RT @bccover: That was awfully terrifying. Healthcare via a call center is basically the worst idea anyone could ever come up with.
Well, not a founder necessarily and not evening necessarily but.....
Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wings, those who cheer today may curse tomorros, only one thing endures - character.
President Harry Truman
Time Magazine offered some very unexpected advice to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee today.
President Barack Obama's Nobel peace surprise was given "primarily for his work on and commitment to ," according to Agot Valle, a Norwegian politician who served on the award committee. Valle told the Wall Street Journal that the stewards of the prize wanted to "support" Obama's goal, as expressed recently at the United Nations, "of a world without ."...
As long as a nukeless world remains wishful thinking and pastoral rhetoric, we'll be all right. But if the Nobel committee truly cares about peace, they will think a little harder about actually trying to make it a reality. Open a history book and you'll see what the modern world looks like without nuclear weapons. It is horrible beyond description.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press reprints a Washington Post story that relays the most shocking news that I have ever read in my life. A government program was discovered to be full of waste, fraud and abuse..... The four drafty buildings had been fixtures of the Energy Department complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., for more than half a century. They burned energy like 1950s sedans. The buildings seemed like perfect candidates for a federal conservation retrofit program that relies on private contractors that receive a percentage of the money they save. A deal was struck in 2001. The contractor reworked lighting and heating systems, among other things, and began collecting payments. The project was counted among the department's "green" successes — until auditors discovered that the buildings had been torn down several years ago and that the government had paid $850,000 for energy savings at facilities that no longer existed.
The four drafty buildings had been fixtures of the Energy Department complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., for more than half a century. They burned energy like 1950s sedans.
The buildings seemed like perfect candidates for a federal conservation retrofit program that relies on private contractors that receive a percentage of the money they save. A deal was struck in 2001. The contractor reworked lighting and heating systems, among other things, and began collecting payments.
The project was counted among the department's "green" successes — until auditors discovered that the buildings had been torn down several years ago and that the government had paid $850,000 for energy savings at facilities that no longer existed.
The audit findings show the potential for waste and abuse at a time when the department is poised to launch billions of dollars more in stimulus spending on an unprecedented welter of green projects across the country.
The initiatives are hallmarks of the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act approved by Congress in February. The stimulus law directed almost $17 billion to the department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, including $3.2 billion for energy efficiency and conservation block grants and $3.1 billion for state energy programs.
But hey - the stimulus is working...just as Vice President Joe Biden! The same bureaucrats that run this and every other government program will be the ones in charge of YOUR health care if Congress gets their way... And they tell us it will save us money?????
But hey - the stimulus is working...just as Vice President Joe Biden!
The same bureaucrats that run this and every other government program will be the ones in charge of YOUR health care if Congress gets their way...
And they tell us it will save us money?????
Yes you read that right - Mid Stream Radio is moving to Saturdays. My work schedule changed so that I can no longer do the Thursday AM show so Jazz and I just decided to move it to Saturday so that neither one of us has the work related interruptions any more.
I have no doubt that we will be talking about Jazz's Pajamas Media Column from today on our President's latest accolade. If we get some time we may chat a little bit about the CBO's assessment of the Baucus Care bill so tune in for all the conversation. The fun starts tomorrow at 1 Eastern, 11 Mountain.
"[I]f the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them." --Candidus in the Boston Gazette, 1772
Wendy Button was a health care policy speech writer for John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama and she is living today, the future that faces all of us should the Democrats Health Care "reforms" pass.....
For the first time in my life, I am without health insurance and it is a terrible feeling.
In the past, I paid attention to the health care debate as a speechwriter who prepared speeches, talking points, op-eds, and debate prep material on the topic at different times for John Edwards, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and others. Now, I'm paying attention because I'm a citizen up the creek without a paddle....
Earlier this week the Federal Trade Commission announced a new rule that targets bloggers who review or endorse products. Many bloggers wrote about it when the announcement was made and they expressed the expected disappointment. What surprised me was this editorial out of the DesNews this morning.
Some time in the future, someone may sue the Federal Trade Commission for violating free-speech rights with its new rule, announced this week, that bloggers must disclose their conflicts of interest or face fines. When that time comes, we hope the courts have the good sense to rule on the side of freedom.
The FTC's new rules — a feeble attempt to update its product-endorsement and advertising guidelines for the computer age — are aimed at marketers who provide products to bloggers for free, or who pay them to promote products. Bloggers who provide such reviews, and people who post comments on products, must disclose their relationships with the marketers or manufacturers or face an $11,000 fine...
Of course, any writer worth an ounce of credibility would disclose such relationships voluntarily. It's a matter of ethics and integrity. Many don't, however, just as many people you meet daily may exaggerate or lie about any of an array of subjects. The government doesn't outlaw that, and a federal agency has no business regulating what someone puts on a blog, either.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz has a column int the Sunday's DesNews (it's a reprint of from Thursday's "The Hill") talking about ideas of budgetary items that we can and should cut and why.
The federal government's fiscal year begins Oct. 1, and there's little reason to believe this year will be better than the last. Publicly held federal debt is forecast to increase from 56 percent of gross domestic product to 66 percent in 2010, driven by a budget deficit of $1.5 trillion in 2010. When debts owed to various government trust funds are included, our debt burden will reach nearly 100 percent of GDP in 2010. When unfunded liabilities of more than $100 trillion from Social Security, Medicare and government employee pensions are included, our total debt is several times larger than GDP.
Contrary to what some have told us, deficits and debts do matter. And at the levels these debts have been accumulating, they matter a lot. Excessive government debts eventually lead to higher interest rates, inflation, a reduction in private investment and a higher percentage of tax dollars being used to pay off interest instead of funding programs or cutting taxes. In 2010, nearly $200 billion will be spent on interest payments, almost half of which will be going overseas. Interest payments are forecast to skyrocket to $829 billion by 2019.
...and all of the reasons that he lays out are valid. He even attacks (albeit briefly) all of the "automatic" increases in the budget and what we can do about them....
The main reason why it's so difficult to control federal spending is because so much of it is on automatic pilot. Spending for entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare rises automatically and cannot be cut except by changing the law governing them. They are also so large and complex that small, almost invisible changes in formulas for calculating benefits can end up costing billions upon billions of dollars.
Well the Nanny's in the NYC Department of Education have struck again. This time they are banning bake sales - that time honored fundraiser of PTA's and pep squads for generations....
In an effort to limit how much sugar and fat students put in their bellies at school, the Education Department has effectively banned most bake sales, the lucrative if not quite healthy fund-raising tool for generations of teams and clubs.
The change is part of a new wellness policy that also limits what can be sold in vending machines and student-run stores, which use profits to help finance activities like pep rallies and proms. The elaborate rules were outlined in a three-page memo issued at the end of June, but in the new school year, principals and parents are just beginning to, well, digest them.
Parent groups and Parent-Teacher Associations are conspicuously given an exception: once a month they are allowed to sell as many dark fudge brownies and lemon bars as they please, so long as lunch has ended. And after 6 p.m. on weekdays, anything goes. But at that hour, most students are long gone, and as far as the Education Department is concerned, stuffing oneself with coconut macaroons and peanut butter cookies at that hour is one’s prerogative.
There are not many times when I agree with the NYTimes editorial board but today is one of them.
You can find details on the case at CNN. Back to the NY Times....
Politics and satire have gone hand in hand for as long as there have been politics and satire. Satirists like Mark Russell and Lewis Black (two of my personal favorites) have made names for themselves by skewering politicians and their foibles. Everyone who watches a satirist take on a politician knows that the grain of truth that all good satire needs will be there - it just may be a wee bit buried in the satire...well everyone except the fine folks at CNN who apparently decided that it was time to "fact check" Saturday Night Live's satirical look at the first 9 months of the Obama Administration.....
"Wise politicians will be cautious about fettering the government with restrictions that cannot be observed, because they know that every break of the fundamental laws, though dictated by necessity, impairs that sacred reverence which ought to be maintained in the breast of rulers towards the constitution of a country." --Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 25, 1787
Remember the meme that the President was obligated to listen to the generals and that it was the height of patriotism for these brave generals to speak out against the Commander In Chiefs policies? Well apparently those days are long gone.
According to sources close to the administration, Gen McChrystal shocked and angered presidential advisers with the bluntness of a speech given in London last week.
The next day he was summoned to an awkward 25-minute face-to-face meeting on board Air Force One on the tarmac in Copenhagen, where the president had arrived to tout Chicago's unsuccessful Olympic bid.
And just what was it that this braave General said to invoke the ire of the administration?
It started in London last week, when Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who heads U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan, told an audience at the Institute of International and Strategic Studies that he does not support a new military strategy being floated privately by Vice President Joe Biden.
The idea, under review at the White House, is to withdraw troops from Afghanistan towns and refocus them on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, where Al Qaeda forces are headquartered. The alternative strategy also envisions using more drone missile strikes and special forces ops against the terrorist network.
During his remarks in London, McChrystal predicted that such a plan was "short-sighted," that it would produce "Chaos-istan" and that he would not support it.
I had to send this story to my radio partner Jazz Shaw, because I just could not believe what I was reading....
Congressional Republicans are again demanding that Congressman Charles Rangel step down as chairman of the House tax writing committee, saying his ethics problems make him the poster boy for institutional arrogance.
OK this was not the unbelievable part....
And here's a new twist. Highly placed Democratic sources told CBS 2 HD they have discussed the possibility of using one damaged New York politician to get rid of another...
...this is semi-believable. Rangel is going to be an albatross to Nancy Pelosi's leadership - especially in light of her promises to "drain the swamp".
It was this that I found to be the stunning line of the whole thing...
...It centers on having Rangel resign, and giving Gov. David Paterson a dignified way to leave Albany by running for Rangel's congressional seat.
I quote Jazz....
Worthy of Onion News: People actually think Charlie Rangel would step down...
...Have any of these people looked at Rangel’s district lately? Take me to Vegas and have me lay odds on any of three possible scenarios. I’ll give you the following odds out of the set:
A: Rangel losing an election in his district: 1%
B: Obama lowering the deficit: 6%
C: Aliens landing and giving us a new, free, limitless energy source that runs on wishes: 93%
Or Utah ever going for a Democrat candidate for President 99%. Any of those things will happen before Charlie Rangel will ever step down in disgrace.
Senator Bob Bennett is in political trouble. He is coming into the campaign season with a plethora of challengers all taking the pot shots at his flanks. Why is he in trouble? Well this is one of many, many reasons.....
Senator Bob Bennett got a $5 million earmark in the defense spending bill for Utah National Guardsmen returning home so they can produce a "video scrapbook" about their tour of duty in conjunction with a Utah company.
CNN points out that $5 million comes from the same fund to pay for the soldiers every day needs.
That $5 million comes from the fund that's supposed to pay for troops' basic needs such as food, fuel and ammunition.
But Bennett says the project saves money in the end.
"It's been proven to be a very strong retention tool, recruitment tool," he said. "The military spends a lot of money to try to get people to re-enlist. We're frankly saving them some money."
Bennett is not the only senator using earmarks to bring cash to their home state. The story points out Democratic Senator from Delaware Tom Carper earmarked $5 million to buy cold-weather gear for soldiers and Maine Democrat Olympia Snowe who secured $20 million to fix Humvees.
A Pentagon spokesperson says those earmarks should not be in the defense spending bill.
"Every dollar that we are forced to spend on things which we do not need requires us to take money from things which we do need. And the people who lose in that trade-off are our troops and the taxpayers," said Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary.
This is horribly depressing news, especially as we gear up for this years Project Valor IT fund raising competition. There are many more important needs facing our soldiers now. That we are taking $5 million out of a fund that is designed to provide necessities like food, fuel and ammunition (during a war for cryin' out loud) and spending it on a "video scrapbook" is the epitome of totally screwed up priorities.
My friend Holly from "Holly On The Hill" had this to say on the subject (emphasis in the original)...
That has to be the common sense "well duh" comment of the century. Then again when you have been in DC for as long as Bob Bennett has common sense is (obviously) long gone!
I linked to this article yesterday in my post about the perception that President Obama was the loser in Chicago's failed bid to win the 2010 Olympics but there is a larger truth in this article that needs to be highlighted.
There has been a growing narrative taking hold about Barack Obama’s presidency in recent weeks: that he is loved by many, but feared by none; that he is full of lofty vision, but is actually achieving nothing with his grandiloquence.
Chicago’s dismal showing yesterday, after Mr Obama’s personal, impassioned last-minute pitch, is a stunning humiliation for this President. It cannot be emphasised enough how this will feed the perception that on the world stage he looks good — but carries no heft...
The article then goes on to talk about the President's omnipresence on America's television screens and (more importantly) the one thing that we Conservatives all knew was coming....
- Katie Connolly Is Right, Rush Is (Partially)Wrong...
- Today on Mid Stream Radio
- The Will Of Which People?
- So Much For Civility...
- Generation Y's "Stimulus"
- Sarkozy - Obama Incredibly Naive and Egotistical
- Common Sense Not Allowed
- Spurring Voter Participation
- He's Done It Again
- Beating Paralysis
- The Next Shoe To Drop?
- Keep Rockin' The Vote
- The Heart of The Debate
- When France Attacks...
- Biting The Hand That Feeds You