Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday December 21 -- Got news or an update?

If you have news or an update, leave it in comments.


Anonymous said...

Trillions Of Troubles Ahead (Forbes)

If the government stays on the course it's been on for the past forty years without a radical change, the federal government will soon have a $10 trillion budget.

In other words, the federal budget deficit will be $1.4 trillion.

Just to make the size more visible, that's $1,400 billion.

Our colleague Rob Arnott, who always does terrific research, wrote in his recent report that "at all levels, federal, state, local and GSEs, the total public debt is now at 141% of GDP.

That puts the United States in some elite company--only Japan, Lebanon and Zimbabwe are higher.

That's only the start. Add household debt (highest in the world at 99% of GDP) and corporate debt (highest in the world at 317% of GDP, not even counting off-balance-sheet swaps and derivatives) and our total debt is 557% of GDP.

Less than three years ago our total indebtedness crossed 500% of GDP for the first time."

Add the unfunded portion of entitlement programs and we're at 840% of GDP.

Anonymous said...

CBO: Real 10-Year Cost of Senate Bill Still $2.5 Trillion (The Weekly Standard)

With Obamacare, you get the good, the bad, and the ugly -- except for the first part.

The Congressional Budget Office's score is in for the final Senate health bill, and it's amazing how little Americans would get for so much.

The Democrats are irresponsibly and disingenuously claiming that the bill would cost $871 billion over 10 years.

But that's not what the CBO says.

Rather, the CBO says that $871 billion would be the costs from 2010 to 2019 for expansions in insurance coverage alone.

But less than 2 percent of those "10-year costs" would kick in before the fifth year of that span. In its real first 10 years (2014 to 2023), the CBO says that the bill would cost $1.8 trillion -- for insurance coverage expansions alone.

Other parts of the bill would cost approximately $700 billion more, bringing the bill's full 10-year tab to approximately $2.5 trillion -- according to the CBO.

Anonymous said...

When Does Death Start? (Here Come the Death Panels) (New York Times)

A new approach to organ donation doesn’t require waiting until the donor’s brain death....

Anonymous said...

10 New Things That Make Harry Reid’s Updated Government-Run Health Care Experiment Just As Bad...(GOP)

1. $518.5 Billion In Tax Increases On Health Insurance, Small Businesses, And Medical Treatments. (Senate Finance Committee Minority Staff Review Of JCT And CBO Cost Estimates, 12/19/09)

2. $470.7 Billion In Total Cuts To Medicare And Medicaid Would Pay For Two New Unsustainable Entitlements. (Table 5, Douglas W. Elmendorf, Letter To Senator Harry Reid, 12/19/09)

3. Americans Still Won't See Benefits Of This Health Care Experiment Until 2014, But They Start Paying For It In 2010. (Page 7, Douglas W. Elmendorf, Letter To Senator Harry Reid, 12/19/09)

4. According To Independent Actuaries In The Obama Administration, Overall National Health Spending Will Be Increased By $239 Billion. (Richard Foster, Centers For Medicare And Medicaid Chief Actuary, “Estimated Financial Effects Of The ‘Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act Of 2009,’ As Proposed By The Senate Majority Leader On November 18, 2009,” Centers For Medicare & Medicaid Services, 12/10/09)

5. States Still Burdened With $26 Billion In Unfunded Mandates From Medicaid That Would Force Them To Increase Taxes. (Page 8, Douglas W. Elmendorf, Letter To Senator Harry Reid, 12/19/09)

6. The "Doc Fix" Provision That Would Add $250 Billion To The Deficit Is Still Not Included In The Democrats' List Price For Their Health Care Experiment. (Page 18, Douglas W. Elmendorf, Letter To Senator Harry Reid, 12/19/09)

7. A New Entitlement Program For Long-Term Care That One Democrat Senator Called "A Ponzi Scheme" Would Still Be Created. (Table 5, Douglas W. Elmendorf, Letter To Senator Harry Reid, 12/19/09; Shailagh Murray & Lori Montgomery, "Centrists Unsure About Reid's Public Option," The Washington Post, 10/28/09)

8. Taxpayer Dollars Would Fund Abortions. (Sec. 1303, H.R. 3590, Manager’s Amendment To The Amendment In The Nature Of A Substitute, "Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act," Introduced 11/18/09; Chris Frates, “NRLC Opposes Nelson Amendment,” Politico’s “Live Pulse” Blog, 12/19/09)

9. Gives Vast New Authority To The Office Of Personnel Management To Administer Interstate Insurance Plans Even Though CBO Determined It Won’t Lower Premiums. (Pages 9, Douglas W. Elmendorf, Letter To Senator Harry Reid, 12/19/09)

10. An Even More Poweful New Medicare Commission Of Unelected Bureaucrats Would Ration Care. (Pages 16-17, Douglas W. Elmendorf, Letter To Senator Harry Reid, 12/19/09)

Anonymous said...

The Perfect Health Care Storm PATTERICO

Why are Democrats jumping off the cliff for health care? Kimberly A. Strassel explained yesterday in the WSJ:

“So why the stubborn insistence on passing health reform? Think big. The liberal wing of the party—the Barney Franks, the David Obeys—are focused beyond November 2010, to the long-term political prize.

They want a health-care program that inevitably leads to a value-added tax and a permanent welfare state. Big government then becomes fact, and another Ronald Reagan becomes impossible. See Continental Europe.

The entitlement crazes of the 1930s and 1960s also caused a backlash, but liberal Democrats know the programs of those periods survived.

They are more than happy to sacrifice a few Blue Dogs, a Blanche Lincoln, a Michael Bennet, if they can expand government so that in the long run it benefits the party of government.”

Similarly, Prof. William Jacobson at Le-gal In-sur-rec-tion looks at what led to this Perfect Storm and at the rocky Road Ahead.

I agree with Jacobson that it’s bad and also that we can’t give up. As Jacobson says, “this is the political fight of our lives

Anonymous said...

Change Nobody Believes In (WSJ)

And tidings of comfort and joy from Harry Reid too. The Senate Majority Leader has decided that the last few days before Christmas are the opportune moment for a narrow majority of Democrats to stuff ObamaCare through the Senate to meet an arbitrary White House deadline.

Barring some extraordinary reversal, it now seems as if they have the 60 votes they need to jump off this cliff, with one-seventh of the economy in tow.

Mr. Obama promised a new era of transparent good government, yet on Saturday morning Mr. Reid threw out the 2,100-page bill that the world's greatest deliberative body spent just 17 days debating and replaced it with a new "manager's amendment" that was stapled together in covert partisan negotiations.

Democrats are barely even bothering to pretend to care what's in it, not that any Senator had the chance to digest it in the 38 hours before the first cloture vote at 1 a.m. this morning.

After procedural motions that allow for no amendments, the final vote could come at 9 p.m. on December 24.

Even in World War I there was a Christmas truce.

The rushed, secretive way that a bill this destructive and unpopular is being forced on the country shows that "reform" has devolved into the raw exercise of political power for the single purpose of permanently expanding the American entitlement state.

An increasing roll of leaders in health care and business are looking on aghast at a bill that is so large and convoluted that no one can truly understand it, as Finance Chairman Max Baucus admitted on the floor last week.

The only goal is to ram it into law while the political window is still open, and clean up the mess later.

Anonymous said...

Axelrod: health debate plenty transparent (Politico)

White House Senior advisor David Axelrod on Sunday pushed back against Republican characterizations of Democratic health care reform efforts as driven by the very backroom deals that then-candidate Barack Obama decried during his presidential campaign.

“I challenge the notion that it hasn't been a transparent process,” Axelrod told host John King on CNN’s State of the Union.

Anonymous said...

B'day bombshell (ABC financial reporter dating White House OMB Director) (The NY Post) (Liberal media literally in bed with the White House)

"He's a great guy, a sweet guy," gorgeous ABC correspondent Bianna Golodryga says of President Obama's Office of Management and Budget director, Peter Orszag.

The Good Morning America anchor, who has been the show's financial reporter has been dating the Direct of the White House Office of Management and Budget, at least since last summer.

It's just getting reported now, and to my knowledge, the relationship hasn't been disclosed on GMA.

Anonymous said...

Citadel Broadcasting to File for Bankruptcy (WSJ)

Citadel Broadcasting Corp., the third-largest radio broadcaster in the U.S., plans to file for bankruptcy as soon as Sunday, according to people familiar with the matter.

Citadel is expected to file in a deal supported by many lenders collectively owed $2 billion, known as a "prearranged" deal in bankruptcy parlance.

Anonymous said...

President Obama: Should he create a specific job recovery plan for African Americans? (The Examiner, RICHARD SHABAZZ)

The Unemployment rate is up over 10% and African Americans are 6% higher than the national average.

Does our government play a historic role in disenfranchising Blacks in America?

Since Obama is an African American/Blackman should he be more informed and concerned with the specific needs of Black people in this country?

I often ask people who say Blacks shouldn’t get special treatment, but how many slaves volunteered to come to America and build it for free?

Like the President, I have studied Malcolm X intensely and I grew up admiring him as a youth. I studied all of his speeches and read all of the books about him.

I learned from Malcolm the difference between a reformer and a revolutionary. A reformer is a person trying to improve on current conditions and practices.

A Revolutionary is concerned with complete change and wants to do away completely with the old way.

We don’t need a President to reform a system that was setup to work against people of color.

We need a revolutionary who will do things that revolutionize this country and the world in the way they see Black people all around the world.

Anonymous said...

Wikipedia’s climate doctor: How [he] rewrote 5,428 climate articles
(Financial Post (National Post)

How Wikipedia’s green doctor rewrote 5,428 climate articles
... Connolley took control of all things climate in the most used information source the world has ever known – Wikipedia.

Starting in February 2003, just when opposition to the claims of the band members were beginning to gel, Connolley set to work on the Wikipedia site.

He rewrote Wikipedia’s articles on global warming, on the greenhouse effect, on the instrumental temperature record, on the urban heat island, on climate models, on global cooling.

On Feb. 14, he began to erase the Little Ice Age; on Aug.11, the Medieval Warm Period.

Anonymous said...

Mark Steyn: It's settled; climate circus was a fairy tale (Orange County Register)

The best summation of the UN climate circus in Denmark comes from Andrew Bolt of Australia's Herald Sun:

"Nothing is real in Copenhagen – not the temperature record, not the predictions, not the agenda, not the 'solution'."

Just so. Reuters, for example, carried a moving account of the speech by Ian Fry, lead negotiator for Tuvalu, the beleaguered Pacific island nation soon to be under water because of a planet-devastating combination of your SUV and unsustainable bovine flatulence from Vermont farms.

Anonymous said...

Obama Does It Again: Humiliated in Copenhagen (GatewayPundit)

Another trip to Copenhagen, another failure.

Barack Obama suffered another humiliating episode in Europe after he left the international junk science convention without any meaningful agreement.

Not even a brown-nosing headline by the AP can change the fact that this was another epic failure for America’s arrogant leader.

And, the fact that he bowed to another world leader didn’t help his image much either.

The New York Post reported:
President Obama reportedly was reluctant to attend the final day of the UN’s Copenhagen climate-change summit unless it was front-end wired to be a major political success.

But he went anyway, was twice humiliated in public by the Chinese premier and then finally settled for what the White House hailed as a “meaningful agreement.”

Really? A top aide admitted that the deal was basically just “an important first step” that was “not sufficient to combat the threat of climate change.”

Then Obama himself dropped the other shoe: The agreement contains no specific commitments on carbon emissions, only pledges that “will not be legally binding.”

So what the hell was the point?

One would think that Obama had taken a lesson from his last trip to Copenhagen — when he thought his presence alone would win the 2016 Olympic games for Chicago.

That is, that he would have learned that it is a mistake to publicly commit presidential prestige to an outcome that isn’t locked up in advance.

Obviously, not.

Anonymous said...

Is "Green" The "New Imperialism" Or The "New Communism? (Businessweek)

The real failure in Copenhagen to get firm, legal commitments to cut greenhouse gases to slow global warming is a failure of paradigm and process.

It is time to end the guilt-tripping, finger-wagging, top-down, United Nations-based regulation-and-punishment paradigm and shift to a more positive, bottoms-up, individual-behavior, incentive-based model.

It is time to design a positive, glowing picture of a better possible life for Asians, Americans, Europeans, poor and rich alike by presenting positive pathways of behavior to a sustainable future.

Innovation to create incentives to change individual and CEO behaviors will ultimately prove better than negotiations among 197 national politicians.

If ever there was a job for innovators and design thinkers, this is it.

I just came back from an international design conference in Singapore that basically had European and American post-consumerist innovation/design consultants presenting to a pro-consumerist Asian audience.

They offered a strident hair-shirt message of cutting back, saving, and sobriety. In short, moving to a limited-growth kind of economy to stop the planet from dying. The Asian audience wouldn’t buy it.

In fact, it infuriated many in the audience who saw the message as a new form of Western imperialism.

I have seen the same thing happen at the World Economic Forum in Davos and at conferences in China and India.

Western preaching on cutting back, Asian anger at limiting economic growth. The inevitable response to the West is “you have a great way of life, we want it too. Don’t you dare tell us to stop growing and lifting our people out of poverty.”

Anonymous said...

White-Collar Jobless Join FedEx, UPS For Holidays (SFChronicle) (Jobs ideas for laid off McClatchy types)

Ed Gullo never thought he'd be on this side of a package delivery. Gullo, 61, of Newburgh, N.Y., is driving a truck for FedEx during the holiday shipping rush that started after Thanksgiving.

Gullo is no veteran truck driver. He's a news writer with experience at ABC and CNN, who found gigs hard to come by in the weak economy.

FedEx and UPS, the world's two largest package delivery companies, hire thousands of extra workers every holiday season, usually college students and 20-somethings.

This year, the unemployment rate is at 10 percent and many experienced professionals are looking for work. A lot more people came to job fairs wearing a coat and tie, said UPS spokesman Norman Black.

Rolf Wick applied online with UPS after being laid off from an IT management position. The 42-year-old, who lives in San Francisco, was managing a staff of consultants and administrators.

Now he's a driver's helper, tracking the status of packages and running from house to house making deliveries

Anonymous said...

NYT Alone Rises to Clinton's Defense on New Scandal Revelations (NewsBusters)

An upcoming book, “The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr," deals with Ken Starr's investigation of the Clinton scandals of Whitewater and lying under oath about his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Politico got an early copy of the February 16 release by law professor Ken Gormley, and broke out some of the juiciest bits Thursday evening.

The headline: “Monica’s Back -- Says Clinton Lied.” Among the findings: Bill Clinton had an affair with Whitewater figure Susan McDougal and lied under oath about his relationship with Lewinsky, as confirmed by Lewinsky herself.

But the New York Times’s Peter Baker on Saturday uniquely found a pro-Clinton angle, burying the sex scandal and perjury details and boring in on another facet, as indicated by the headline: “F.B.I. Accused of Abuse of Power in Clinton Case.”

Anonymous said...

Garrison Keillor: 'Lousy Holiday Songs By Jews Trash Up Malls' (NewsBusters)

Garrison Keillor thinks lousy holiday songs written by Jewish guys trash up America's malls every year.

So wrote the public radio host and satirist in an article at Wednesday's Baltimore Sun called "Nonbelievers, Please Leave Christmas Alone."

Given the rabid anti-Semitism in the following paragraph, one has to wonder how this piece managed to not only got published, but also escape media outrage

Anonymous said...

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll (December 21, 2009: Dear Reader is at -17)

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 26% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President.

Forty-three percent (43%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -17

Anonymous said...

The Citadel bankruptcy in radio may be followed by another failure by Clear Channel. Radio ad revenue have been awful and it has much lower overhead than newspapers. You can run a radio station with 10 people. Look for more newspaper bankruptcies to be announced early next year.

Anonymous said...

The Herald’s stream of gifts?? More likely three people gave $2, and they call that tiny trickle a stream. I don’t like to sound so cynical, but they are so corrupt, I don’t believe a thing they scribble. MOO- Stan
Miami Herald's request for donations brings in "an encouraging stream of gifts"
Miami Herald

They range from $2 to $55, says executive editor Anders Gyllenhaal (left). "Some readers say they see this as a logical step, while others have made fun of the move," he writes. "Some think that including the form with stories is an awkward step, while others think we're being too low-key about it and should come on stronger with the appeal."

Anonymous said...

Santa Barbara Daily Sound apologizes for column calling for bounty on Obama's head

Santa Barbara Daily Sound
Daily Sound guest columnist Gina Perry wrote that "the most dangerous extremist in this country is the one running it. Perhaps a bounty should be put on his head." Publisher Jeramy Gordon now says that "there's no excuse for why the article was published. The column is indefensible and the proper measures have been taken to ensure such hatred is never published again."

Article @
Via: Poynter Online/Romenesko

Anonymous said...

Alan Mutter: “The presses stopped forever at no less than 142 daily and weekly newspapers in 2009.”
Parody Rewrite:
Where have all the Flowers gone?

♫ Where have all the fishwraps gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the fishwraps gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the fishwraps gone?
Liberals ruined them, ev'ry one.
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn? ♫

Anonymous said...

Sing it baby! 142..and counting!

Anonymous said...

It seems like Gary Pruitt announces one of his multi-year, McClatchy’s strategic restructuring speeches, every other day.
“Utilization reassessment” sounds soooo much better, doesn’t it Pru? Almost elitist, I would say. The drain-circling deniers known as ‘Drainers,’ use double-speak to sooth the Obama tankers’ ruffled feathers. A technique known as P&P, (Pet & Pluck.) One hand removes the wage freeze, while the other cuts benefits. The old slight of hand being used on corrupt journalists? Layoff not Payoff, is but one of the consequences of Hope & Change.

Anonymous said...

Re: 142 daily and weekly newspapers over and out.

Earth to McClatchy honchos, ‘New media’ people didn’t make you a Dodo bird. You did that yourself.

Anonymous said...

"America Under Barack Obama
An Interview with Nat Hentoff
A rare interview with civil libertarian Nat Hentoff who says, flatly: Obama is possibly the most dangerous and destructive president we have ever had."

More at

Anonymous said...

Poll asks 71 people contrived questions, and then publishes the results as important for Obama’s standing among voters.
Good grief, the sky IS falling;
Obama, Jewish Voters,
and the Lessons of 1984

Commentary Magazine
by Jason Maoz

Turns out there are real questions about the accuracy of that recent Quinnipiac poll showing President Obama’s approval rating at just 52 percent among Jewish voters. As the JTA’s Eric Fingerhut pointed out, the Jewish sampling “was derived from a sample of just 71 respondents, for a margin of error of plus or minus 11.6 percent — a sample size that pollsters generally say makes such surveys unreliable.”

Anonymous said...

"0'bamboozle" - Now that is a good one.

Anonymous said...

Nat Hentoff's interesting response.

"NH: A few years ago, I was lecturing at the Columbia Journalism School of Education. I asked them about what was happening to the Fourth Amendment. I said, "By the way, do you know what is in the Fourth Amendment?" One student responded, "Is that the right to bear arms?" It's hard to believe these are bright students."

Anonymous said...

New moon rising: “..a plurality of Americans think that scientific data supporting man-made global warming is ''mostly falsified.'' That is what a new poll by Survey USA reveals.”

Anonymous said...

‘Hopenhagen,’- the news comics are alive and well.

“Hopenhagen,” even this administration’s talented pool of spin-doctors will find it difficult to convince global warming alarmists that the two-week event was anything other than what is now being called: an ”abject failure.”

Anonymous said...

There is gold in them thar tweets.
“The companies have kept mum about the financial terms of the deals, which will allow Tweets to appear in Google and Microsoft’s search results.”

Anonymous said...

Today Boortz points out a relevant quote from Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged that is worth reading or reading again.

"I quit when medicine was placed under State control, some years ago," said Dr. Hendricks. "Do you know what it takes to perform a brain operation? Do you know the kind of skill it demands, and the years of passionate, merciless, excruciating devotion that go to acquire that skill? That was what I would not place at the disposal of men whose sole qualification to rule me was their capacity to spout the fraudulent generalities that got them elected to the privilege of enforcing their wishes at the point of a gun. I would not let them dictate the purpose for which my years of study had been spent, or the conditions of my work, or my choice of patients, or the amount of my reward. I observed that in all the discussions that preceded the enslavement of medicine, men discussed everything - except the desires of the doctors. Men considered only the 'welfare' of the patients, with no thought for those who were to provide it. That a doctor should have any right, desire or choice in the matter was regarded as irrelevant selfishness; his is not to choose, they said, only 'to serve.' That a man who's willing to work under compulsion is too dangerous a brute to entrust with a job in the stockyards - never occurred to those who proposed to help the sick by making life impossible for the healthy. I have often wondered at the smugness with which people assert their right to enslave me, to control my work, to force my will, to violate my conscience, to stifle my mind - yet what is it that they expect to depend on, when they lie on an operating table under my hands? Their moral code has taught them to believe that it is safe to rely on the virtue of their victims. Well, that is the virtue I have withdrawn. Let them discover the kind of doctors that their system will now produce. Let them discover, in their operating rooms and hospital wards, that it is not safe to place their lives in the hands of a man whose life they have throttled. It is not safe, if he is the sort of a man who resents it - and still less safe, if he is the sort who doesn't."

Ayn Rand

Atlas Shrugged

Kevin Gregory said...

1:50 great quote... as it happens I ordered a copy of Atlas Shrugged from Amazon a few days ago, looking forward to reading it.