borrowing and a raft of higher taxes that Obama intends to impose on the country — from energy taxes that will increase the cost of everything we buy to healthcare taxes to pay for the president’s grandiose national health insurance plan.

None other than billionaire financier Warren Buffett spoke out disapprovingly last week about the Democrats’ so-called “cap-and-trade” energy plan, calling it a “huge tax” and “fairly regressive” one that all of us will pay — hitting low-to-middle income people the hardest. From turning on your light switch, to heating or cooling your home, to all the products we purchase and consume — no one will be spared.

That makes a mockery of Obama’s campaign promise that taxpayers who earn less than $250,000 would not see “any form of tax increase, not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.” That’s why David Axelrod, Obama’s senior adviser, avoided any mention Sunday of the president’s campaign tax pledge on ABC’s “This Week.” Indeed, he pointedly would not rule out taxing employer/employee health insurance premiums that are now fully tax-deductible — an idea that is being increasingly pushed by Democrats as the only way to finance his $2 trillion healthcare scheme.

Some Democrats say that would be the kiss of death for health care this year, but Obama may be willing to agree to it if it’s the only way to get his plan through Congress, say policy insiders. Notably, the president does not want to engage in “drawing lines in the sand” beyond which he will not go in setting higher taxes, Axelrod said.

The president is willing to consider “a lot of different formulations” to finance his healthcare plan, he added. In other words, he’s keeping his tax options open.

Therein lies the rub, With this year’s budget deficit likely to surpass $2 trillion before Obama even begins to pay for his health, energy and other domestic initiatives, he’s going to need a lot of tax revenue to pay for the costliest domestic spending legislative wish list in American history.

Read the rest of the article here..

U.S. Can’t Get Arabs to Commit to Normal Israel Ties

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Koran 47:36 says “Therefore do not falter or sue for peace when you have gained the upper hand.”

The passage from the Koran says it plainly. The majority of the Arab nations will not ever willing commit to normalizing relations with Israel. If they do, it will be suspect because of the very same passage.

The U.S. administration has not been successful in securing commitments from Arab countries to take steps toward normalizing relations with Israel, a senior source in Jerusalem said Wednesday.

The source said U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent meeting with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia did not produce a commitment to encourage the other Arab states to begin normalization.

“In such a situation, the Americans can’t continue demanding gestures only from Israel, such as the demand that Israel freeze settlement construction,” the source said.

In response, a senior White House source said talks with the Arab states are continuing with the aim of obtaining a commitment to make gestures toward Israel, and there is still hope for progress.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak returned to Israel on Wednesday from a meeting with U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell. A senior White House official confirmed reports that progress was made on the issue of settlements, though no agreement had been reached. He added that similar progress had been made in contacts with Arab countries.

Haaretz has learned that the talks with Mitchell included discussions of a package deal to include a curb on settlement construction. Barak reportedly argued that any steps taken by Israel would have to be accompanied by assurances that the Arab states would also move forward. This would lay the groundwork for resumed talks on a final regional peace agreement.

Within the next two weeks or so, Mitchell is expected to visit Israel to continue talks.

A senior diplomatic source said that even if a meeting between Mitchell and the prime minister doesn’t resolve the settlement issue, it will narrow the gap, and the prime minister may request a meeting with Obama in Washington in the coming months to seal an agreement.

Barak noted that if a package deal is reached, Israel might agree to a temporary construction freeze in the settlements, but this would not apply to more than 2,000 housing units already being built.

Also yesterday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the traditional Independence Day reception at the residence of the American ambassador, James Cunningham. Netanyahu spoke of shared values with the United States but did not address the settlement issue. Although many senior Israeli politicians attended the event, turnout was lighter than usual.

By attending, Knesset members ignored the call by Likud MK Danny Danon, who wrote a letter to his parliamentary colleagues this week urging them to boycott the event. He said America “was trying to call into question the State of Israel’s independence” by pressuring it to halt construction in the West Bank and agree to territorial concessions to the Palestinians.

A senior diplomat said he was puzzled by the logic behind Danon’s proposal. He said that despite any disagreements, the event was meant to honor the American people, not any administration.

In his address, Netanyahu highlighted the democratic traditions of Israel and the United States, which he said united them in the face of tyranny. Referring to Obama’s recent speech in Cairo, he noted the president’s reference to the unbreakable bond between Israel and the United States.

Original Link.

Nets Highlight Obama’s Hug at Health Forum; CNN: ‘Bold Display of Presidential Concern’

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

Emperor Obama’s Department of Propaganda was doing “The One’s” bidding again, this time at a health forum (a “town hall” style meeting). How heartfelt and loving was the emperor’s response to cancer sufferer Debby Smith; or was it? Turns out the entire audience was made up of handpicked Obama supporters. It was all staged. It was a farce. You were all duped yet again. In addition to that, as a cancer patient, I’m ultra critical of anyone who uses their condition to earn cheap political points. Debby Smith moderated a health care related town hall meeting connected with then President Elect Obama, back in December of 2008.
Fake, false, lies and deception; all standard mode of operation for Emperor Obama and his worshipping followers.

Network reporters swooned over President Barack Obama hugging a woman, who has cancer and lacks insurance, at his Wednesday “town hall” on health care, as both CNN — where Suzanne Malveaux heralded the hug as “a bold display of presidential concern” — and NBC failed to point out how all the questions (just seven in total) were pre-selected or from members of pro-Obama groups. Instead, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie showed a kid in a video (“My mommy and daddy have small businesses, and we need health care”) before she touted how Obama “solicited questions on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and in person, with a hug for a woman who says she cannot pay her medical bills,” while CNN’s Ed Henry related “he fielded questions from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and a live audience.”

CBS’s Katie Couric showcased “an emotional moment” when “a 53-year-old cancer patient described her battle to get treatment she can afford.” Couric relayed how Obama “called her exhibit A in a system that’s too expensive and too complicated,” but at least, unlike NBC and CNN, Couric noted the woman “is a volunteer for Mr. Obama’s political operation Organizing for America” and “the White House invited her to attend.”

Filling-in as anchor on CNN’s The Situation Room, Suzanne Malveaux painted Obama as a combination of General Patton and Oprah as she set up Henry in the 6 PM EDT hour:

President Obama has a message for some critics. He will get his way. Today he made a bold promise regarding health care reform. And, in a bold display of presidential concern, the President comforted a sick and emotional woman.

ABC’s World News on Wednesday night only mentioned the event in passing during a story on increased obesity.

NBC anhor Brian Williams set up the report on his newscast by trumpeting the “big deal” of Wal-Mart’s support for Obama: “Today a big American name swung its support to President Obama. Wal-Mart has endorsed a key part of the President’s plan to overhaul health care. And, as U.S. employers go, that’s a big deal.”

Major Garrett, on FNC’s Special Report, pointed out how the forum presented Obama with “a pre-screened audience and pre-screened questions.” At the end of his piece he elaborated:

The Debby we just saw in that piece is Debby Smith. She’s a volunteer for the political arm of the President’s Democratic National Committee Organizing for America. The President took another question from a member of the Service Employees International Union and yet another question from someone who participated in a healthcare rally on Capitol Hill last week on behalf of the President’s program. Nevertheless, the White House denied it controlled today’s event.

After Malveaux’s intro, CNN’s Ed Henry reported: “The President was bullish about the prospects for health reform but warned critics are lining up to kill it. So he used a town hall in Virginia to urge the public to rise up as he fielded questions from YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and a live audience.”

Henry did note that Obama is “facing a skeptical public” as a new CNN/Opinion Dynamics poll found 51 percent favor Obama’s efforts, but 45 percent are in opposition.

From the CBS Evening News:

KATIE COURIC: There was an emotional moment today during President Obama’s town meeting on health care reform in Virginia. A 53-year-old cancer patient described her battle to get treatment she can afford.

DEBBY SMITH: I’m no longer able to work, and I have no health insurance. Now I have a new tumor. I have no way to pay for it.

COURIC: Debby Smith is a volunteer for Mr. Obama’s political operation Organizing for America. The White House invited her to attend. The President called her exhibit A in a system that’s too expensive and too complicated. One of his solutions would change the way doctors are reimbursed. Here’s Wyatt Andrews.

Andrews provided a fairly favorable review of Obama’s wish to pay doctors for outcomes instead of for each service provided. He concluded: “So when the President calls for payment reform, almost every health care expert says he’s right. But the amount he can save, no one knows that for certain.”

The MRC’s Brad Wilmouth corrected the closed-captioning against the video to provide a transcript of the story on the Wednesday, July 1 NBC Nightly News:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: And now to another big-ticket item — this nation’s health care system. Today a big American name swung its support to President Obama. Wal-Mart has endorsed a key part of the President’s plan to overhaul health care. And, as U.S. employers go, that’s a big deal. The President was out making the case on health care again today. Our White House correspondent, Savannah Guthrie, with us from there, with more on this tonight. Savannah, good evening,

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Good evening, Brian. With Congress in recess, the President’s trying to move this health care debate out of Washington. And today, he didn’t have to travel very far to do that. The President took his health care message out of town — Annandale, Virginia, near Washington, and online.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL IN VIDEO: My mommy and daddy have small businesses, and we need health care.

GUTHRIE: The President solicited questions on YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter, and in person.

DEBBY SMITH: Now I have a new tumor. I have no way to pay for it.

GUTHRIE: With a hug for a woman who said she cannot pay her medical bills.

BARACK OBAMA: I don’t want you to feel all-

GUTHRIE: The President hoping this message will speak more powerfully to Congress than any other.

OBAMA: When the American people decide that something needs to happen, nothing can stop us. So I hope you’ll join me.

GUTHRIE: The President has launched a full-court press on health care. His old grassroots campaign machinery is mobilized, soliciting personal health care horror stories. And in contrast to 1993’s famed health care reform failure, industry is getting on board, promising to cut costs. And, in a letter to the President yesterday, Wal-Mart said it could support a government requirement that employers provide health care, a major change of heart for the nation’s largest private employer. Still, on Capitol Hill, it’s been a bumpy ride, even with a commanding Democratic majority. The battle lines are drawn over the President’s plan to have government offer an insurance plan. And with costs estimated at least $1 trillion, a key fight looms on how to pay for reform. White House advisors won’t rule out a tax on some health care benefits, potentially violating a key campaign promise not to raise taxes on middle class families.

ROBERT LASZEWSKI, HEALTH CARE POLICY ANALYST: This is a very pragmatic White House and a very pragmatic President, and we know that, to get health care reform, they’re going to have to give some things up. I think it’s too early to tell exactly which things they’re going to have to give up. You don’t want to start giving things up too early.

GUTHRIE: Well, the President has made his own suggestions on how to pay for reform without taxing benefits. The trick, of course, is getting Congress to buy in. Some members have been cool to some of his ideas. Either way, the White House wants to get health care reform done this year, Brian. The feeling is it’s now or never.

—Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center

Original Link.

“White House Press Corps Calls Administration on Staging Events” By Rick Saunders & Jeff Schreiber

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

By Rick Saunders & Jeff Schreiber
America’s Right

Maybe, just maybe, there is the slimmest of slim chances that the torrid love affair between mainstream media journalists and the Squatter-in-Chief at 1600 Pennsylvania is cooling off. Let us hope, for the sake of our children and our children’s children, that the infatuation keeps chilling.

For that reason, it was absolutely glorious to see Chip Reid, CBS White House correspondent, and Helen Thomas, Frodo Baggins’ great-grandmother, expose White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to be the doofus he really is. Watching and listening to the entire video clip is very revealing as to the depths to which The Guy from Chicago and his minions have gone to package, control, manipulate and dictate–perhaps “suggest” would be a more palatable verb?–to persons deemed worthy of posing questions the questions they should pose.

Reid’s comments are particularly good, and Thomas’ additions are even better. When Gibbs tried to deflect Reid’s question of how he and the White House could justify the control of participants and questions to be posed at “town hall meetings,” she interrupted him to object to the nature and degree of control being imposed by the Obama regime over press conferences and town hall meetings: “The point is the control from here,” she said. “We have never had that in the White House. And we have had some control but not this control. I mean I’m amazed, I’m amazed at you people who call for openness and transparency and you have controlled . . . it’s shocking.”

Careful, Helen. With that attitude, you might be next in line to get the “evil eye.”

Even better, when Gibbs suggested that the discussion be continued until after the town hall meeting at issue had been completed, Thomas actually piped up and insisted that “no, no, no . . . we’re having it now.” And Gibbs’ response? “Well, I’ll be happy to have it now.” Yeah, right. Gibbs then asked if there was any evidence “going on” that he or anybody else “was controlling the press,” to which Thomas responded that “formal engagements are pre-packaged . . . by calling reporters the night before to tell them they’re going to be called on. That is shocking.”

A wounded Gibbs subsequently dismissed her by saying that, “well, we’ve had this discussion ad nauseum,” and then pointed off to another reporter.

But Helen didn’t give up. “Of course you would [move on],” she said. “Because you don’t have any answers.”

She almost sounds like a Republican. And these Saturday Night Live-like escapades can only get better as the destruction of the economy, the decimation of America’s security and the frenetic dash to a collectivist landfill orchestrated by the Obama regime continues. Even more so because the only thing the average journalist loves more than the Barack Obama is their ego, their career, and their access. The more the White House pushes them out, the more they’ll push back. And, speaking of Saturday Night Live-esque buffoonery, with Sen. Al Franken–does that sound weird, or what?–now likely to be placed on the Judiciary Committee just in time for the Sotomayor investiture, the lunacy will only deepen. Stay tuned to that particular sideshow, and keep a barf bag nearby.

As it turns out, Thomas and Reid had reason to be critical of the Obama administration’s handling of the health care town hall meeting earlier today. After all, the White House has a history of manipulating audiences and questions, especially in the town hall format, a style designed to bring the president as close to everyday Americans as possible. A March 27, 2009 piece at the Washington Post details exactly who was “randomly” chosen to participate in another East Room town hall meeting, going so far as to contrast how the questioners presented themselves with who they really were. Here’s an excerpt — but read the whole thing . . . it’s fascinating:

[T]he five fully identified questioners called on randomly by the president in the East Room were anything but a diverse lot. They included: a member of the pro-Obama Service Employees International Union, a member of the Democratic National Committee who campaigned for Obama among Hispanics during the primary; a former Democratic candidate for Virginia state delegate who endorsed Obama last fall in an op-ed in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star; and a Virginia businessman who was a donor to Obama’s campaign in 2008.

Ooh . . . tough room. Shockingly, today’s town hall meeting on health care was no different, with the White House micromanaging everything just the way Helen Thomas and Chip Reid knew they would do. Consider the similarity of the March 27 report with this one, published today by the Washington Post:

In the highly stage-managed event, questions for Obama came from a live audience selected by the White House and the college, and from Internet questions chosen by the administration’s own new-media team.

Of the seven questions the president answered, four were selected by his own staff from people who submitted videos on the White House Web site or who responded to a request for “tweets” from the administration.

The president called randomly on three audience members. Each turned out to be members of groups with close ties to his administration: the SEIU union, Health Care for America Now, and Organizing for America, which is a part of the Democratic National Committee. White House officials said that was a coincidence.

Coincidence? I don’t think so. Barack Obama and his flunkies believe that regular ole’ Americans like us are stupid. After all, they banked on blanket political ignorance to put them in the White House.

In one touching moment, a downtrodden-looking woman named Debby Smith stood up with the microphone and explained to a nodding, empathetic president that she suffers from kidney cancer, has a new tumor, and has no health insurance and therefore no way of paying for it. President Obama, “Compassionate Collectivist” to George W. Bush’s “Compassionate Conservative,” embraced Ms. Smith and assured her that he would “find out what we can do within existing law” and touted her as the perfect example of why we need to spend nearly two trillion dollars borrowed from the Chinese, destroy our health care system, eliminate jobs and devastate our economy for a net gain of 16 million newly covered Americans.

What Barack Obama did not explain, however, is that Debby Smith was part of a carefully hand-picked audience and had not only previously volunteered for Obama’s campaign, but has been a longtime healthcare activist. Not only that, but back in December Smith actually moderated a healthcare-related town hall meeting connected with then President Elect Barack Obama — so it’s fair to say that he has known of her plight for a while now.

It’s this kind of blatant dishonesty that has worked so far for this president but, perhaps thanks to an apparently sobering White House press corps, it may not work for much longer. Regardless of the average American’s political knowledge base, people simply do not like to be lied to. And, from the beginning of his disastrous presidency on to now, it’s difficult to find a single day where Barack Obama was telling America the truth.

—————
Rick Saunders is a freelance writer who splits his time between endeavors in southern California and the American southwest. He began writing for America’s Right in December 2008. Jeff Schreiber established America’s Right in January 2008

Original Link.

“‘Better’ Health Care?” by John Stossel

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

President Obama says government will make health care cheaper and better. But there’s no free lunch.

In England, health care is “free” — as long as you don’t mind waiting. People wait so long for dentist appointments that some pull their own teeth. At any one time, half a million people are waiting to get into a British hospital. A British paper reports that one hospital tried to save money by not changing bedsheets. Instead of washing sheets, the staff was encouraged to just turn them over.

Obama insists he is not “trying to bring about government-run healthcare“.

“But government management does the same thing,” says Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute. “To reduce costs they’ll have to ration — deny — care.”

“People line up for care, some of them die. That’s what happens,” says Canadian doctor David Gratzer, author of “The Cure“. He liked Canada’s government health care until he started treating patients.

“The more time I spent in the Canadian system, the more I came across people waiting for radiation therapy, waiting for the knee replacement so they could finally walk up to the second floor of their house.” “You want to see your neurologist because of your stress headache? No problem! Just wait six months. You want an MRI? No problem! Free as the air! Just wait six months.”

Polls show most Canadians like their free health care, but most people aren’t sick when the poll-taker calls. Canadian doctors told us the system is cracking. One complained that he can’t get heart-attack victims into the ICU.

In America, people wait in emergency rooms, too, but it’s much worse in Canada. If you’re sick enough to be admitted, the average wait is 23 hours.

“We can’t send these patients to other hospitals. Dr. Eric Letovsky told us. “Every other emergency department in the country is just as packed as we are.”

More than a million and a half Canadians say they can’t find a family doctor. Some towns hold lotteries to determine who gets a doctor. In Norwood, Ontario, “20/20” videotaped a town clerk pulling the names of the lucky winners out of a lottery box. The losers must wait to see a doctor.

Shirley Healy, like many sick Canadians, came to America for surgery. Her doctor in British Columbia told her she had only a few weeks to live because a blocked artery kept her from digesting food. Yet Canadian officials called her surgery “elective.”

“The only thing elective about this surgery was I elected to live,” she said.

It’s true that America’s partly profit-driven, partly bureaucratic system is expensive, and sometimes wasteful, but the pursuit of profit reduces waste and costs and gives the world the improvements in medicine that ease pain and save lives.

“[America] is the country of medical innovation. This is where people come when they need treatment,” Dr. Gratzer says.

“Literally we’re surrounded by medical miracles. Death by cardiovascular disease has dropped by two-thirds in the last 50 years. You’ve got to pay a price for that type of advancement.”

Canada and England don’t pay the price because they freeload off American innovation. If America adopted their systems, we could worry less about paying for health care, but we’d get 2009-level care — forever. Government monopolies don’t innovate. Profit seekers do.

We saw this in Canada, where we did find one area of medicine that offers easy access to cutting-edge technology — CT scan, endoscopy, thoracoscopy, laparoscopy, etc. It was open 24/7. Patients didn’t have to wait.

But you have to bark or meow to get that kind of treatment. Animal care is the one area of medicine that hasn’t been taken over by the government. Dogs can get a CT scan in one day. For people, the waiting list is a month.

Original Link.

Got Rid of Comment CAPTCHA. No More Verification Needed for Comments

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009

The title says it all.
We no longer require commentators to enter a CAPTCHA phrase in order to post a comment.
If Spam gets out of control, I may have to put it back, but in the meantime, enjoy the new found freedom.
-Steve