Wednesday, September 30, 2009

BOTUS Approval Index Slides Again: -11

Obamas Approval Index as measured by Rasmussen Reports polling of likely voters shows that BOTUS is slipping again after a slight uptick following his Health Care speech of a few weeks ago.

Here it is in part:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 28% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-nine percent (39%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -11 (see trends). Republicans have a very slight edge on the Generic Congressional Ballot.

Fifty-one percent (51%) say the President has not been tough enough on Iran while just 30% have confidence in the United Nations’ ability to combat terrorism.

Barack, it seems like your "Fiddling While Rome Burns" strategy isn't gonna cut it. You really are in way over your head.

Monday, September 28, 2009 U.S. Economy Is in a Multiple-Dip Depression.

From's publicly available archive comes this very sobering report on the current state of the U.S. economy. I am no economist but this report hews awfully close to my experience and observations over the last few years and indicates that our "leaders" in Washington have indeed sold us out.


Number 52

August 1, 2009


Current Economic Downturn Is Worst Since Great Depression

Recession Started a Year Earlier Than Official Reckoning

Business Contraction Triggered Systemic Solvency Crisis
Not the Other Way Around

Still Heavily Gimmicked, Post-Revision GDP Shows More Realistic Numbers

Economic Crisis Is Far from Over



U.S. Economy Is in a Multiple-Dip Depression. The grand benchmark revision of the national income accounts on July 31, 2009 confirmed that the U.S. economy is in its worst economic contraction since the first downleg of the Great Depression, which was a double-dip depression. The current economic downturn increasingly will be referred to as a depression, and it is far from over. There will be intermittent blips of new activity, such as the current cash-for-clunkers automobile giveaway program that appears to be generating a one-time spike in auto sales. Yet, this downturn will continue to deteriorate, proving to be extremely protracted, extremely deep and particularly nonresponsive to traditional stimuli.

As discussed in recent writings, the economy suffers from underlying structural problems tied to consumer income, where households cannot keep up with inflation and no longer can rely on excessive debt expansion for meeting short-falls in maintaining living standards. The structural issues are not being addressed meaningfully and cannot be addressed without a significant shift in government economic and trade policies, which under the best of circumstances still would drag out economic woes for many years.

The current depression likely will show multiple dips in business activity, as was seen during the Great Depression and in the double-dip recession of the early-1980s. I shall argue that the current downturn started at least a year earlier than the December 2007 onset proclaimed by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), official arbiter of U.S. recessions. The current depression is the second dip in a multiple-dip downturn that started back in 1999, and it preceded and in fact was the proximal trigger for the systemic solvency crisis that rose to public view in August 2007. The ensuing systemic problems did not cause the slowdown in business activity, but they exacerbated it significantly.

While the current circumstance should become recognized as a "depression," worse lies ahead as the U.S. government’s long-range insolvency and current efforts at debasing the U.S. dollar trigger a hyperinflation in the next five years. Risks for the onset of a hyperinflation in the United States are particularly high during the next year. As will be discussed in the soon-to-be-updated Hyperinflation Special Report (see the existing April 2008 version for basic background), the United States would be particularly hard hit by such a circumstance. Unlike Zimbabwe, which has been able to maintain some level of functioning commerce during its hyperinflation, due to the backstop of an active black market in U.S. dollars, the United States has no such backstop. Accordingly, a U.S. hyperinflation likely would force cessation of regular commerce, triggering a great depression of a magnitude never before seen in the United States.

Read the rest of this compelling report here


From Scott Rasmussen's outfit comes a new poll report on health care coverage legislation shaping up in Congress that shows that support for the Democrat plans has hit a new low among likely voters.

Just 41% of voters nationwide now favor the health care reform proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s down two points from a week ago and the lowest level of support yet measured.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% are opposed to the plan.

Senior citizens are less supportive of the plan than younger voters. In the latest survey, just 33% of seniors favor the plan while 59% are opposed. The intensity gap among seniors is significant. Only 16% of the over-65 crowd Strongly Favors the legislation while 46% are Strongly Opposed.

Read the whole report here

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Holder Busts Polanski:

Child molester and Oscar winning director Roman Polanski was arrested in Zurich, Switzerland on September 26 on a U.S. warrant seeking his extradition to the United States for his 1978 Flight from justice. Polanski fled the U.S. before sentencing on a reduced charge of unlawful intercourse with a minor, down from a statutory rape charge, for having sex with a 13 year old girl in 1977 at Jack Nicholson's house where Polanski was staying.

Polanski had plead guilty to the reduced charge that sent him to jail for 42 days observation, however he fled California and the United States when he learned that the judge who had initially approved his plea deal, was attempting to renege on it and send the Director to the can for an extended sentence.

Polanski is a darling of the Hollyweird elite. In the eyes of the glitterati, he can do no wrong, from their perspective even un-consenting sex with a child (a legal redundancy) is heavily outweighed by his brilliant artistry as a director. Why should mundane laws like statutory rape apply to him, he's an artist and therefore he's ENTITLED to an exemption from kid-rape rules. So then what the F**K is Eric Holder thinking????

Eric, you dumb-ass, you really know how to step in it dont'chya? You just succeeded in pissing off pretty much ALL of your Boz's Hollywood constituency. JUST BLOODY BRILLIANT MATE!!!

Bring Roman back for sentencing or maybe to get off the rap too, since it seems Polanski may very well have a strong case to void his earlier plea deal on the grounds of both judicial and prosecutorial misconduct in the original case. Time will tell.

In the meantime, Hollywood is PISSED OFF, the French are PISSED OFF, and you and yer Boz keep looking like bumbling nincompoops as we come nose to nose with Ahmedi-Nejad and his impending nuke arsenal.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

ANGER MANAGEMENT: Rasmussen Poll Shows "59% Say Americans Angrier Now Than Under Bush"

More bad news for the Demoncrats from Rasmussen Reports:

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of U.S. voters believe that the current level of political anger in the country is higher than it was when George W. Bush was president.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 22% think the level of political anger is lower now, while 16% rate it as about the same.

Despite frequent Republican complaints about the vitriol leveled at President Bush, 69% of GOP voters say the level of anger is higher now, a view shared by 53% of Democrats and 56% of voters not affiliated with either party.

But just 12% of voters nationwide say that the opposition to President Obama’s health care plan and other initiatives is racist, as some prominent Democrats, including former President Jimmy Carter, have charged.


Sixty-six percent (66%) of all voters say they’re at least somewhat angry about the current policies of the federal government, including 36% who are Very Angry.

Among those voters who are Very Angry, 74% say the level of anger is higher now, while 13% say it’s lower and 12% say it’s about the same.

Even the majority of those who are now very or not at all angry about the government’s actions right now say the level of political anger is higher under Obama.
For the rest of the poll report, click here

Here's a tip for you Democrats who don't want to see your party swirl down the bowl in 2010 with a second flush in 2012: Get over your enthrallment by Barack Obama and his crooked crew of Chicago cohorts.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ray LaHood: C'mon guys! Play Nice... I Wanna Keep my Job

RINO Ray, Boz's Transportation Secretary, is whining about the lack of civility in Washingtoon and on the Air Waves, moping that:

"He (Obama) can't even compete with all this stuff that people are saying about him, so the idea that he did five interviews on Sunday, that's just minuscule compared to the kind of trash talk that goes on all week prior to that"


"All of this background, all of this trash talk in the background, it does not contribute to civil discourse, and it does not contribute to the government or the country's ability to solve big issues,"

Ray! Pay attention. Americans are pissed off at BOTH parties right now. Your Boz is a principal target for that expression of discontent and anger because he's PRESIDENT, but he's also far from being alone as a deserving target of Americans' derision. Don't believe me? See it for yourself in this very recent Rasmussen Reports article "66% Angry at Government Policies, 60% Say Neither Party Has Answers".

Also, Ray, if you're that unhappy about it, feel free to follow Specter out the door; we won't miss you. Ohhh, BTW, if you do go, take Snowe and Collins with you please.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Obama Whitehouse Staff: Waaaaah, Waaaah ... You Made Me Go Wee Wee. Waaaahhhh!

Chris Wallace on O'Reilly explaining that the Obama White House staffers are the worst cry-babies he's dealt with in 30 years of covering Washingtoon.

Chris, did you really expect adult behavior from this crew of spoiled yuppies and serial tax cheats?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

And Now, From the Folks Who Gave Us Food for Oil, a Brand New Shakedown

Per the WHO, the U.N.'s health arm, AH1N1 b/k/a Swine Flu is likely to hit Asian and poor countries hard, possibly killing millions and leaving anarchy in its wake of collapsed economies. BUT something can stop that from happening. YUP, THAT'S RIGHT FOLKS, a net transfer of wealth from the rich nations to the U.N. in the amount of $1.4464 billion in greenbacks, or 900 Million Pounds Sterling, or for any Eurozone readers 995 million Euros....
Could it be true, sure! but it sounds an awful lot like like an extortion scam to me. Especially when one considers my post of last week based on Stratfor's analysis of the lethality of Swine Flu.

From the U.K Guardian:

Swine flu 'could kill millions unless rich nations give £900m'

The swine flu pandemic could kill millions and cause anarchy in the world's poorest nations unless £900m [that's US $ 1,464,367,104 on 9/20/09] can be raised from rich countries to pay for vaccines and antiviral medicines, says a UN report leaked to the Observer.

The disclosure will provoke concerns that health officials will not be able to stem the growth of the worldwide H1N1 pandemic in developing countries. If the virus takes hold in the poorest nations, millions could die and the economies of fragile countries could be destroyed.

Health ministers around the globe were sent the warning on Thursday in a report on the costs of averting a humanitarian disaster in the next few months. It comes as officials inside the World Health Organisation, the UN's public health body, said they feared they would not be able to raise half that amount because of the global downturn.

Gregory Hartl of WHO said the report required an urgent response from rich nations. "There needs to be recognition that the whole world is affected by this pandemic and the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. We have seen how H1N1 has taken hold in richer nations and in the southern hemisphere. We have been given fair warning and must act soon," he said.

The report was drawn up by UN officials over the last two months. It was commissioned in July after Ban ki-moon, the UN's secretary general, expressed concern that the H1NI virus could have a severe impact on the world's poorest countries.

It paints a disastrous picture for the world's most vulnerable people unless there is immediate action. "There is a window in which it will be possible to help poor countries get as ready as they can for H1N1 and that window is closing rapidly," it says.

"Countries where health services are overburdened by diseases, such as HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria, will have great difficulty managing the surge of cases. And if the electricity and water sectors are not able to maintain services, this will have serious implications for the ability of the health sector to function.

"If suppliers of fuel, food, telecommunications, finance or transport services have not developed plans as to how they would continue to deliver their services, the consequences could be significantly intensified," it adds.

The 47-page report provides a detailed breakdown of the basic needs of 75 vulnerable countries with the weakest capacity to withstand an escalation of the virus. Six countries from Latin America, including Cuba and Bolivia, 21 countries from Asia and the Pacific such as North Korea and Bangladesh, and 40 countries from Africa such as Congo and Eritrea are included in the survey.

UN officials say in the report that £700m should be spent on antiviral drugs and vaccines to protect health care workers and other essential personnel as well as cover those suffering from severe illness. They have identified 85 countries that do not have the ability to access vaccines from any other source and intend to cover 5-10% of each population.

A further £147m should be put aside to organise vaccine campaigns, improve communications, monitor levels of illness and improve laboratory capacity in 61 countries, the report claims. The remainder should be used to pay for the WHO and other UN-related organisations to help in these countries as well as an emergency fund for additional antiviral medicines, it argues.

The UN's efforts were boosted last week when nine countries, including Britain and the US, pledged to give the equivalent of a 10% share of their swine flu vaccine supply to help fight the deadly virus's global spread. In Britain, Douglas Alexander, the development secretary, pledged to give £23m.

Some officials within WHO believe, however, that this will not be enough. One said that richer countries were reluctant to pay out all of the money that was needed. "The downturn means that governments countries are reluctant to give," he said.

Another said: "The money is a trickle, not a flood. It is going to be a struggle. If we are not careful, the virus could destroy a burgeoning economy or democracy."

The UN's request for the money comes as the virus begins to establish itself in some of the world's most vulnerable countries. On Wednesday, health officials told one website that the African continent had recorded 8,187 confirmed cases of swine flu and 41 deaths. [note from Libertarian Advocate: that's a rate of .005 deaths per hundred cases of Swine Flu or 1/2 of 1%]

Swine flu was declared a pandemic in June and has since been identified in 180 countries. Pandemic experts believe that the western world, including Britain, is facing a second wave of the virus.

45% of Medical Professionals May Retire if Obama/Dem Care Becomes Law

From Investors Business Daily comes this cautionary story about how the majority of MD's in the United States view the Democrat health plans now emerging from Congress

Grim Prognosis From Doctors Opposed To Health Care Plan

Posted 09/16/2009 07:07 PM ET

Doctor opposition to health care overhaul proposals is broad and deep, revealing concerns not just about soaring costs, declining care, possible rationing and a lack of limits on malpractice suits, but also about government competence and motives, detailed responses to a new IBD/TIPP Poll show.

As reported Wednesday, 65% of the 1,376 practicing physicians who responded to a mailed questionnaire over the last two weeks said they opposed health care plans that have emerged from the administration and Congress. Just 33% supported them.

Perhaps the most shocking result: 45% of these professionals said they would consider closing their practices or retiring early if the reforms now under consideration were enacted.

The questionnaires were sent out Aug. 28 to 25,600 doctors nationwide. The sample was purchased from a list broker, Lake Group Media of Rye, N.Y. One hundred of those responding were retired, and their answers were not included in the final results.

Our poll also invited those taking part to tell us the reasons why they didn't like the health care reforms — or, in the minority of cases, why they did. The outpouring of written responses IBD received — about 1,300 in all — was stunning.

Doctors Speak Up

Those in Washington would do well to pay attention to the 65% who don't like reforms, whom we will quote today. (Tomorrow we will give space to the minority of doctors who support reform.)

These opposing physicians' opinions will be significant for the upcoming debate over health care, since any program that's passed will depend greatly on the support of doctors.

That includes the new plan unveiled Wednesday by Sen. Max Baucus. This plan, which Baucus estimates will cost an estimated $856 billion over 10 years, includes health care "co-ops" to compete with private insurers, and will likely require large tax hikes on many Americans — including the middle class.

Given the proliferation of plans, we wondered: What is it that bothers doctors so?

21 Objections

In combing through the responses, we identified no fewer than 21 separate issues doctors felt either weren't addressed or weren't solved by proposed reforms. The issues are many, but boil down to three big categories: costs, controls and courts.

One complaint was common: Doctors feared any government reform would turn into a kind of "socialized" medicine. Some were quite blunt: "I oppose socialism in all its forms or incarnations ... government should be shrunk drastically, not expanded."

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., leaves his health care news conference on Capitol Hill. Baucus' $856 billion plan drew criticism from liberals and Republicans. AP

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., leaves his health care news conference on Capitol Hill. Baucus' $856 billion plan drew criticism from liberals and Republicans. AP View Enlarged Image

"No government 'option' or government-run program should be allowed," said another doctor. "It would ultimately lead to total government takeover of health care, with high costs and low quality."

The strong convictions of some came from a direct experience with socialism. "We came from a socialist country and we know socialized systems do not work!!!" wrote one emphatic physician.

Still others were adamant that any nationalized health care scheme — and a significant number see the plans emerging from Congress and the White House as just that — is against basic American constitutional law.

"This unconstitutional plan gives sovereignty over our bodies to unelected, unaccountable, ignorant bureaucrats," went one response along these lines. "Every governmental micromanagement of our lives has failed in its objective, and caused moral and economic bankruptcy."

But constitutional concerns were eclipsed by anger over the lack of tort reform — mentioned by hundreds of respondents. Physicians say they practice too much defensive medicine, which drives up costs, just to protect themselves from lawsuits.

The costs of this are enormous, though hard to precisely quantify. Estimates range from $100 billion to $200 billion in total added costs to both doctors and patients. Doctors in some specialties, such as neurology, pay as much as $250,000 a year for malpractice insurance.

Fear Of Lawyers

A number of our respondents used identical wording for why they didn't support health care reform: "No tort reform."

"The more lawsuits against doctors, the more testing is done," said one respondent, uttering a frequent complaint. "The government never interferes with lawyers — why? They are afraid, or they're all lawyers."

A big issue for others was efficiency. They fear government control would mean massive waste and interference with their practices. "All the efficiency of the post office, all the compassion of the motor vehicle bureau," quipped one doctor.

Another looming worry: exploding costs. With expectations that the government will spend upward of $1 trillion on reform, doctors fear the inevitable controls, including rationing, that will come to rein in costs down the road.

"A government-run plan will be too expensive and will not be effective," according to one physician. "The plan will expect doctors to take a lower fee for a given service. The private plans will follow, and outpatient medical services will be forced out of business."

This is "typical government, throwing trillions of dollars in one swoop to 'fix' the system," said another. "They need to slow down, dissect the system and fix it properly."

"There will be mandated protocols, long waits, rationing of care, infringement upon a doctor's right of conscience, abortion paid for by (tax) dollars, with eventual euthanasia and infanticide," said still another, voicing the ethical concerns of many.

The federal government's notorious lack of success in running enterprises of any size, let alone one as big and complicated as a health care system — was also cited frequently.

"Health care in the VA (Veterans' Administration) shows how well government can render care," said one. "It is disgraceful."

Gov't Can't Run Diddly

Others pointed to the troubles with government-run Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which are all verging on insolvency and now account for an estimated $51 trillion in unfunded liabilities over the next half-century.

Government-funded rail was a favorite foil — so was the Cash for Clunkers program. The House health bill "is 1,200-plus pages of miniature and legalese," joked one eye-sore physician. "Please recall 130 pages of forms for each 'cash for clunkers' transaction!"

"Government control? Give me a break," said another. "Look what they've done to Social Security, the Post Office, the bailouts, etc. Medicare and Medicaid are not paying doctors enough, and the paperwork to participate is huge."

Other irate docs agreed: "Government has proven unable to manage many other programs, including Social Security, Medicare, and the postal service. Why do they think they can (run) a health care program?"

"Government health care will wipe out the private insurance companies," said another. "Most of the doctors in private practice will give up ... because of a low reimbursement from the government. The Medicare, Medicaid program is a good example of government-run health care."

Still others railed against what they saw as the real villains: insurance companies. Anger at insurance companies, which are now the main brake on health care costs, was plentiful.

"Between the government and insurance companies, I now only collect 28% to 30% of billed charges. No other business can function at that rate," this doctor added.

As many noted, all of the plans now being discussed would require massive tax hikes — and debt.

Foreign Experience

Many of those who opposed the plan had a unique perspective: They had practiced or lived under national health care systems in other countries.

Their comments about the experience were often scathing. To paraphrase progressive journalist Lincoln Steffens, they have seen the future — and it doesn't work.

"I trained and worked in Canada prior to coming to the U.S.," went one typical letter. "The same arguments were used in Canada to launch 'universal health care.' It is anything but universal and free."

Others had similar complaints.

"I did two years of training in Canada — disaster. When the government needed money, it decided patients with a stroke would not get a hospital bed. I had to have interns carry hemiplegic (a condition in which half a patient's body is paralyzed) patients to their families' cars."

"I am a former Canadian and I am a physician," added another. "I know a lot about government-run health care. If it's so good, then all members of Congress, the president and all federal employees should be the first to try it."

'Real Horror Stories'

Yet another: "I don't believe Congress has the requisite knowledge to know what to do with health care. After experiencing Britain's health care system firsthand, I cannot feel anything positive about government-run health care."

"I grew up and was trained in Romania," still another physician said. "At the time, it was a communist country with a socialist medical system. The system continued after the communist regime fell. I find this socialist health care system a complete disaster with real horror stories being heard every day with huge limitations in health care and huge bureaucracy."

Others argued passionately on behalf of the quality of the U.S. health care system — while admitting it has faults.

"I have firsthand experience with European and Canadian national health plans — they stink," said one physician. "My medical training was at the Mayo Clinic where people came from all over the world. Why did they come? Because we have the best (care) in the world."

That was echoed by many others who wondered why 18% of the U.S. economy needed to be put under direct government control to cover the 40-million-plus uninsured — and how we could care for millions more people, while supposedly cutting costs, without increasing the number of physicians.

More Taxes, Debt

As many noted, all of the plans now being discussed would require massive tax hikes — and debt — for little real benefit.

"It will take away consumer choice, drive up health care costs, and drive down health care quality," said one. "It will sharply increase the demand for health care providers and sharply decrease the supply as doctors like me will retire early and students will avoid the field."

"No need to overhaul the whole system," summed up one doctor. "Just find a solution to the 47 million that have no insurance."

"Unless the government uses magic tricks," argued another, "it is impossible to care for 47 million uninsured people and lower the cost."

The disgust with the notion of a government-run system was almost palpable in some comments:

"The U.S. government is already bankrupt. Its health care plan is too expensive," said one typical comment. "The government will end up rationing health care. Taxes will surely go up for the middle and upper class. We are in a recession."

He added: "This is not a good time to increase government expenditures and increase taxes."

Friday: A second opinion — from the doctors who support reform.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Rich Socialist Michael Moore Calls for Overthrow of Capitalism

Associated Press reports that the gargantuan waste of human tissue known as Michael Moore has called for the overthrow of capitalism at a pre-release screening of his deranged agitprop celluloid screed "Capitalism: A Love Story"

BELLAIRE, Mich. - Filmmaker Michael Moore gave residents of his adopted Michigan community an early showing of his new documentary on Saturday and urged them to help overthrow an economic system he said was beyond redemption.
First off, Moore does not make documentaries. Documentaries assume a ruthlessly unbiased documentation of events or lives or phenomena. Moore makes movies consisting of a cleverly edited mosaic of often funny vignettes guided entirely by Alinsky's Rules.

For the whole nauseating story, go here. Hopefully the link will survive a few days.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Michelle Goes Food Shopping

In the category of "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" comes this story - quite surprisingly - from the Washington Post:

Hi-Ho, the Derry-O

By Dana Milbank
Friday, September 18, 2009

Let's say you're preparing dinner and you realize with dismay that you don't have any certified organic Tuscan kale. What to do?

Here's how Michelle Obama handled this very predicament Thursday afternoon:

The Secret Service and the D.C. police brought in three dozen vehicles and shut down H Street, Vermont Avenue, two lanes of I Street and an entrance to the McPherson Square Metro station. They swept the area, in front of the Department of Veterans Affairs, with bomb-sniffing dogs and installed magnetometers in the middle of the street, put up barricades to keep pedestrians out, and took positions with binoculars atop trucks. Though the produce stand was only a block or so from the White House, the first lady hopped into her armored limousine and pulled into the market amid the wail of sirens.

Then, and only then, could Obama purchase her leafy greens. "Now it's time to buy some food," she told several hundred people who came to watch. "Let's shop!"

Cowbells were rung. Somebody put a lei of marigolds around Obama's neck. The first lady picked up a straw basket and headed for the "Farm at Sunnyside" tent, where she loaded up with organic Asian pears, cherry tomatoes, multicolored potatoes, free-range eggs and, yes, two bunches of Tuscan kale. She left the produce with an aide, who paid the cashier as Obama made her way back to the limousine.

There's nothing like the simple pleasures of a farm stand to return us to our agrarian roots.

The first lady had encouraged Freshfarm Markets, the group that runs popular farmers markets in Dupont Circle and elsewhere, to set up near the White House, and she helped get the approvals to shut down Vermont Avenue during rush hour on Thursdays. But the result was quite the opposite of a quaint farmers market. Considering all the logistics, each tomato she purchased had a carbon footprint of several tons.

The promotion of organic and locally grown food, though an admirable cause, is a risky one for the Obamas, because there's a fine line between promoting healthful eating and sounding like a snob. The president, when he was a candidate in 2007, got in trouble in Iowa when he asked a crowd, "Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?" Iowans didn't have a Whole Foods.

For that reason, it's probably just as well that the first lady didn't stop by the Endless Summer Harvest tent yesterday. The Virginia farm had a sign offering "tender baby arugula" -- hydroponically grown, pesticide free -- and $5 for four ounces, which is $20 a pound.

Obama, in her brief speech to the vendors and patrons, handled the affordability issue by pointing out that people who pay with food stamps would get double the coupon value at the market. Even then, though, it's hard to imagine somebody using food stamps to buy what the market offered: $19 bison steak from Gunpowder Bison, organic dandelion greens for $12 per pound from Blueberry Hill Vegetables, the Piedmont Reserve cheese from Everson Dairy at $29 a pound. Rounding out the potential shopping cart: $4 for a piece of "walnut dacquoise" from the Praline Bakery, $9 for a jumbo crab cake at Chris's Marketplace, $8 for a loaf of cranberry-walnut bread and $32 for a bolt of yarn.

The first lady said the market would particularly appeal to federal employees in nearby buildings to "pick up some good stuff for dinner." Yet even they might think twice about spending $3 for a pint of potatoes when potatoes are on sale for 40 cents a pound at Giant. They could get nearly five dozen eggs at Giant for the $5 Obama spent for her dozen.

But whatever the socioeconomics, there can be no doubt that Obama brought some serious attention to her cause. Hundreds of people crowded the market entrance on I Street as police directed pedestrians to alternative subway entrances. Hundreds braved a light rain and gave a hearty cheer when Obama and her entourage took the stage. "I can't imagine there's been a day in the history of our country when people have been more excited about farmers markets," Mayor Adrian Fenty, Obama's warm-up act, told the crowd.

The first lady, in gray slacks and blue sweater, marveled that the people were "so pumped up" despite the rain. "I have never seen so many people so excited about fruits and vegetables!" she said. (Must be the tender baby arugula.)

She spoke of the global reach of her cause: "The first thing world leaders, prime ministers, kings, queens ask me about is the White House garden. And then they ask about Bo."

She spoke of the fuel fed to the world's most powerful man: "I've learned that when my family eats fresh food, healthy food, that it really affects how we feel, how we get through the day . . . whether there's a Cabinet meeting or whether we're just walking the dog."

And she spoke of her own culinary efforts: "There are times when putting together a healthy meal is harder than you might imagine."

Particularly when it involves a soundstage, an interpreter for the deaf, three TV satellite trucks and the closing of part of downtown Washington.

Hmmm.... Could it be that the spell is wearing off ???

Backdoor BOTUS: Obama Does Want Coverage For Illegals... by Making em all Legal

From the Washington Times comes the following story - via Drudge - that Boz does indeed want to extend medical insurance coverage to any and all in the USA legally, basically by rahming through comprehensive immigration reform that would instantly make the 12 million or so illegal aliens now here, legal, medically insured and SEIU member eligible.

Obama: Legalize illegals to get them health care

President Obama said this week that his health care plan won't cover illegal immigrants, but argued that's all the more reason to legalize them and ensure they eventually do get coverage.

He also staked out a position that anyone in the country legally should be covered - a major break with the 1996 welfare reform bill, which limited most federal public assistance programs only to citizens and longtime immigrants.

"Even though I do not believe we can extend coverage to those who are here illegally, I also don't simply believe we can simply ignore the fact that our immigration system is broken," Mr. Obama said Wednesday evening in a speech to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. "That's why I strongly support making sure folks who are here legally have access to affordable, quality health insurance under this plan, just like everybody else.

Mr. Obama added, "If anything, this debate underscores the necessity of passing comprehensive immigration reform and resolving the issue of 12 million undocumented people living and working in this country once and for all."

Republicans said that amounts to an amnesty, calling it a backdoor effort to make sure current illegal immigrants get health care.

"It is ironic that the president told the American people that illegal immigrants should not be covered by the health care bill, but now just days later he's talking about letting them in the back door," said Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

"If the American people do not want to provide government health care for illegal immigrants, why would they support giving them citizenship, the highest honor America can bestow?" Mr. Smith said.

Read the rest of the story here

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gordon Brown: In Over his Head

Nickie Goomba has a superb post at itdontmakesense discussing a daily telegraph story on how 25% of the U.K. annual budget is now attributable to welfare payments.

Welfare related payments are "[a]lready the largest single item in the budget, by 2013/14 spending on social security will dwarf every other item of Government expenditure."

I won't bother to re-post or paraphrase Nickie's piece. I urge you to read it yourself here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Nevada Senate Race: Sue Lowden Ten Points over Harry Reid

With Hat-Tip to Eric Dondero at Libertarian Republican, Rasmussen Reports has released a poll showing that Nevada Republican Chair Sue Lowden is 10 Points up over that ugly curmudgeon and anti-constituent twit Harry Reid.

What with 13% un-employment hammering Las Vegas, it's not a big surprise that Harry is eyeball deep in the voter's disdain - even with all the SEIU members making up much of the labor pool of Las Vegas' ALL entertainment and service based economy.

WOE IS YOU HARRY! Start looking for a new job! No doubt you'll find a new career in lobbying. But then again, maybe not; don't lobbyists tend to be much younger and more energetic guys than you? Too bad you might just have to live on that full pension you and your colleagues gave yourselves at OUR expense. Ohhh... mustn't forget all those lucrative "opportunities" that came your way over the years either.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Citizens Against Government Waste Slams Pay-for-Play Hawaii Cong Neil Abercrombie

Citizens Against Government Waste, one of my favorite D.C. Swampocrat watchdogs has named Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) its August Porker of the Month. Based on what CAGW reports, Abercrombie very richly deserves the award, as it sure does smell like he is another roll-in-the mud payforplaycrat. Here, I'll let y'all decide for yourselves:

Rep. Neil Abercrombie is CAGW’s August Porker of the Month

Washington, D.C. - Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today named Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) its August Porker of the Month. Rep. Abercrombie is a multiple threat to taxpayers. He ranked first in earmarks in the House in fiscal year (FY) 2009 with 44 projects worth $256.8 million and fifth in the House in FY 2008 with 29 projects worth $153.6 million.

Rep. Abercrombie’s latest outrage is to slip a provision (Sec. 2833) into the House version of the 2010 Defense Authorization Act that would double the construction costs of relocating 11,600 U.S. troops from Japan to Guam. The original cost estimate was $15 billion, $10 billion of which is associated with construction of living quarters for military personnel and their families. However, Sec. 2833 requires that the wages paid to construction workers match the “prevailing” wages in Hawaii, which are 250 percent higher than those on Guam. The Congressional Budget Office estimates this “would increase the need for discretionary appropriations by about $10 billion over the 2010-2014 period.” lists the Hunt Building Company, which is headquartered in Texas and would be one of the prime builders of the facilities on Guam, as among Abercrombie’s top five campaign contributors in the 2007-2008 election cycle. The Hawaii Free Press reported on August 4 that Hunt has contributed at least $32,500 to Abercrombie’s re-election since 2002.

Finally, Rep. Abercrombie has supported the unwanted and unnecessary alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which was first identified by CAGW as an earmark in the 2004 Congressional Pig Book and has been a target for elimination by the Pentagon and both Presidents Bush and Obama. In FY 2009, the alternate engine program got two earmarks for a total of $465 million. So far this year, the House-passed FY 2010 Defense Authorization Act has $603 million and the FY 2010 Defense Appropriations Act has $560 million for the alternate engine. President Obama has threatened to veto any bill that contains funding for the engine.

For abusing an already-stretched Pentagon budget to reward favored contractors and continue funding a wasteful and unnecessary alternate engine, CAGW names Rep. Neil Abercrombie August Porker of the Month.

Citizens Against Government Waste is the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers, government officials, and political candidates who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

Rasmussen: Voters Turn Negative On All Political Labels Except Reagan

In light of Obama's poll numbers - which have climbed slightly - but remain in negative territory with an approval index today of -3, and the massive turn-out in Washington D.C. over the weekend with estimates ranging from 1.2 million to as many as 2 million protesters against big government, it shouldn't come as a giant surprise that most voters polled have a very negative outlook on political labels of all kinds - EXCEPT Reaganism.

From Rasmussen Reports comes this story

"Progressive” is becoming more of a dirty word, but all political labels – except “being like Ronald Reagan” - are falling into disfavor with many U.S. voters, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

“Liberal” is still the worst and remains the only political description that is viewed more negatively than positively. Being like Reagan is still the most positive thing you can say about a candidate.

Just 15% of voters say they view the description of a candidate as politically liberal as positive, down four points from last November. Forty-one percent (41%) see it as a negative description, up five points form the earlier survey, while 42% say it’s somewhere in between.

Aware of their low ideological ratings, political liberals have shifted in recent times to calling themselves progressives, but that name, too, has begun to lose its luster. Thirty-two percent (32%) now consider it a positive to describe a candidate as politically progressive, but that’s down from 40% just after the last election. Twenty-seven percent (27%) see it as negative label, up from 16%, and 36% put it somewhere in between the two. Click here for the rest of the story.

Stratfor is reporting that A(H1NI) is "Just Another Flu"

Gotta tread lightly here due to copyright restrictions, but the sum and substance of Stratfor's report today is that all current statistical evidence indicates that A(H1NI) b/k/a "Swine Flu" is little more than an overblown MSM driven (read advertising dollars) hype:

If you take only one fact away from this analysis, take this: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) believes that hospitalization rates and mortality rates for A(H1N1) are similar to or lower than they are for more traditional influenza strains. And if you take two facts away, consider this as well: Influenza data are incomplete at best and rarely cross-comparable, so any assertions of the likelihood of mass deaths are little more than scaremongering bereft of any real analysis or, more important, any actual evidence.

Obviously, this doesn't diminish the personally tragic impact on the families of those who have died from Swine Flu (54 in New York City through September 4 2009, 593 nationally). And we should all do what we can to diminish our exposure to the virus and those infected, but it seems that Swine Flu is ultimately no more lethal than any other Flu variant that, on average, kill 36,000 people a year in the U.S. alone.

Lesson: If you're sick, stay home. If you have to go out, cover your mouth when coughing, wash your hands frequently to avoid passing on the virus to others, clean any surfaces you may shed virus to with a disinfectant spray, etc. Follow your MD's advice on fluids consumption. If you're not sick, avoid people who are until they recover, wash your hands frequently to avoid picking up the virus, avoid touching your mouth and face until you've washed your hands. This is the same protocol you should follow on a regular basis during Flu season generally; basically, just common sense.

Monday, September 7, 2009

U.S.A. on Road to Argentina Style Economic Collapse?

From the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph comes the following story on the possible eventual Argentinian style decline of the U.S. under Boz's feckless stewardship. My question: is Boz playing the role of Juan or Evita?

Barack Obama accused of making 'Depression' mistakes

Barack Obama is committing the same mistakes made by policymakers during the Great Depression, according to a new study endorsed by Nobel laureate James Buchanan.

His policies even have the potential to consign the US to a similar fate as Argentina, which suffered a painful and humiliating slide from first to Third World status last century, the paper says.

There are "troubling similarities" between the US President's actions since taking office and those which in the 1930s sent the US and much of the world spiralling into the worst economic collapse in recorded history, says the new pamphlet, published by the Institute of Economic Affairs.

In particular, the authors, economists Charles Rowley of George Mason University and Nathanael Smith of the Locke Institute, claim that the White House's plans to pour hundreds of billions of dollars of cash into the economy will undermine it in the long run. They say that by employing deficit spending and increased state intervention President Obama will ultimately hamper the long-term growth potential of the US economy and may risk delaying full economic recovery by several years.

The study represents a challenge to the widely held view that Keynesian fiscal policies helped the US recover from the Depression which started in the early 1930s. The authors say: "[Franklin D Roosevelt's] interventionist policies and draconian tax increases delayed full economic recovery by several years by exacerbating a climate of pessimistic expectations that drove down private capital formation and household consumption to unprecedented lows."

Although the authors support the Federal Reserve's moves to slash interest rates to just above zero and embark on quantitative easing, pumping cash directly into the system, they warn that greater intervention could set the US back further. Rowley says: "It is also not impossible that the US will experience the kind of economic collapse from first to Third World status experienced by Argentina under the national-socialist governance of Juan Peron."

The paper, which recommends that the US return to a more laissez-faire economic system rather than intervening further in activity, has been endorsed by Nobel laureate James Buchanan, who said: "We have learned some things from comparable experiences of the 1930s' Great Depression, perhaps enough to reduce the severity of the current contraction. But we have made no progress toward putting limits on political leaders, who act out their natural proclivities without any basic understanding of what makes capitalism work."