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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How Noble

Dan Radmacher, editorial page editor of the Roanoke Times, thinks we shouldn't be allowed to block any effort that Obama might make to bring all those murdering cutthroats currently being warehoused at Gitmo here to the U.S. for ongoing incarceration:
Gitmo detainees on U.S. soil

President Obama plans to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay by January 2010 and must decide what to do with the detainees. Republicans, especially two from Virginia, want to make his job as difficult as possible.

Many people, quite understandably, do not want detainees held in their communities. The Marine base at Quantico, for example, has been mentioned as a possibility, and Virginians near there are not happy about it.

Surely, we can now handle 250 detainees, many of whom have only tenuous connections to terror. [link]
What's this "we" stuff, kimosabe?

If I were a lowlife scumbag like Wanda Sykes, I'd recommend to Obama that he place the terrorist halfway house next door to Dan Radmacher's children's elementary school and see if his attitude changes. But I'm not like that. So I won't.

You can just bet, though, that the high-minded Mr. Radmacher was taking for granted the fact that this prison for terrorists will go where prisons always go - next door to poor peoples' elementary schools. And that, of course, ain't a problem for him.

So "we" should be prepared to "handle" 250 Islamist terrorists?

Believe me, Dan, and you'll want to heed this warning: "We" can.

And "we" will.

But "we" really don't want to force the issue. Dan.

Quote of the Day

On why Wanda Sykes's "joke" about wanting Rush Limbaugh dead - and Obama's chuckling over the prospect - went beyond the pale, here's James Taranto:
By our count, Sykes runs afoul of five taboos in her Limbaugh joke: She equates dissent with treason. She likens a domestic political opponent to a foreign enemy. She makes fun of the disabled (Limbaugh's past addiction to painkillers would entitle him to protection under the Americans With Disabilities Act). She makes light of a form of interrogation that some people consider torture. And she wishes somebody dead.

Except for the last one, these are all taboos that liberals promote and enforce with especial vigor. If a conservative violated any one of them, he would be on the inside track to be named "Worst Person in the World" by that [NBC blowhard] ...

What makes Sykes's joke funny to a liberal, then, is the sense of danger that accompanies her risky themes, combined with the secure knowledge that since the joke is at the expense of a liberal hate figure, the usual rules do not apply. It's the same reason people on the left evince particular glee when they attack Clarence Thomas or Michael Steele in expressly racist terms, or when they use antigay innuendo against their political opponents (regardless of the latter's sexual orientation).

In Obama's wide grin as Sykes was telling her joke, we saw the smug look of a man who enjoys seeing his critics dehumanized. The president of the United States should be better than this.

Should be. But isn't.

America, 2009.

As Inevitable As The Sunrise

Understand this if you understand nothing else in life: When it comes to nationalized health care, there are only two ways Obama will be able to achieve his "managed care" goals.

Price controls.
Rationing.

The first - price controls - you don't care about. If Blue Cross is required to control its pricing, then that's a good thing. Right? Wait till you get your itemized bills in the mail.

Or, if Blue Cross is disbanded by government decree and some bureaucracy sets prices, who is going to be the loser in the provider/customer relationship? And for how long will those providers continue to provide?

And you don't care about rationing either. You're healthy. Right?

How old is your grandmother? How's her health? What is the cost/benefit ratio when it comes to keeping her alive at taxpayer expense? What's the dollar expenditure beyond which we can set your granny out in the snow and forget about her? Understand: The decision to keep your grandmother alive is soon to be taken out of her - and your- hands.

Is that what you want?

Are you at all troubled by the looming government-created catastrophe?

No? Here's a look into the abyss:
Signing On to an Obama 'Dream'
Wall Street Journal editorial

Democrats have now acknowledged that the managed care dream will work only if government is the one doing the managing. That is, we can only control costs with a new government entitlement. More is less.

But you can only allocate a scarce resource in two ways: market prices or brute force. In health care the brute force will come as price controls and waiting lines for rationed services. The implicit assumption in the providers' deal announced yesterday seems to be that the private companies will do the price controlling so the government won't have to do it for them.

But when the savings prove illusory, as in the past, the feds will step in and order them to do so. To win a false reprieve for themselves and give cost cover to the politicians, these private CEOs are offering to make themselves even more unpopular with patients. By that point, most patients will have no choice but to assent, since most of them will be in one government program or another.

The only benefit here is that it is now possible to see where this issue is headed: A new legislated entitlement for the middle class will ensure that the next great health-care argument to engulf the political system is going to be over how and when to ration care. [link]

I find it astounding that we have in recent years somehow moved away from any discussion about how to maintain the finest health care system in the world and to a debate over how we are going to try to reduce the quality of care so that everyone can get a modicum of return from it. A reduction that can only be achieved through soviet-style price controls and through long lines and waiting lists at the hospital.

The United States of America.

2009.

We are about to realize the socialist ideal: If anyone is going to be deprived, we are all going to be deprived.

May God have mercy on us.

So Buy It Yourself

And speaking of the Soviet ideal, Karl Marx would appreciate this:
Workers Pressure Bank to Keep Clothier’s U.S. Plants Open
By Steven Greenhouse, New York Times

Des Plaines, Ill. — Hartmarx, known for its Hart Schaffner & Marx and Hickey Freeman suits, and for making President Obama’s inauguration tuxedo and topcoat, has long been America’s leading clothier for men. Now its workers want to make the company, which is in bankruptcy, a leader in a different way.

Hoping to save their jobs and start a national movement, Hartmarx workers are pressuring Wells Fargo, the company’s main creditor, to approve the sale of Hartmarx to a buyer that would keep it alive instead of liquidating it, and most likely putting its celebrated labels on suits made overseas.

“If the banks are going to pull the plug and pull us down, we will fight,” said Ruby Sims, president of the Workers United union local at the plant. “We’re going to do whatever it takes to keep our jobs.”

The workers stood and cheered. [link]
So what buyer would be foolish enough to purchase this plant if it is losing money and has no prospect of turning its fortunes around?

Hey, I know!

If the AFL-CIO had $53,000,000 to give to the Democrats in the last election, it has a few bucks it can shell out to save Hartmarx jobs. Why doesn't the AFL-CIO buy the plant?

I think we all know why.

That's also why the workers want someone else to step up and be the big loser in this proposition. They ain't stupid.

I Hope They Get This Right

One doesn't get a warm or fuzzy feeling when reading this story about a man who is accused of being a Nazi death camp butcher in the 40's, only to find out that the authorities committed a boo-boo and it was a matter of mistaken identity, that another man was that butcher, so now he's accused of being a different Nazi death camp butcher at a different death camp entirely.

Say what?

Whatever officials decide, when the dust settles and the hangman's noose is put back in its storage container, I hope they don't get it wrong:
Accused Nazi Criminal Arrives in Munich
By Nicholas Kulish, New York Times

Berlin — John Demjanjuk of Seven Hills, Ohio, born Ivan Demjanjuk in Ukraine in 1920, arrived in Munich Tuesday morning to face accusations of crimes committed as a Nazi death-camp guard.

Mr. Demjanjuk was deported for the second time by the United States on Monday. The first time was 23 years ago, and he was bound for worldwide notoriety, accused of being the unfathomably cruel “Ivan the Terrible of Treblinka,” one of the Holocaust’s most infamous sadists. He was convicted and sentenced to death in Israel, before new evidence won him a reprieve ...

But the wheels of justice began to grind again, and the whole process has repeated itself step by step. Monday night, a frailer Mr. Demjanjuk, now 89 and once again stateless, boarded a special medically equipped airplane bound for Germany, where he is accused of being an accessory in the murder of 29,000 Jews while working as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in eastern Poland.

Mr. Demjanjuk was convicted and sentenced to death by an Israeli court in 1988.

But the conviction was overturned in 1993, and he was freed by Israel’s Supreme Court after evidence surfaced suggesting that another man was most likely Ivan the Terrible. An identity card from Trawniki indicates that Mr. Demjanjuk was sent to serve at Sobibor. [link]
Well, it's fairly certain that someone with the last name Demjanjuk (pronounced demanYOOK) was sent to Sobibor. But was it this schmuck?

The disturbing aspect to this story is in the fact that we may never know for sure.

Why The Tea Party Movement Grows

What happens in California soon happens across the land. And California is imploding under the weight of a detached, bloated, broken government. It's but a matter of time.

But wait ...
Here comes California's May 19 Rebellion
By Hugh Hewitt, Washington Examiner

Everyone has a story of a state or county employee friend who is retiring at 55 with a guaranteed life pension of $75,000 or more plus gold-plated medical benefits. Almost everyone knows that massive amounts of money have flowed into Los Angeles public schools and still half of the kids drop out. Majorities realize that businesses don't have to operate here, and that places like Texas may lack the Rose Parade but let you grow a business and keep most of the profits.

California voters head to the polls next week with predictions of doom echoing in their ears if they decline to endorse the massive tax hikes prescribed for them by big Democratic majorities in the statehouse, Arnold and a handful of now ruined-politically Republican legislators.

"Shrill" doesn't begin to describe the campaign designed to stampede the Golden State electorate. The latest ad has a weary, soot-covered fire-fighter urging a yes vote on the tax hike. The message is clear: Vote no and your homes will burn down.

Not even this sort of fear-mongering is moving the needle towards "yes" on the massive tax surge on next week's ballot as poll after poll shows all the key measures put forward by the tax-and-spend-and tax-again crowd failing badly. [link]
What a mess. Welcome to the USA, circa 2012.

Unless level heads prevail ...

A Fool's Game

This is why the Chinese are rapidly retreating from being the number one carrier of American debt. They don't see any fiscal discipline in Washington.

And neither do America's best experts:
Deficits soar even with rosy assumptions in new Obama budget
By David Lightman, McClatchy Newspapers

Washington — The White House on Monday projected 2009 and 2010 federal budget deficits far higher than it forecast just two and a half months ago, even as it continued to defy most experts and predict that the economy is headed for a strong comeback starting late this year.

Economists scoffed at the latest administration predictions.

"If they keep playing this game, they're going to have real credibility problems," predicted Brian Bethune, the chief U.S. financial economist at IHS Global Insight, an economic research firm.

The new administration budget said that the fiscal 2009 deficit would reach $1.84 trillion, or $89 billion more than forecast in February, while the 2010 figure now is estimated at $1.26 trillion, or $87 billion above the previous number. The fiscal 2008 deficit was $459 billion.

Even with its more optimistic economic scenario, the administration projects record deficits for years to come. The annual deficit would drop to $512 billion by 2013, but then would begin to go up again, reaching $779 billion by 2019, as the costs of Social Security and government health care programs soar, the administration projects.

It's a grim picture, analysts said.

"Even using their . . . economic assumptions — which now appear to be out of date and overly optimistic — the administration never puts us on a stable path," said Marc Goldwein, the policy director of the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. [link]
The grim picture:
Obama is now borrowing 45¢ for every $1.00 that he's spending. The questions before us: Who's going to lend it to him? And when inflation kicks in - and inflation is going to kick in - what becomes of us?

Graph courtesy of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and McClatchy Newspapers

Quote of the Day

From Michael Barone:

The liberal elite is less interested in giving up its luxuries (Al Gore purchases carbon offsets to compensate for his huge mansion and private jet travel) than in changing the lifestyle of the masses, who selfishly insist on living in suburbs and keeping guns for recreation or protection. Ordinary Americans are seen not as responsible fellow citizens building stable communities but as greedy masses, who must be disciplined to live according to the elite's religious dogmas.

It should not be completely surprising that over time, these views have become less congenial to the masses, who are the object of such condescension. Democratic officeholders, who must live by the discipline of the ballot, have noticed. Party leaders did not press to re-enact the assault weapons ban when it expired and currently are flummoxed by the backbenchers who are resisting a cap and trade bill that would impose huge costs on those who use electricity. Elites may lead, but Americans do not always follow.

"On Guns and Climate, the Elites Are Out of Touch," RealClearPolitics, May 11, 2009

Pelosi Continues To Dig

Be what you would seem to be -- or, if you'd like it put more simply -- Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.
-- The Duchess in "Alice in Wonderland"

The latest in a long line of explanations from the person who is but two heartbeats away from the presidency:
Pelosi defense: couldn't object in '03
By Glenn Thrush and John Bresnahan, Politico

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi learned in early 2003 that the Bush administration was waterboarding terror detainees but didn’t protest directly out of respect for “appropriate” legislative channels, a person familiar with the situation said Monday.

The Pelosi camp’s version of events is intended to answer two key questions posed by her critics: When, precisely, did she first learn about waterboarding? And why didn’t she do more to stop it? [link]
Well, we seem to be inching closer to the truth. She now admits that she knew what was going on and kept quiet about it. But who knows what tomorrow brings ...

"Curiouser." "And curiouser."

Under The Circumstances ...

Professor Bainbridge:

"Pondering all this, it occurs to me that the single most patriotic thing one could do right now, if one is in the market for a new car, is to buy a Ford."

What is it he's pondering? The Obama administration's total lack of understanding of the business community and the free market system, and its abuse of creditors that it is going to need going forward.

When Is Obama Going To Quit Blaming Others?

The buck stops here?

Not in Obamaland. Today's circumstances are the fault of everyone else.