Thursday, 25 March 2010

THE VALUE OF A CBO ESTIMATE

Ken Berwitz

Much has been made of the CBO evaluation of ObamaCare -- especially its estimate that the legislation will result in lower health care costs.

From yesterday's New York Times:

Social Security to See Payout Exceed Pay-In This Year

By MARY WILLIAMS WALSH
Published: March 24, 2010

The bursting of the real estate bubble and the ensuing recession have hurt jobs, home prices and now Social Security.

 

This year, the system will pay out more in benefits than it receives in payroll taxes, an important threshold it was not expected to cross until at least 2016, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

The CBO estimated that social security would operate at a surplus until 2016.  But the CBO was wrong.  Way, way, way wrong.

Anyone want to tell me about the CBO's ObamaCare estimates again?

People who believe that ObamaCare is going to cover 30 million more people, but simultaneously lower insurance costs (while maintaining the same quality of care, let's not forget), are living in a fantasy world. 

free` Several months back the CBO came out with some numbers Obama didn't like. So for the first time in history President Obama summoned the head of the CBO to the White House. So excuse me if I don't believe anything the CBO has to say now. (03/25/10)


WHERE IS OSAMA BIN LADEN?

Ken Berwitz

From Reuters:

Osama bin Laden, in tape, threatens to kill Americans

Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:03am EDT

 

Wed, Mar 17 2010

 

DUBAI, March 25 (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden, in a fresh audiotape, threatened to execute any Americans taken prisoner by al Qaeda if accused Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is executed, al Jazeera television reported on Thursday. (Writing by Cynthia Johnston)

Point of order:  Wasn't one of the major themes of Barack Obama's presidential campaign that President Bush had failed to capture osama bin laden?  Didn't Mr. Obama promise in no uncertain terms that, if elected, he would take care of this unfinished business?

Well, it is over a year since Barack Obama became President.  And no osama bin laden.

In truth, I do not blame Mr. Obama for this failure.  It is far easier to stick out that chin and arrogantly promise bin laden's capture than it is to find him, while he hides in a lawless part of the world and is protected by a network of supporters who aid and abet him.

But I do blame our wonderful "neutral" media, which happily published those attacks on the previous President.  Why are they not holding Barack Obama's feet to the fire?  Why are they not demanding to know why, with all that bravado in all those campaign speeches, he a) has not produced bin laden either and b) seems to have erased bin laden from his memory bank, since he no longer even talks about capturing him.

To review:  Media had no problem seconding the motion when then-Senator Obama attacked then-President Bush for letting bin laden slip away.  Yet those same media also have no problem ignoring the fact that, after all his attacks and promises, Obama has done no better.

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.

Zeke ... I'm the ' T ' ..... sorry for the fumble fingers (03/25/10)

T ... ... Biased ? Our noble mainstream media ? ? ? I'm shocked ! Shocked ! ! ... ... The MSM report of someone screaming the n word at Pelosi's gavel-entourage --- well Jesse Jackson's son was videotaping the photo-op ... no evidence of it .... and the Secret Service said it didn't happen ..... ...... The allegations of the vandalism against Dem congressmen ... ... ... no statement from FBI or local police that this really happened .... .... .... the coffin left on the congressman's lawn ... it was a prop used by about 8 anti-abortionists who were going around the capital, praying for the unborn children ... ... the coffin was always with the group; it wasn't left anywhere. (03/25/10)


ED SCHULTZ AND FAIRNESS

Ken Berwitz

Ed Schultz is a low-rated performer on MSNBC.  And on radio, though relatively successful by liberal/left standards, he is small potatoes compared to Rush Limbaugh.  Very small.  Maybe just potato chips altogether.

So what is his solution?

From Brian Maloney at www.radioequalizer.blogspot.com:

VIVA HUGO!

Libtalker: Time For Socialism In Broadcasting

Feeling emboldened by
the Democratic Party's success in imposing ObamaCare on the American public, lefties are already looking for the next hot issue to shove down our throats. For MSNBC libtalker Ed Schultz, it's the airwaves that should next be subjected to a socialist government takeover.

From Caracas, Hugo Chavez sends his best wishes.

After all, how is it fair that Rush Limbaugh has over 600 stations, while Big Eddie's affiliates can be counted on one hand? Here's what he told radio listeners earlier this week:



SCHULTZ (30:58, initially responding to caller claiming "virtual war" between Dems and GOP): It is a cultural war that's taking place in America, you're exactly right. And it's being played out over the airwaves of America. And I hope the Democrats now turn to the Fairness Doctrine.

It's time now for the Democrats to consider the Fairness Doctrine when you've got Rush Limbaugh out there saying, it's, we've got to defeat these bastards. He is now openly admitting that he is going to work against and campaign against the Republican, against the Democratic Party and campaign against Obama, and he is motivating people with the microphone and he's electioneering. Keep on talking, Rushsky! Hell, maybe I'll get on 600 stations too, or how many you own or whatever.

The fact is, look, it's not a level playing field when it comes to the audio culture of the country. Ownership has its privileges. When you own, I will be honest, if I owned 500 stations, the drugster wouldn't be on any of 'em. And that's just where it's at right now. But maybe we have reached the point where the Congress needs to equal it out. Equal out the audience.

SCHULTZ (32:51): Just keep in mind, there aren't any poor people with microphones.

SCHULTZ (33:56): And so, I think that, you know, hell, if we're going to be socialist, let's be socialist all across the board.

There you go.  "The Fairness Doctrine" - which, despite its impressive name, is, in reality, a scam that would force radio programmers to ignore ratings and give equal time to the also-rans like Ed Schultz. 

See, Rush Limbaugh has 600 stations, and THAT'S NOT FAIR.  It has nothing to do with the fact that Mr. Limbaugh has excellent ratings so stations pick up his show.Nor does the far smaller number of stations carrying Schultz have anything to do with the fact that not as many people want to listen to him.  It's just unfair.  That's what it is.  Waahhh Waaaaahhh  Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh.

Hey, I have a great idea.  Since Mr. Schultz is so hotsy-totsy on fairness, and since MSNBC has nothing but leftward hosts throughout its broadcasting day, why doesn't he mount a crusade to force MSNBC to hire conservative hosts.

It can start with evening programming, which currently consists, in its entirety, of Schultz, Chris Matthews, keith olbermann and Rachel Maddow.  Two of them have to go, and will be replaced by conservatives. 

That would not affect Ed, though, because he was a right-leaning Republican for years and years before magically turning to the left.  So I suppose he could claim to be his own walking, talking fairness doctrine.   (Was Schultz's political metamorphosis due to the fact that, even on the right, he couldn't compete with Rush or Sean or Dennis Prager, Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, etc.?  You tell me.)

Yep, that's the ticket.  Make MSNBC half conservative.  And you can count on Schultz leading the charge -- about a week after Dick Durbin resigns his senate seat, renounces the Democratic party and replaces Phylis Schlafly at the Eagle Forum.


FIDEL APPROVES

Ken Berwitz

This is excerpted from an Associated Press article. Make of it what you will:

HAVANA (AP) -- It perhaps was not the endorsement President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress were looking for.

Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on Thursday declared passage of American health care reform "a miracle" and a major victory for Obama's presidency, but couldn't help chide the United States for taking so long to enact what communist Cuba achieved decades ago.

"We consider health reform to have been an important battle and a success of his (Obama's) government," Castro wrote in an essay published in state media, adding that it would strengthen the president's hand against lobbyists and "mercenaries."

It's nice to see that two heads of state can agree so completely........


DARWIN AWARD FINALIST

Ken Berwitz

It's only March.  But even with over 9 months to go, it is a pretty safe bet that Albert Bailey of Connecticut will be a finalist for the 2010 Darwin Award.

From www.nbcconnecticut.com:

Bank Robbers Call Ahead for Cash, Get Cops Instead

By LEANNE GENDREAU

Updated 9:37 AM EDT, Wed, Mar 24, 2010

 

Two accused bank robbers might have just been trying to save time when they called ahead and demanded that the bank have the cash ready when they got there. But placing and order for cash didnt get them far.  

 

Albert Bailey, 27, and a 16-year-old, both from Bridgeport, called People's United Bank on Stratfield Road about 10 minutes before they came to rob it on Tuesday afternoon, the Connecticut Post reports.

 

"You can't make this stuff up," Sgt. James Perez, Fairfield police spokesman, told the Post. "They literally called the bank and said to have the bag of money ready on the floor because they're coming to rob the place.

 

Then, true to their word, they showed up just as police were coming to greet them.

 

I would classify these individuals as, 'Not-too-bright.' They should have spent time in school instead of trying to rob a bank," Perez said.

 

When the suspects called, they threatened to create a blood bath, Fairfield police Lt. Thomas Mrozek told the Post.

 

Fortunately, there was no bloodbath. The suspects did not use a weapon.

 

Bailey waited in a parked car while the 16-year-old, who was not identified because of his age, picked up the bag of cash and walked out, the Post reports.

 

It was not difficult for Fairfield Officer Michael Guilfoyle to find the youth because the bank described him. As Guilfoyle tried to take the teen into custody, the situation got even worse by the dye pack exploding. Then, more police showed up so cops were able to nab both suspects before they left the parking lot.

 

Both robbery suspects were charged with first-degree robbery and first-degree threatening. The 16-year-old was sent to an area juvenile jail, police said.

 

Bailey was on probation for robbing a People's Bank branch in Bridgeport in 2003, the Post reports, and was held without bond to be turned over to the Department of Correction.

My favorite part is Sgt. Perez saying  "I would classify these individuals as not too bright".  This man is a true master of understatement.

Let's put it this way.  If Bailey and his friend were on a quiz show, and the competition was a pickled beet, the pickled beet would be going on to the lightning round.


OBAMACARE AFTERSHOCKS

Ken Berwitz

Are you wondering about what legislative changes are, and are not taking place in the senate as they "fix" ObamaCare?

Joseph Klein, from www.newsrealblog.com, fills us in via the following excerpt from his latest article:

The True Agenda Of Obamacare Progressives Exposed

2010 March 25

 

by Joseph Klein

Progressive Democrats are telling the opponents of Obamacare to chill out.  Once the American people understand what is in the legislation, they argue, it will be as popular as Social Security and Medicare.  I dont think so.

Republican amendments to the reconciliation bill were defeated last night in the Senate on a party-line vote.  The amendments and their defeat by the Progressives in charge of the Senate  are instructive in highlighting what Obamacare is really all about.

Here are just a few of the amendments to improve health care reform that were defeated by the triumphant Progressives:

  • a measure to prevent Medicare from being raided for new entitlements and to use Medicare savings to save Medicare;
  • a measure to prevent convicted child molesters and rapists from getting reimbursed by the government for drugs like Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction;
  • a measure to certify that no households earning less than $250,000 will see increased taxes as a result of health care reform; and
  • a measure to certify that Americans will not have to change their health insurance as a result of the bill if they do not want to.

And in perhaps the most hypocritical, self-serving action of all, the Senate Democrats voted to defeat Republican Senator Grassleys amendment to make sure the President, Cabinet Members, all White House Senior staff and Congressional Committee and Leadership Staff are purchasing health insurance through the health insurance exchanges established by Obamacare for the rest of us!

Take a good look at what Democrats voted down, folks.  Think about whether you feel these amendments should be there. Then, regardless of how you felt about ObamaCare previously, think about whether the fact that Democrats voted them down makes you happier or less happy with the legislation.

And then please hold those thoughts.....until you vote on election day.


THE PARTY IN THE GLASS HOUSE

Ken Berwitz

I just read an excellent commentary by National Review's Victor Davis Hanson, which talks about the sudden - possibly orchestrated - concern of Democrats regarding civil political discourse and behavior. 

Here it is.  See what you think:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

More Bottled Piety   [Victor Davis Hanson]

This weeks talking point is the sudden danger of new right-wing violence, and the inflammatory push-back against health care. Im sorry, but all this concern is a day late and a dollar short. The subtext is really one of class right-wing radio talk-show hosts, Glenn Beck idiots, and crass tea-party yokels are foaming at the mouth and dangerous to progressives. In contrast, write a book in which you muse about killing George Bush, and its Knopf imprint proves it is merely sophisticated literary speculation; do a docudrama about killing George Bush, and it will win a Toronto film prize for its artistic value rather than shock from the liberal community about over-the-top discourse.

Socialism and totalitarianism are tough charges from the hard right, but they seem to me about as (or as not) over-the-top as Al Gore screaming digital brown-shirts or John Glenn comparing the opposition to Nazis. When 3,000 were murdered in Manhattan, and Michael Moore suggested Bin Laden had wrongly targeted a blue state, I dont think that repulsive remark prevented liberal politicians from attending his anti-Bush film premiere. Yes, let us have a tough debate over the role of government and the individual, but spare us the melodrama, the bottled piety, and the wounded-fawn hurt.

Like it or not, between 2001 and 2008, the progressive community redefined what is acceptable and not acceptable in political and public discourse about their elected officials. Slurs like Nazi and fascist and I hate were no longer the old street-theater derangement of the 1960s, but were elevated to high-society novels, films, political journalism, and vein-bulging outbursts of our elites. If one were to take the word "Bush" and replace it with "Obama" in the work of a Nicholson Baker, or director Gabriel Range, or Garrison Keillor or Jonathan Chait, or in the rhetoic of a Gore or Moore, we would be presently in a national crisis, witnessing summits on the epidemic of "hate speech."

So here we are with the age-old problem that once one destroys decorum for the sake of short-term expediency, it is very hard to restore it in any credible fashion on grounds of principle when the proverbial shoe is on the other foot. A modest suggestion: If the liberal community wishes to be more credible in its concern about contemporary extremist anti-administration rhetoric, then they might try the following: Please, let us avoid extremism and do not fall into the same trap as Baker, Chait, Keillor, Gore, Moore, or Range when they either expressed open hatred toward their president, or speculated about the assassination of their president, or compared their president to a fascist. We must disown such extremism, past and present."

What was that old saying about living in glass houses and throwing stones?

Tell me:  where was the Democratic Party when the examples Mr. Hanson enumerates were taking place?  How many condemnations of over-the-top behavior did you hear from them at that time?

And where were our wonderful "neutral" media?  Were they jumping all over each other to condemn the people doing and saying those things, the way they have condemned tea partiers on their alleged use of the words "nigger" and "faggot" against Democrats (for which there is no audio or video record, even though there were tons of people and tons of media there to record it)?

Then they wonder why people call them biased.


WHERE'S THE AUDIO? WHERE'S THE VIDEO?

Ken Berwitz

These days, it is hard even for an average, not-famous person to walk down the street or speak without being recorded in some way.  This is because just about everyone has a cell phone, and many people carry small, portable digital cameras.  

So when a great many congresspeople walk down the street, through a crowd of protesters and with loads of media along with them, it stands to reason that what happens during that walk will have been recorded by countless cell phones, cameras, etc.

So where is the recording of people screaming "nigger" at John Lewis?  Emanuel Cleaver?   And, other than one person (hardly a definer of the entire tea party movement) where is the recording of Barney Frank being called a "faggot"? 

If media have such recordings, either theirs or someone else's who recorded it, let's have a story, complete with the audio/video proof, so we know it happened.

If media do not have such recordings, and no one else can provide them, let's have a story that the claim of such language - which a good many even in mainstream media have used to condemn the tea party movement - is unfounded and may be fraudulent. 

And even if there were a very few such incidents, how do we know the people using such offensive language were tea partiers, and not plants who were sent to do it so that the tea party people could then be blamed?  It's not like that hasn't been done before.

Let me end by asking, and answering, two questions:

1) If the audio and/or video of  this happening were in media's hands, is there any doubt we'd have heard/seen it immediately?  The answer, of course, is no doubt at all.

2) If there are no such audios and/or videos, why are media not questioning the veracity of these claims?   The answer, of course, is that media are ignoring it, so that they can bash the tea party movement (which appears to scare the crap out of them).  Simply put, if the story line is that it didn't happen, media would have to be going after people like Clyburn and Frank.  And they don't go after protected species, do they?

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased.

Zeke ... ... .... All the videographers were busy hauling coffins onto DemoChip congresscritter laws, throwing bricks through their windows. ... ... .... ..... Also: Those hired to stage racist protests were on their coffee break, so there was nothing to record. (03/25/10)


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