Saturday, February 28, 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009

Obama: a Rovian plant?

I seriously hope he's wrong: » Obama: a Rovian plant?

Drudge is currently illustrating the magnitude of our nation’s budget deficit with a chart so shocking it’s almost comical.

The proposed 2009 federal budget deficit is so large that more than half of the year’s government spending is either deficit spending($1,750B) or interest on the national debt ($451B in 2008).

But at least we can raise taxes on the rich to pay for it, right?

Wrong. If the government took 100% of earnings from those making more than a half-million dollars a year, it would add only $1.3 trilion to federal tax receipts. Even the most ardent demand-side economists who usually scoff at the Laffer Curve, will have to admit a 100% tax rate is going to yield significantly smaller receipts.

Barack Obama’s plans to hyper-inflate the government bubble while he taxes the rich at confiscatory levels, is so certain to collapse the economy that I can only conclude that he is a brilliant Rovian plant whose purpose is to finally drive a stake into the heart of the era of big government.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pay my mortgage please...

Incentive : Tennessee Republican Party
The Tennessee Republican Party proudly introduces its newest bumper sticker, designed to help you protest the bailout-mad Congress’s headlong rush into fiscal madness. You can get yours for a small donation to the Tennessee GOP. One for $5 or three for $12. We’ll pay the shipping.

Beijing's Olympic building boom becomes a bust

So you think our housing market has problems...

Beijing's Olympic building boom becomes a bust - Los Angeles Times
"Empty," says Jack Rodman, an expert in distressed real estate, as he points from the window of his 40th-floor office toward a silver-skinned prism rising out of the Beijing skyline.

"Beautiful building, but not a single tenant.

"Completely empty.


So goes the refrain as his finger skips from building to building, each flashier than the next, and few of them more than barely occupied.

Beijing went through a building boom before the 2008 Summer Olympics that filled a staid communist capital with angular architectural feats that grace the covers of glossy design magazines.

Now, six months after the Games ended, the city continues to dazzle by night, with neon and floodlights dancing across the skyline. By day, though, it is obvious that many are "see-through" buildings, to use the term coined during the Texas real estate bust of the 1980s.

By Rodman's calculations, 500 million square feet of commercial real estate has been developed in Beijing since 2006, more than all the office space in Manhattan. And that doesn't include huge projects developed by the government. He says 100 million square feet of office space is vacant -- a 14-year supply if it filled up at the same rate as in the best years, 2004 through '06, when about 7 million square feet a year was leased.

"The scale of development was unprecedented anywhere in the world," said Rodman, a Los Angeles native who lives in Beijing, running a firm called Global Distressed Solutions. "It defied logic. It just doesn't make sense."

Times for the Tea Party Revolution!

Keep going back to the North Shore Journal for further updates:

Time for a Tea Party | America's North Shore Journal

* Boston - Friday, February 27, 2009 11:50am - , Location TBD
* Hartford, CT - Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm - 1:00pm, State Capitol
* New York City - Saturday, February 28, 2009, 2:00pm - 3:00pm, City Hall Park, New York
* Philadelphia - Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm - 1:00pm, Independance Hall
* Washington D.C. - Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm - 2:00pm White House on the Lafayette Square Park side
* Pittsburgh - Friday, February 27, 2009 12 pm - 1 pm, Point State Park


* Atlanta - Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm - 1:00pm at the Georgia State Capitol Building ~ Downtown Atlanta Washington Street Exit
* Fayetteville - Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm - 1:00pm, Liberty Point Resolves Marker, downtown Fayetteville, Hay Street
* Columbia, SC - TBD
* Greenville, NC - Friday, February 27, 2009 6:00pm, on the banks of the Reedy River and on the walking bridge just west of Main Street
* Orlando - Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm - 1:00pm on Lake Eola across from Panera Bread
* Fort Meyers Beach - Friday, February 27, 2009 11:30am - 1:00pm Bowditch Park, 50 Estero Blvd., Fort Myers Beach
* Sarasota - Friday, February 27, 2009, 12:00pm - 1:00pm, Island Park and Marina Jacks, Bayfront Drive (41) and Ringling Blvd, Sarasota
* Nashville - Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm - 1:00pm Legislative Plaza
* Shelby County Alabama - Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm - 1:00pm, entrance to Eagle Point Neighborhood, Highway 280
* Jackson, Miss - Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm - 1:30pm, On the steps of the Capital Building in Jackson


* Cleveland - Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm - 1:00pm Public Square in Downtown Cleveland, 1 Public Square
* Chicago - Friday, February 27, 2009 11:00am - 12:20pm at
Daley Plaza Civic Center, 50 W Washington St.
* Lansing, MI - Friday, February 27, 2009 12:00pm - 1:00pm, State Capitol bldg
* St. Louis - Friday, February 27, 2009 11:00am - 12:00pm The Steps of Arch, Wharf Street
* Springfield, MO - Friday, February 27, 2009, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Lake Springfield Park
* Kansas City - Saturday, February 28, 2009 10:00am - 2:00pm J.C. Nichols Foundation, 47th and J.C. Nichols Parkway K.C. MO
* Wichita, Kansas - Friday, February 27, 2009, 11:30am - 12:30pm, Farm Credit Bank Building, 245 N. Waco
* Omaha - Friday, February 27, 2009, 11:00am - 12:00pm, Douglas County Courthouse, 16th and Farnam St, Omaha
* Davenport, Iowa - Saturday, February 28, 2009, 12:00pm - 1 pm, Corner of Brady & Locust Streets, Davenport
* Wichita, Kansas - Friday, February 27, 2009, 11:30am - 12:30pm, Farm Credit Bank Building, 245 N. Waco, Wichita


* Dallas - February 27, 2009 11:00am, Victory Plaza at the American Airlines Center
* Fort Worth - Friday, February 27, 2009 3pm to 7pm at the Cowtown Bar & Grill, 7108 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth
* Houston - Friday, February 27, 2009 11:00am - 2:00pm, Fondren Green at Discovery Green Park, in front of Amphitheatre
* Oklahoma City - Friday, February 27, 2009, 11:00am - 12:00pm, State Capitol Steps, Oklahoma City
* Tulsa - Friday, February 27, 2009 11 am to 1 pm, Veteran’s Park, 21st & Boulder
* Phoenix - Friday, February 27, 2009, 10:00am - 11:00am,
ARIZONA State Capitol, 1700 W Washington St, Phoenix
* Tempe AZ - Friday, February 27, 2009 11:45 am, Tempe Beach Park, west of the Mill Avenue Bridge

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Holder Calls for New Assault Weapons Ban

Just great:
Holder Calls for New Assault Weapons Ban
According to MS-NBC:

At a press conference announcing the arrests, Holder also suggested that re-instituting a U.S. ban on the sale of assault weapons would help reduce the bloodshed in Mexico, where last year 6,000 people were killed in drug-related violence.

U.S. officials have a responsibility to make sure Mexican police “are not fighting substantial numbers of weapons, or fighting against AK-47s or other similar kinds of weapons that have been flowing to Mexico,” Holder said.

So we are going to lose our gun rights because our government can’t secure its borders, and the Mexican government can’t secure law and order and weed out corruption in its military, which is no doubt a large source of firearms for drug cartels.

Interestingly enough, it was not in his prepared remarks, so it must have been in a question. This is from the Administration, folks. Obama may be willing to burn political capital on this issue. Get ready.

Climate science is 'ancient astrology', claims report

This is kind of a big deal:

Japan's boffins: Global warming isn't man-made [printer-friendly] • The Register
Exclusive Japanese scientists have made a dramatic break with the UN and Western-backed hypothesis of climate change in a new report from its Energy Commission.

Three of the five researchers disagree with the UN's IPCC view that recent warming is primarily the consequence of man-made industrial emissions of greenhouse gases. Remarkably, the subtle and nuanced language typical in such reports has been set aside.

One of the five contributors compares computer climate modelling to ancient astrology. Others castigate the paucity of the US ground temperature data set used to support the hypothesis, and declare that the unambiguous warming trend from the mid-part of the 20th Century has ceased.

The report by Japan Society of Energy and Resources (JSER) is astonishing rebuke to international pressure, and a vote of confidence in Japan's native marine and astronomical research. Publicly-funded science in the West uniformly backs the hypothesis that industrial influence is primarily responsible for climate change, although fissures have appeared recently. Only one of the five top Japanese scientists commissioned here concurs with the man-made global warming hypothesis.

JSER is the academic society representing scientists from the energy and resource fields, and acts as a government advisory panel. The report appeared last month but has received curiously little attention. So The Register commissioned a translation of the document - the first to appear in the West in any form. Below you'll find some of the key findings - but first, a summary.

Taxes? They will go up:

This is from the New York Times!
Economic Scene - Like Having Medicare? Then Taxes Must Rise -
Toward the end of Monday’s meetings on fiscal responsibility at the White House, Senator Kent Conrad stood up and produced a little bolt of honesty. “Revenue is the thing almost nobody wants to talk about,” said Mr. Conrad, the chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. “But I think if we’re going to be honest with each other, we’ve got to recognize that is part of a solution as well.”

Mr. Conrad’s frankness was delivered in the cryptic language of budget experts, and many people might have missed the point. So allow me to translate:

Your taxes are going up.

The Decline of Los Angeles

Seems that the whole state is going down the tubes:

The Decline of Los Angeles |
Next week, Antonio Villaraigosa will be overwhelmingly re-elected mayor of Los Angeles. Do not, however, take the size of his margin – he faces no significant opposition – as evidence that all is well in the city of angels.

Whatever His Honor says to the media, the sad reality remains that Los Angeles has fallen into a serious secular decline. This constitutes one of the most rapid – and largely unnecessary – municipal reversals in fortune in American urban history.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Commenting on Obama's Speech...before it happened.

Commentary » Blog Archive » Forward to the Past
Here’s something interesting that leaked out from our skeptical press. An AP story by Jennifer Loven, about how the president’s address went — five and a half hours before it happened:

Standing before a nation on an economic precipice, President Barack Obama aimed to balance candor with can-do Tuesday night in his first address to a joint session of Congress. Millions more anxious Americans were tuning in on TV.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Iwo Jima in Color

64 years today the flag was planted on Iwo. This is color footage of the start and elements of the battle:

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Nazi Germany in Color

This is creepy. Go here for more photos:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009

I seriously doubt this will pass and if it does it is most likely unconstitutional.  At the same time it is disturbing that it is even being legislatively attempted.

H.R. 45: Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009 (
To provide for the implementation of a system of licensing for purchasers of certain firearms and for a record of sale system for those firearms, and for other purposes.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Obama's "Kick Me" sign

Our foreign policy seems to be eliciting a response from those we have had disagreements with.  Unfortunately it is the wrong response.

Charles Krauthammer - Obama's 'Kick Me' Diplomacy -
I would like to think the supine posture is attributable to a rookie leader otherwise preoccupied (i.e., domestically), leading a foreign policy team as yet unorganized if not disoriented. But when the State Department says that Hugo Chávez's president-for-life referendum, which was preceded by a sham government-controlled campaign featuring the tear-gassing of the opposition, was "for the most part . . . a process that was fully consistent with democratic process," you have to wonder if Month One is not a harbinger of things to come.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Stimulus Not Working?

The answer will be to print ever more money.  There seems to be a reason some are calling this the porkulus: Editorials, Political Cartoons, and Polls from Investor's Business Daily -- Just A Beginning?

Economy: Seven-hundred eighty-seven billion dollars apparently
doesn't go as far as it used to. Even before the ink was dry on the
stimulus bill, the president and his deputies were hinting it may not
work as promised.
So what can explain all this cold water? As we see it, there are four possibilities:

1. The administration discovered in the past couple of days that the economy is far worse that it thought. Unlikely, unless the economic team doesn't know what it's doing.

2. The administration has seen what it can get by scaring the public, so why not try it again? With much of its long-term spending agenda enacted, a few more months of catastrophe talk and it could even score nationalized health care. Maybe, but we hope that's far too Machiavellian for this crew.

3. The president and his team have spent so much time and energy talking down the economy that it can't seem to stop. As Obama might put it, "Old habits are hard to break." This is within the realm of the conceivable.

4. The most likely explanation: The administration is quietly coming to understand what critics of the bill knew all along. It spends huge sums of money, but does so in ways that will do little to stimulate the economy in the short term.

If true, it would amount to the most expensive learning curve in the history of mankind.

The RAT hiding deep inside the stimulus bill

This doesn't look good, and in the name of transparency no less: >> Politics
The far-reaching -- and potentially dangerous -- provision that no one knows about.

You’ve heard a lot about the astonishing spending in the $787 billion economic stimulus bill, signed into law this week by President Barack Obama. But you probably haven’t heard about a provision in the bill that threatens to politicize the way allegations of fraud and corruption are investigated — or not investigated — throughout the federal government.

The provision, which attracted virtually no attention in the debate over the 1,073-page stimulus bill, creates something called the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board — the RAT Board, as it’s known by the few insiders who are aware of it. The board would oversee the in-house watchdogs, known as inspectors general, whose job is to independently investigate allegations of wrongdoing at various federal agencies, without fear of interference by political appointees or the White House.

In the name of accountability and transparency, Congress has given the RAT Board the authority to ask “that an inspector general conduct or refrain from conducting an audit or investigation.” If the inspector general doesn’t want to follow the wishes of the RAT Board, he’ll have to write a report explaining his decision to the board, as well as to the head of his agency (from whom he is supposedly independent) and to Congress. In the end, a determined inspector general can probably get his way, but only after jumping through bureaucratic hoops that will inevitably make him hesitate to go forward.

When Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, a longtime champion of inspectors general, read the words “conduct or refrain from conducting,” alarm bells went off. The language means that the board — whose chairman will be appointed by the president — can reach deep inside a federal agency and tell an inspector general to lay off some particularly sensitive subject. Or, conversely, it can tell the inspector general to go after a tempting political target.

“This strikes at the heart of the independence of inspectors general,” Grassley told me this week, in a phone conversation between visits to town meetings in rural Iowa. “Anytime an inspector general has somebody questioning his authority, it tends to dampen the aggressiveness with which they pursue something, particularly if it’s going to make the incumbent administration look bad.”

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Single Moms and NAMBLA

Thus showing the importance of having a mother and father:

Big Hollywood » Blog Archive » Single Moms and NAMBLA
With a lot of smiles and an occasional out loud laugh, I read Ann Coulter’s latest book “Guilty.” Once again with her no-holds barred writing style she takes on some of America’s most sacred cows. You want controversy? How about a chapter titled, “Victim of a Crime? Thank a Single Mother.” As only Ann can do, she backs up her allegations with numerous, hard-to-refute statistics. Even considering Sir Winston Churchill’s quote, “Statistics are like a drunk with a lamppost: used more for support than illumination,” Ann’s argument is compelling...

I am often asked how we can protect our children. There is no magic
formula for identifying a molester. There may be clues, but they are
not foolproof. We cannot prove a negative. We can prove a person is a
child molester. We cannot prove he is not. But Ann, let me expand on
what you have said. I know you have been attacked for your chapter on
single mothers and of course, there are exceptions to most rules, but
single moms (and married moms and dads) let me give one piece of advice
that Ann didn’t render. Based upon my three year affiliation with these
child molesters, I observed one thing: Not one boy who came from a home
with a strong, loving father figure was successfully targeted by a
persuasion predator.

Protection may be that simple…a boy needs a loving father.

Crude oil is getting cheaper — so why isn't gas?

I didn't know this:

Crude oil is getting cheaper — so why isn't gas? : Business : Knoxville News Sentinel
Crude oil prices have fallen to new lows for this year. So you’d think gas prices would sink right along with them.

Not so.

On Thursday, for example, crude oil closed just under $34 a barrel, its lowest point for 2009. But the national average price of a gallon of gas rose to $1.95 on the same day, its peak for the year. On Friday gas went a penny higher.

To drivers once again grimacing as they tank up, it sounds like a conspiracy. But it has more to do with an energy market turned upside-down that has left gas cut off from its usual economic moorings.

The price of gas is indeed tied to oil. It’s just a matter of which oil.

The benchmark for crude oil prices is West Texas Intermediate, drilled exactly where you would imagine. That’s the price, set at the New York Mercantile Exchange, that you see quoted on business channels and in the morning paper.

Right now, in an unusual market trend, West Texas crude is selling for much less than inferior grades of crude from other places around the world. A severe economic downturn has left U.S. storage facilities brimming with it, sending prices for the premium crude to five-year lows.

But it is the overseas crude that goes into most of the gas made in the United States. So prices at the pump will probably keep going up no matter what happens to the benchmark price of crude oil.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Failure to save East Europe will lead to worldwide meltdown

Here's a little Monday morning pick me up.  Honestly, I don't know if it is this bad or not, but this is sobering stuff:

Failure to save East Europe will lead to worldwide meltdown - Telegraph
If mishandled by the world policy establishment, this debacle is big enough to shatter the fragile banking systems of Western Europe and set off round two of our financial Götterdämmerung.

Austria's finance minister Josef Pröll made frantic efforts last week to put together a €150bn rescue for the ex-Soviet bloc. Well he might. His banks have lent €230bn to the region, equal to 70pc of Austria's GDP.

"A failure rate of 10pc would lead to the collapse of the Austrian financial sector," reported Der Standard in Vienna. Unfortunately, that is about to happen.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) says bad debts will top 10pc and may reach 20pc. The Vienna press said Bank Austria and its Italian owner Unicredit face a "monetary Stalingrad" in the East.

Mr Pröll tried to drum up support for his rescue package from EU finance ministers in Brussels last week. The idea was scotched by Germany's Peer Steinbrück. Not our problem, he said. We'll see about that.

Stephen Jen, currency chief at Morgan Stanley, said Eastern Europe has borrowed $1.7 trillion abroad, much on short-term maturities. It must repay – or roll over – $400bn this year, equal to a third of the region's GDP. Good luck. The credit window has slammed shut.

Not even Russia can easily cover the $500bn dollar debts of its oligarchs while oil remains near $33 a barrel. The budget is based on Urals crude at $95. Russia has bled 36pc of its foreign reserves since August defending the rouble.

"This is the largest run on a currency in history," said Mr Jen.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


From the sermon I will be preaching tomorrow:


Obviously, love is very important, much more than many have ever realized. Listen to what Jesus says in John 13:34, "A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."

Notice that Jesus says this is a commandment, not a suggestion. And God never commands us to do anything that we cannot do.

We tend to think that love is something that just happens to us because that is what the world teaches. You fall in love like you fall into a ditch, or you fall out of love like you fall out of a tree. You can’t help it. It is something that just happens.

ILL. Someone sings, "I can’t help falling in love with you." Someone else sings, "You’ve lost that loving feeling." Someone else sings, "I love you. Please tell me your name." That’s really deep love, you know.

In contrast, the Bible teaches that love is something we can control. God commands us to love each other. Which means, I can will to love you, and you in turn can will to love me. So this is not a hopeless situation at all.

Now, what kind of love is being talked about here? In Philippians 2:4 Paul says that he wants us to behave as Jesus Christ behaved. In other words to love in the same way that Jesus loved.

Here is the way Jesus loved. He said, "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." In other words, love becomes unselfish. We begin to think about other people and their interests just like we think about ourselves and our interests. We become unselfish. Now I want to apply that in several different areas.

A. First of all, see how that would work in the family. Let’s suppose that someone in every family represented here this morning would say, "I’m going to go home and put this into practice."

For those with spouses, let’s begin with our spouses. We ought to love our husbands or our wives first and most. We ought to be kinder, more tender, more gentle to them even if she or he is behaving like a jerk. We should begin first in our marriage relationships.

Can you see how that would affect the atmosphere of the home? There wouldn’t be any arguing or bickering, no sharp words between each other because their interests are just as important as ours.

And pretty soon it filters down to the relationship we share with our children, maybe even our in-laws and everybody else in the family. Just because we love them.

It begins in the family, then it spills over into the church family. In fact Jesus said, "By this they shall know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

That’s the way the world will find out that the message of Jesus Christ is valid. And if we’re really going to love each other the way Jesus loved us then we have to develop in our own lives the same kind of compassion for people that Jesus had.

Can you remember getting caught up in something and so identifying with what’s going on that you actually became a part of a story? Well, that’s compassion, and it will cause us to ask ourselves some tough questions.

"What’s it like to hurt deep inside and no one knows you’re hurting and you don’t feel free to tell them that you’re hurting? What’s it like being sick and knowing you’re not going to get well, and wanting more than anything else to live? What’s it like to be handicapped? What’s it like to be a minority? What’s it like to be dealing with marital problems or domestic problems? What’s it really like?”

What kind of burdens are people carrying, and do we care enough to help them bear those burdens? That’s what it means when Jesus talks about loving one another as He has loved us.

Religion at Borders

Friday, February 13, 2009

Obama's shock doctrine

It's going to be a shock alright:

David Boaz: In Obama's economic stimulus push, we're seeing Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine in reverse | Comment is free |
"Profound economic emergency," the president says. Failure to pass his spending plan could "turn a crisis into a catastrophe". Any delay will mean "paralysis" and "disaster". It's all out of the "shock doctrine" playbook: scare people to death and then demand that your agenda be enacted without delay.

Naomi Klein made waves two years ago with her book The Shock Doctrine, in which she claimed that conservative governments use crises to ram through free-market policies. As she put it in an interview: "The Shock Doctrine is a political strategy that the Republican right has been perfecting over the past 35 years to use for various different kinds of shocks. They could be wars, natural disasters, economic crises, anything that sends a society into a state of shock to push through what economists call 'economic shock therapy' – rapid-fire, pro-corporate policies that they couldn't get through if people weren't in a state of fear and panic."

And that's just what we're seeing today – only in reverse.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Planned Parenthood Violations Map

This is a planned parenthood violations map reporting abuse and unethical practices.

Live Action Films (A New Media Movement For Life)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chairman Price Outside Speaker's Office As Stimulus Deal is Announced

Heh, a little more hope n' change:

Generic Congressional Ballot

Very interesting:

Rasmussen Reports™
This marks the lowest level of support for the Democrats in tracking history and is the closest the two parties have been on the generic ballot.

Only four percent (4%) said they would vote for a candidate from another political party.

Last week, 42% said they would support their Democratic candidate, and 38% said they would vote Republican.

Over the past year, Democratic support has ranged from a low of 40% to a high of 50%. In that same time period, Republicans have been preferred by 34% to 41% of voters nationwide.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls).

Men now decisively support the GOP by a 42% to 36%, while women continue to support President Obama’s party 44% to 36%.

Voters not affiliated with either party support the GOP more by a 34% to 28% margin, while another 29% are undecided. Twelve percent (12%) of Democratic voters say they would vote for a member of the opposite party, while 8% of Republicans say the same.

Investors favor the GOP by a 44% to 35% margin, while non-investors prefer Democrats 50% to 31%.

Voters employed by the government say they would vote Democratic, 46% to 31%, while entrepreneurs favor the GOP 44% to 40%. Workers in the private sector also favor the GOP slightly more by a 40% to 37% margin, while retirees favor Democrats by just a two-point margin.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

liberal conspiracy to expand welfare rolls

Just what we need, an incentive for the states to pad their welfare rolls.  I am all for helping people, helping them to help themselves.  Who will an expanded welfare benefit?  Those politicians (and party) who help pad the welfare rolls.  I wonder who that could be?

Kausfiles : The Money Liberal Conspiracy At Work
Congressional Democrats want to encourage states to expand their caseloads, offering billions of federal dollars in the "stimulus" package as an incentive to do so. But wait, if states expand their welfare caseloads as the Dems want, they'd lose the "caseload reduction credit," since their caseloads would not, in fact, have been reduced. They might then have to start enforcing the "work activity" requirements on those caseloads. Can't have that! That might discourage states from expanding welfare, for one thing, since enforcing work requirements costs money, and states have no money. And Congressional Money Liberals** never liked work requirements much in the first place. The last thing they want to do is increase them. (Their whole theory is that the many single-mom recipients are "hard-to-employ" types with "multiple problems" who basically need to be supported on the dole.) What's a good Money Liberal to do?

Answer: Rewrite the law, in the stimulus package, to let states expand their caseloads but pretend, for "caseload reduction credit" purposes, that the caseloads have declined. Specifically, the revision would allow states take the credit they would have gotten based on their caseloads in 2007 or 2008 even if their caseloads soar (as the Dems would like) in 2009 and 2010.

The return of indulgences?


For Catholics, heaven moves one step closer - International Herald Tribune
The announcement in church bulletins and on Web sites has been greeted with enthusiasm by some and wariness by others. But mainly, it has gone over the heads of a vast generation of Roman Catholics who have no idea what it means: "Bishop Announces Plenary Indulgences."

In recent months, dioceses around the world have been offering Catholics a spiritual benefit that fell out of favor decades ago — the indulgence, a sort of amnesty from punishment in the afterlife — and reminding them of the church's clout in mitigating the wages of sin.

The fact that many Catholics under 50 have never sought one, and never heard of indulgences except in high school European history (Martin Luther denounced the selling of them in 1517 while igniting the Protestant Reformation), simply makes their reintroduction more urgent among church leaders bent on restoring fading traditions of penance in what they see as a self-satisfied world.

"Why are we bringing it back?" asked Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of New York, who has embraced the move. "Because there is sin in the world."

Like the Latin Mass and meatless Fridays, the indulgence was one of the traditions decoupled from mainstream Catholic practice in the 1960s by the Second Vatican Council, the gathering of bishops that set a new tone of simplicity and informality for the church. Its revival has been viewed as part of a conservative resurgence that has brought some quiet changes and some highly controversial ones, like Pope Benedict XVI's recent decision to lift the excommunications of four schismatic bishops who reject the council's reforms.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

MMR doctor Andrew Wakefield fixed data on autism


MMR doctor Andrew Wakefield fixed data on autism - Times Online
THE doctor who sparked the scare over the safety of the MMR vaccine for children changed and misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with autism, a Sunday Times investigation has found.

Confidential medical documents and interviews with witnesses have established that Andrew Wakefield manipulated patients’ data, which triggered fears that the MMR triple vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella was linked to the condition.

The research was published in February 1998 in an article in The Lancet medical journal. It claimed that the families of eight out of 12 children attending a routine clinic at the hospital had blamed MMR for their autism, and said that problems came on within days of the jab. The team also claimed to have discovered a new inflammatory bowel disease underlying the children’s conditions.

However, our investigation, confirmed by evidence presented to the General Medical Council (GMC), reveals that: In most of the 12 cases, the children’s ailments as described in The Lancet were different from their hospital and GP records. Although the research paper claimed that problems came on within days of the jab, in only one case did medical records suggest this was true, and in many of the cases medical concerns had been raised before the children were vaccinated. Hospital pathologists, looking for inflammatory bowel disease, reported in the majority of cases that the gut was normal. This was then reviewed and the Lancet paper showed them as abnormal.
Related Links

Despite involving just a dozen children, the 1998 paper’s impact was extraordinary. After its publication, rates of inoculation fell from 92% to below 80%. Populations acquire “herd immunity” from measles when more than 95% of people have been vaccinated.

Last week official figures showed that 1,348 confirmed cases of measles in England and Wales were reported last year, compared with 56 in 1998. Two children have died of the disease.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Was Keynes Right?

Who knows, but we are about to become a one trillion dollar experiment:

Fact and Fiction on the Stimulus Package | Newsweek Voices - Michael Hirsh
After two weeks of debate in Washington over the stimulus, we now know we have 100 economists in the Senate and 435 in the House. Not to mention the great economic minds that, all of a sudden, it seems, constitute most of the punditocracy and the blogosphere. Some of these people—most, I would say—are pretty certain some sort of stimulus is necessary. Others are convinced that a "Keynesian" approach to government intervention is just the latest version of voodoo economics. Some actually believe it will lead to a catastrophe worse than the one we're in. The question is, what is the truth? Is there, in fact, a truth about this debate?

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Another Cabinet appointee with tax problems

Honestly, you can't make this stuff up:

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Hope and Change: Another Cabinet appointee with tax problems
The husband of President Obama’s Labor secretary nominee paid about $6,400 Wednesday to settle tax liens that had been outstanding for as long as 16 years against his business, the Obama administration told USA TODAY this afternoon.

The disclosure came shortly before a scheduled 2 p.m. meeting of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which will vote on Rep. Hilda Solis’ nomination as labor secretary. The hearing was postponed; no reason was immediately revealed.

Los Angeles County records showed 15 outstanding state and county tax liens against Sam Sayyad and his auto repair business, totaling $7,630. Two other liens worth $981 were released in 1999 after Sayyad repaid the taxes owed, according to county records.

That makes 25% of Obama’s original Hope and Change Cabinet picks comprised by tax evaders. Add that to the fourth scandal of Bill Richardson’s pay-for-play federal grand jury investigation, and we have a full-blown vetting disaster. And that doesn’t even count new Attorney General Eric Holder’s politicization of Justice ten years ago on behalf of Bill Clinton in the FALN and Marc Rich pardons, or the dozen-plus lobbyists hired by the President Who Hates Lobbyists.

When change isn't change:

Buyers remorse?

Change we cannot and do not believe in |
When Barack Obama was running for the Democratic nomination last year and then for the presidency in the fall, one of the most attractive things about his candidacy was his promise of change that we all could believe in.

He campaigned on a promise of change that would mean no more cozy lobbyists-in-government schemes, no more ethically-challenged appointees ignoring laws that apply to everyone else.

Two weeks into the Obama presidency, we like his campaign better than his administration. While Mr. Obama has set the right tone for approaching the monumentally hard work ahead of this government and while some of his appointments are outstanding, others were either badly botched or reflect a half-hearted commitment to the change principle central to his ballot-box success last fall. Consider:

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Collegiate Sex-Ed

This is a welcome push back of the anything goes mentality on most campuses:

Public Discourse, Collegiate Sex-Ed, by Ryan T. Anderson
From liberal dogmas on homosexuality to liberationist agendas on sex, feminism and marriage, from the social pressures put on guys and girls to be sexually active to the resulting pornography, masturbation, alcohol, and body-image problems—college campuses aren’t a pretty sight.

After my own four years as an undergraduate at Princeton, the problem was readily apparent to me, and a potential remedy seemed worth trying: rather than cowering away from the liberal orthodoxy on human sexuality, why don’t we subject it to intense, critical, rational scrutiny, expose it as intellectually wanting, and build a social network to oppose it?

February 2005 saw the launch of a new student group at Princeton, the Elizabeth Anscombe Society, named for the famed Cambridge philosophy professor, star student and successor of Ludwig Wittgenstein, and intellectual defender of traditional sexual ethics. The Anscombe Society set for itself a lofty mission:

Support for Pork Bill Collapsing

Good news, now if the pols will just listen:

Power Line - Support for Pork Bill Collapsing
Today's Rasmussen survey indicates that support for the Obama administration's pork-infested spending bill is going up in smoke: currently only 37% favor the measure while 43% oppose it. Here is the downward trend:

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Muslims Against Sharia

While we may disagree on much of theology this group needs to be commended for speaking out against radical Islam:

Muslims Against Sharia
Acknowledging mistakes
The majority of the terrorist acts of the last three decades, including the 9/11 attacks, were perpetrated by Islamic fundamentalists in the name of Islam. We, as Muslims, find it abhorrent that Islam is used to murder millions of innocent people, Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Inconsistencies in the Koran
Unfortunately, Islamic religious texts, including the Koran and the Hadith contain many passages, which call for Islamic domination and incite violence against non-Muslims. It is time to change that. Muslim fundamentalists believe that the Koran is the literal word of Allah. But could Allah, the most Merciful, the most Compassionate, command mass slaughter of people whose only fault is being non-Muslim?

The Koran & the Bible
Many Bible figures from Adam to Jesus (Isa) are considered to be prophets and are respected by Islam. Islamic scholars however believe that both the Old and the New Testament came from God, but that they were corrupted by the Jews and Christians over time. Could it be possible that the Koran itself was corrupted by Muslims over the last thirteen centuries?

The need for reform
Islam, in its present form, is not compatible with principles of freedom and democracy. Twenty-first century Muslims have two options: we can continue the barbaric policies of the seventh century perpetuated by Hassan al-Banna, Abdullah Azzam, Yassir Arafat, Ruhollah Khomeini, Osama bin Laden, Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, Hizballah, Hamas, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, etc., leading to a global war between Dar al-Islam (Islamic World) and Dar al-Harb (non-Islamic World), or we can reform Islam to keep our rich cultural heritage and to cleanse our religion from the reviled relics of the past. We, as Muslims who desire to live in harmony with people of other religions, agnostics, and atheists choose the latter option. We can no longer allow Islamic extremists to use our religion as a weapon. We must protect future generations of Muslims from being brainwashed by the Islamic radicals. If we do not stop the spread of Islamic fundamentalism, our children will become homicidal zombies.

Mass. couple who led gay marriage fight to divorce


My Way News - Mass. couple who led gay marriage fight to divorce
A lesbian couple who led the fight for gay marriage in Massachusetts has filed for divorce. Julie and Hillary Goodridge were among seven gay couples who filed a lawsuit that led to a court ruling making Massachusetts the first state to legalize same-sex marriages in 2004. The couple became the public face of the debate in the state and married the first day same-sex marriages became legal.

Planned Parenthood Coverup Redux

There at it again:

Hot Air » Blog Archive » Video: Planned Parenthood covers up statutory rape … again
The Mona Lisa Project exposed two Indiana abortion clinics last year that covered up reportable felonies and illegally told underage minors to cross state lines for their abortions. At the time, Lila Rose told us that more Planned Parenthood violations would come to light from her undercover work last summer. Today, another shoe drops, but this time in Tucson, where a nurse advises what she thinks is a 15-year-old patient to keep an abusive relationship from the court:

NEW Undercover Video Shows Arizona Planned Parenthood Hides Stat. Rape of 15-Year-Old Girl

Monday, February 02, 2009

The Most Underrated Part of the Inauguration

Read the whole thing.  HT: Janet.

The Most Underrated Part of the Inauguration - HUMAN EVENTS
...Sixth and last, just when you thought the "amen" was imminent, Warren gave a coup de grâce to any political or earthly power -- a possibly subversive chess move to subtly call Obama's regime into checkmate. He called upon the global Christian community to invoke God's power against any and all human strongholds by collectively praying the Lord's Prayer. Warren rallied all branches, traditions and denominations of the universal church by triggering a prayer response through his words "who taught us to pray, saying …" Proof came as cameras immediately panned across the people in the Washington crowd, many of whom found themselves suddenly reciting the prayer with Warren. (It was interesting to watch how Obama chose not to join in.)

What everyone needs to understand is that the Lord's Prayer is no trite religious repetition to Warren. He once explained in one of his teachings: "'Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.' Why do we pray that 'Thy will be done as it is in heaven'? Because in heaven, God's will is done perfectly. Is God's will done perfectly on earth? Absolutely not. In fact, most of the things that happen on earth are not God's will. God's will is not always done. … But when you pray, 'Thy will be done,' you're saying … 'I accept your plan, and I surrender to God's control.'"

Reciting the Lord's Prayer is pleading with God to erect his kingdom and execute his desires on earth as they are in heaven. It is calling upon the one true God, asking for his nature to overrun ours, his wishes to be fulfilled (not ours), and his rule and reign to be established (not ours). On the flip side, it is the most "dangerous" prayer one can pray if one wants to continue to live selfishly, misuse power and maintain control over others.

The Lord's Prayer is, in reality, the most invasive and subversive prayer to human selfishness that one can say. It's able to break down strongholds within us, within others and even within political structures. As Warren again said, praying the Lord's Prayer is ideal "when your circumstances are uncontrollable, when people around you won't change (they're unchangeable), and when problems are unexplainable."

Now you tell me: Why would Warren, who thoroughly understands the Scriptures, pray that particular prayer at the transference of new political powers with whom he largely disagrees? The answer is obvious.

Hamas Rallies at Minnesota State Capitol

A little middle east conflict in the US.  This has turned into a cross continental issue.

Power Line - Hamas Rallies at Minnesota State Capitol
On January 5, representatives of Hamas and Fatah rallied on the steps of the Minnesota state capitol in St. Paul. Their purpose was to condemn Israel, and an Israeli flag was burned. Mostly, though, the rally turned into a confrontation between the terrorist organization, Hamas, and the formerly terrorist organization--to give it the benefit of the doubt--Fatah. Congressman Keith Ellison attended, apparently at the invitation of the Fatah faction, but was shouted down by Hamas supporters who don't consider him radical enough. This video, which was made by Minnesotans Against Terrorism, really has to be seen to be believed. Note that you can select a more high quality option:

Moderate and Extremist Palestinian Supporters Square Off in Minnesota, Hamas collides with Fatah

Sunday, February 01, 2009

NASA and the Weather

This is interesting:

James Hansen’s Former NASA Supervisor Declares Himself a Skeptic - Says Hansen ‘Embarrassed NASA’, ‘Was Never Muzzled’, & Models ‘Useless’ « Watts Up With That?
NASA warming scientist James Hansen, one of former Vice-President Al Gore’s closest allies in the promotion of man-made global warming fears, is being publicly rebuked by his former supervisor at NASA.

Retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist, Dr. John S. Theon, the former supervisor of James Hansen, NASA’s vocal man-made global warming fear soothsayer, has now publicly declared himself a skeptic and declared that Hansen “embarrassed NASA” with his alarming climate claims and said Hansen was “was never muzzled.” Theon joins the rapidly growing ranks of international scientists abandoning the promotion of man-made global warming fears.

“I appreciate the opportunity to add my name to those who disagree that global warming is man made,” Theon wrote to the Minority Office at the Environment and Public Works Committee on January 15, 2009. “I was, in effect, Hansen’s supervisor because I had to justify his funding, allocate his resources, and evaluate his results,” Theon, the former Chief of the Climate Processes Research Program at NASA Headquarters and former Chief of the Atmospheric Dynamics & Radiation Branch explained.

“Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress,” Theon wrote.