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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ann Coulter: ... More Liberal Lies About National Healthcare!

A Statistical Analysis of Maritime Unemployment Rates, 1946-1948. Just Kidding, More Liberal Lies About National Healthcare!
by Ann Coulter

(17) America's low ranking on international comparisons of infant mortality proves other countries' socialist health care systems are better than ours.

America has had a comparatively high infant mortality rate since we've been measuring these things, going back to at least the '20s. This was the case long before European countries adopted their cradle-to-grave welfare schemes and all while the U.S. was the wealthiest country on Earth.

One factor contributing to the U.S.'s infant mortality rate is that blacks have intractably high infant mortality rates -- irrespective of age, education, socioeconomic status and so on. No one knows why.

Neither medical care nor discrimination can explain it: Hispanics in the U.S. have lower infant mortality rates than either blacks or whites. Give Switzerland or Japan our ethnically diverse population and see how they stack up on infant mortality rates.

Even with a higher-risk population, the alleged differences in infant mortality are negligible. We're talking about 7 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in the U.S. compared to 5 deaths per 1,000 for Britain and Canada. This is a rounding error -- perhaps literally when you consider that the U.S. tabulates every birth, even in poor, small and remote areas, while other countries are not always so meticulous.

But the international comparisons in "infant mortality" rates aren't comparing the same thing, anyway. We also count every baby who shows any sign of life, irrespective of size or weight at birth.

By contrast, in much of Europe, babies born before 26 weeks' gestation are not considered "live births." Switzerland only counts babies who are at least 30 centimeters long (11.8 inches) as being born alive. In Canada, Austria and Germany, only babies weighing at least a pound are considered live births.

And of course, in Milan it's not considered living if the baby isn't born within driving distance of the Côte d'Azur.

By excluding the little guys, these countries have simply redefined about one-third of what we call "infant deaths" in America as "miscarriages."

Moreover, many industrialized nations, such as France, Hong Kong and Japan -- the infant mortality champion -- don't count infant deaths that occur in the 24 hours after birth. Almost half of infant deaths in the U.S. occur in the first day.

Also contributing to the higher mortality rate of U.S. newborns: Peter Singer lives here.

But members of Congress, such as Reps. Dennis Kucinich, Jim Moran and John Olver, have all cited the U.S.'s relatively poor ranking in infant mortality among developed nations as proof that our medical care sucks. This is despite the fact that in many countries a baby born the size of Dennis Kucinich would not be considered a live birth.

Apart from the fact that we count -- and try to save -- all our babies, infant mortality is among the worst measures of a nation's medical care because so much of it is tied to lifestyle choices, such as the choice to have children out of wedlock, as teenagers or while addicted to crack.

The main causes of infant mortality -- aside from major birth defects -- are prematurity and low birth-weight. And the main causes of low birth-weight are: smoking, illegitimacy and teenage births. Americans lead most of the developed world in all three categories. Oh, and thank you for that, Britney Spears.

Although we have a lot more low birth-weight and premature babies for both demographic and lifestyle reasons, at-risk newborns are more likely to survive in America than anywhere else in the world. Japan, Norway and the other countries with better infant mortality rates would see them go through the roof if they had to deal with the same pregnancies that American doctors do.

As Nicholas Eberstadt demonstrates in his book "The Tyranny of Numbers: Mismeasurement and Misrule," American hospitals do so well with low birth-weight babies that if Japan had our medical care with their low birth-weight babies, another third of their babies would survive, making it even harder for an American kid to get into MIT.

But I think it's terrific that liberals are finally willing to start looking at outcomes to judge a system. I say we start right away with the public schools!

In international comparisons, American 12th-graders rank in the 14th percentile in math and the 29th percentile in science. The U.S. outperformed only Cyprus and South Africa in general math and science knowledge. Worse, Asian countries didn't participate in the last 12th-grade assessment tests.

Imagine how much worse our public schools would look -- assuming that were possible -- if we allowed other countries to exclude one-half of their worst performers!

That's exactly what liberals are doing when they tout America's rotten infant mortality rate compared to other countries. They look for any category that makes our medical care look worse than the rest of the world -- and then neglect to tell us that the rest of the world counts our premature and low birth-weight babies as "miscarriages."

As long as American liberals are going to keep announcing that they're embarrassed for their country, how about being embarrassed by our public schools or by our ridiculous trial lawyer culture that other countries find laughable?

Don't be discouraged, liberals -- when it comes to utterly frivolous lawsuits against obstetricians presented to illiterate jurors so that John and Elizabeth Edwards can live in an 80-room house, we're still No. 1!

Ann Coulter is Legal Affairs Correspondent for HUMAN EVENTS and author of "High Crimes and Misdemeanors," "Slander," ""How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)," "Godless," "If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans" and most recently, Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and their Assault on America.

Editor's comment: Anne: I hope eventually you will tell us what your solutions are!


I Had Chinese Food Yesterday In Leitchfield Kentucky; Kentucky Speaker Of The House, Greg Stumbo, Is Off To China On Trade Mission.

House Speaker Stumbo to represent
KY in major trade mission to China

Frankfort – House Speaker Greg Stumbo and a select group of legislative leaders from more than 30 other states will travel to China in November for the first-ever “Sino-US Provincial Legislative Leaders Forum.”
“I’m excited about discussing a number of trade issues,” said Speaker Stumbo, who will represent Kentucky. “According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Kentucky’s exports to China have grown more than 800 percent since 2000, and now total more than $600 million a year. While these numbers are impressive, there is significant room for growth. This trade mission will help us build on those gains and see what more the General Assembly can do. One area in particular I want to explore is expanding markets for Kentucky coal.”
With that in mind, Speaker Stumbo is asking members of the Kentucky Coal Association to provide him with information about opportunities in Eastern and Western Kentucky that he could share with Chinese business leaders and government officials.
The meeting, which will be held from Nov. 10th-15th and has been two years in the making, is being hosted by the China Association for International Friendly Contact and the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF), which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works with an estimated 350 House and Senate leaders nationwide. Speaker Stumbo is one of 54 state legislators scheduled to attend, with 11 serving either as House Speaker or Senate President.
In a letter to those invited, the president of SLLF wrote, “This will be an historic program, bringing together U.S. state legislative leaders and business leaders from across America with high-ranking Chinese business and political leaders to discuss issues of mutual interest and expand opportunities for trade and investment.”
As a sponsor of the event, SLLF is covering the cost of air fare, lodging and meals.

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Kentucky Senate President, David Williams, Defends His Opposition To Expanded Gambling. Read More Below.

Check out the C-J's Williams defends casino stance by following the link, or the article below:
By David L. Williams

I never cease to be amazed by the manner in which slot interests and their spokesmen, such as Bill Farish, continue to mislead Kentuckians. The proposed expansion of gambling in Kentucky is bad economic policy for the state and for the horse industry. Those tied to the slots may do their best to raise the specter of false divisions and false hope, but the reality of the situation is unchanged.

Fact #1: Expanded gambling will flood Kentucky with funds that will skew our body politic.

Bill Farish failed to mention his family's financial affiliation with the tracks as well as to the 527 “issues” group formed by the tracks and their supporters to circumvent campaign finance laws in order to intimidate legislators to support slots. During the recent special election, his pro-slots 527 ran negative ads that never even once mentioned slots. State after state with gambling in the mix has been rife with stories of political corruption.

Fact #2: Once slots arrive, horse owners and trainers will get the short end of the stick.

In Florida, horsemen have complained that their promised doubling of purses has never materialized. In Ohio, under the governor's executive orders, owners were left to their own devices to negotiate purses with the slots people. In West Virginia, purse money was shifted back to state government to make up for shortfalls. And in Kentucky, have we forgotten the bitter battle waged by Churchill Downs attempting to force our horsemen to accept a smaller slice of the revenue from Internet bets? Or the fact that Churchill Downs pays to transport horses to its own Arlington Park in Chicago in direct competition with Ellis Park? Once slots come in the picture, players will thrill to the speed of the machine and ignore the speed of our ponies.

Fact #3: Slots will not “save” Kentucky's budget.

Gambling is an unstable source of revenue. In spite of gambling, Illinois raised taxes. Hardly a session has passed without Indiana's casinos and racinos asking for yet another tax break. And gambling revenues are in a decline nationwide, sending governments addicted to them scurrying for additional funds.

Fact #4: The horse business is beset with problems endemic to the industry itself.

The horse industry acknowledges that it breeds too many horses and runs too many races in a national economy that is fragile. Racing fans are growing older. The industry's weak marketing has done little to help. Very few people these days have the discretionary cash to plunk down a cool million for a horse, or even tens of thousands of dollars.

During the special legislative session in June, Senate Democrats and Republicans unanimously passed legislation that would have nearly doubled funding for the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund and actually doubled funding for the Kentucky Breeders' Incentive Fund without slots. Our plan would have kept the KEES scholarship program whole and not hurt charitable gambling. It would not have used any General Fund dollars.

The House plan would have forked over more than 50 percent of the revenue to the tracks and massively undervalued the license fees the tracks would have had to pay. All businesses are suffering in this economy, yet the tracks insist that they and they alone deserve special treatment.

When the House introduced its gambling bill during the 2008 session, committee members were mysteriously replaced in order to ensure passage. The 2009 version was heard in a committee that didn't even allow the opposition to testify. Finally, with the addition of over $1 billion worth of projects, the bill barely passed during the special session. It was a far cry from the fair hearing the bill received in the Senate committee, where both sides were allowed to air their views.

The House plan relied on Kentuckians gambling a whopping $11.9 billion — a figure that represents five times more than what is currently wagered at the tracks, at out-of-state casinos and through charitable gambling. Where are these players going to come from? With gambling already in many of our sister states, slots will only cannibalize our own people — our most vulnerable sacrificed for what a horse industry insider, Ray Paulick, calls a “band-aid” solution.

We need to explore all the ways Kentucky horsemen can control their own future, because as Churchill Downs trainer Michael Lauer recently noted, “… Once the tracks get the slots, the horsemen become secondary citizens.” I respectfully would amend that quote to include all Kentuckians.

Sen. David L. Williams, R-Burkesville, is president of the Kentucky Senate.

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United States Senate Committee "Deep Sixes" Public Option For Healthcare Reform. Watch Video.


Need A Reason Why Good People SHUN Politics? Here's One. This Is NOT How Our Founding Fathers Would Have Wanted Democracy To Happen. Read More Below.

ACORN: "You Can Stop Filming Now". LOL.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ex California GOP CONgressman John Doolittle & Wife Named In Corruption Case. His Name "Dolittle" Should Have Tipped Off Voters, But SADLY It Didn't!

Ex-California Rep. Doolittle, wife named in corruption case
Steve Wiegand

Federal prosecutors named former Rep. John Doolittle as an unindicted co-conspirator in a corruption case against one of Doolittle's former aides.

In documents filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., last week, the government also alleged Doolittle's wife, Julia, and nine other people were co-conspirators of Kevin A. Ring.

Neither Doolittle, who last year did not seek a 10th term representing the sprawling 4th Congressional District, nor his wife has been charged with a crime. They could not be reached for comment Monday.

Ring, whose trial began Sept. 11, is charged with 10 counts, including bribery and conspiracy to commit fraud, in connection with his work as a lobbyist for the firm of Jack Abramoff.

Once one of Washington's leading influence peddlers, Abramoff is serving a prison sentence after pleading guilty to corruption charges in 2006.

A former legislative director to Doolittle, Ring was indicted last September for allegedly supplying congressional and executive branch officials with gifts and questionable jobs in return for favorable treatment to clients of Abramoff's firm.

Editor's comment: go to SacBee for more.

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BOMBSHELL: Dan Mongiardo Is Heard On Tape "Dissing" Steve Beshear As State's "WORST" Governor, Warns That "A Blow Up" Is Coming. Listen. WOW!

Read more here, and listen to the tape recording below:

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Steve Nunn To Get Psychiatric Evaluation To Determine "Criminal Responsib[ity]" For Accusation Concerning Amanda Ross' Death.

Read more from the H-L, or excerpts below:

Nunn to get psychiatric evaluation
By Ashlee Clark

Former state Rep. Steve Nunn's attorney and prosecutors agreed Tuesday to ask a Fayette district court judge to order a psychiatric evaluation of Nunn.

Nunn is accused of killing his former fiancée Amanda Ross on Sept. 11 outside her home.

The evaluation's purpose is to determine whether Nunn was criminally responsible for his actions, said Brian Mattone, first assistant county attorney.

He will be evaluated by Comprehensive Care.

"How Falsehoods Spread".

How falsehoods spread
By David Walton

Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein's succinct and cogent little book On Rumors proves to be both timely and prophetic. Written before the current debate on health care reform, it throws considerable light both on the way public perceptions of the proposed reforms have become tainted with misunderstanding, misinformation and outright lies, and on the way that public debate — the very cornerstone of the democratic system — rather than reaching for compromise, has become increasingly polarized and vehement.

Sunstein writes for the general reader, and this is the kind of book you wish everyone would read. In plain, simple prose, using a number of scientific studies and a select number of precedents and examples, Sunstein sets out two goals. First, to explain why we accept rumors, even false, destructive and bizarre ones.

The second is to explain what we can do to protect ourselves against false rumors — an urgent question, in the rapid-fire era of Internet dissemination.

We believe a rumor, not too surprisingly, because we are predisposed to believe it. “The false rumor that Gov. Sarah Palin thought that Africa was a nation rather than a continent gave her critics pleasure. Those who disapproved of her undoubtedly enjoyed believing that she had made such an absurd blunder.”

On a similar note, a World War II rumor that soldiers over 35 were about to be discharged was spread exclusively among soldiers over 35.

Less predictably, it turns out that attempts to counter a rumor with fact or logic are often counterproductive, and serve only to entrench the rumor, and make those who believe it more passionate and intractable.

“Even more troublesome,” says Sunstein, “is the finding that the correction of false perceptions can increase our commitments to those perceptions….This phenomenon comes with an unlovely label: biased assimilation.”

The traditional belief has been that any regulation of free speech must inevitably have a “chilling effect” on necessary dissent: “If they fear lawsuits, whistleblowers, experts, journalists and bloggers might keep their judgments and opinions to themselves,” Sunstein writes.

Sunstein, however, argues for a judicious application of that very chilling effect to Internet postings. He proposes three “modest ideas,” which include: a general right to demand retraction if a statement is both false and damaging; on the Internet in particular, a right to “notice and take down”; and a cap on damages awarded, for example at $15,000.

Based on legal history and precedent, Sunstein's arguments are compelling and persuasive, and well worth reading in their entirety.

“We hardly need to imagine a world,” he writes, “in which people and institutions are being harmed by the rapid spread of damaging falsehoods via the Internet. We live in that world.”

David Walton is a writer and critic who lives in Pittsburgh.


Tin Foil Hatters: POTUS Barack Obama Is A Nazi/Hitler.


Monday, September 28, 2009

Secret Service Probing Facebook Poll On Whether POTUS Barack Obama Should Be Assssinated. Tin Foil Hatters, I Tell Ya!

Read more from AP.

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BREAKING News: Amanda Ross' Family Files "Wrongful Death" Lawsuit Against Steve Nunn. "Man, That Didn't Take Long...".

Read the lawsuit here, and the comment here.

"You Commit Three Felonies A Day; Laws Have Become Too Vague And The Concept Of Intent Has Disappeared."

You Commit Three Felonies a Day
Laws have become too vague and the concept of intent has disappeared.


When we think about the pace of change in technology, it's usually to marvel at how computing power has become cheaper and faster or how many new digital ways we have to communicate. Unfortunately, this pace of change is increasingly clashing with some of the slower-moving parts of our culture.

Technology moves so quickly we can barely keep up, and our legal system moves so slowly it can't keep up with itself. By design, the law is built up over time by court decisions, statutes and regulations. Sometimes even criminal laws are left vague, to be defined case by case. Technology exacerbates the problem of laws so open and vague that they are hard to abide by, to the point that we have all become potential criminals.

Boston civil-liberties lawyer Harvey Silverglate calls his new book "Three Felonies a Day," referring to the number of crimes he estimates the average American now unwittingly commits because of vague laws. New technology adds its own complexity, making innocent activity potentially criminal.

Mr. Silverglate describes several cases in which prosecutors didn't understand or didn't want to understand technology. This problem is compounded by a trend that has accelerated since the 1980s for prosecutors to abandon the principle that there can't be a crime without criminal intent.

In 2001, a man named Bradford Councilman was charged in Massachusetts with violating the wiretap laws. He worked at a company that offered an online book-listing service and also acted as an Internet service provider to book dealers. As an ISP, the company routinely intercepted and copied emails as part of the process of shuttling them through the Web to recipients.

The federal wiretap laws, Mr. Silverglate writes, were "written before the dawn of the Internet, often amended, not always clear, and frequently lagging behind the whipcrack speed of technological change." Prosecutors chose to interpret the ISP role of momentarily copying messages as they made their way through the system as akin to impermissibly listening in on communications. The case went through several rounds of litigation, with no judge making the obvious point that this is how ISPs operate. After six years, a jury found Mr. Councilman not guilty.

Other misunderstandings of the Web criminalize the exercise of First Amendment rights. A Saudi student in Idaho was charged in 2003 with offering "material support" to terrorists. He had operated Web sites for a Muslim charity that focused on normal religious training, but was prosecuted on the theory that if a user followed enough links off his site, he would find violent, anti-American comments on other sites. The Internet is a series of links, so if there's liability for anything in an online chain, it would be hard to avoid prosecution.

Mr. Silverglate, a liberal who wrote a previous book taking the conservative position against political correctness on campuses, is a persistent, principled critic of overbroad statutes. This is a common problem in securities laws, which Congress leaves intentionally vague, encouraging regulators and prosecutors to try people even when the law is unclear. He reminds us of the long prosecution of Silicon Valley investment banker Frank Quattrone, which after five years resulted in a reversal of his criminal conviction on vague charges of obstruction of justice.

These miscarriages are avoidable. Under the English common law we inherited, a crime requires intent. This protection is disappearing in the U.S. As Mr. Silverglate writes, "Since the New Deal era, Congress has delegated to various administrative agencies the task of writing the regulations," even as "Congress has demonstrated a growing dysfunction in crafting legislation that can in fact be understood." Prosecutors identify defendants to go after instead of finding a law that was broken and figuring out who did it. Expect more such prosecutions as Washington adds regulations.

Sometimes legislators know when they make false distinctions based on technology. An "anti-cyberbullying" proposal is making its way through Congress, prompted by the tragic case of a 13-year-old girl driven to suicide by the mother of a neighbor posing as a teenage boy and posting abusive messages on MySpace. The law would prohibit using the Internet to "coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person." Imagine a law that tried to apply this control of speech to letters, editorials or lobbying.

Mr. Silverglate, who will testify against the bill later this week, tells me he figures that "being emotionally distressed is just part of living in a free society." New technologies like the Web, he concludes, "scare legislators because they don't understand them and want to control them, even as they become a normal part of life."

In a complex world of new technologies, there is more need than ever for clear rules of the road. Americans should expect that a crime requires bad intent and also that Congress and prosecutors will try to create clarity, not uncertainty. Our legal system has a lot of catching up to do to work smoothly with the rest of our lives.


Chicago Police Need Your Help With Solving The Killing Of 16-Year-Old Fenger High School Student, Derrion Albert. Watch Video. WARNING: Graphic!

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Harold Meyerson's "The Truth About Acorn". Read My Comments.

The truth about Acorn

So what does ACORN actually do, anyway?

The embattled community organizing group is much in the news these days, thanks to the idiocies of a handful of now-suspended staffers having been filmed and YouTubed by a right-wing sting squad. Most of the stories present ACORN as, at best, a shady organization up to no good in America's inner cities, not to mention the nation's primary source of voting fraud.

What's been obscured amid all the polemics, or the polemics passing as news reports, is what ACORN is and does. Founded in Little Rock in 1970 as an organization agitating for free school lunches, Vietnam veterans' rights and more hospital emergency rooms, ACORN has grown in the past four decades into the nation's largest community organizing group. Based in low-income neighborhoods, it has nearly 500,000 dues-paying members, recruited by door-to-door canvassers, with chapters in 110 cities in 40 states. Nationwide, it has more than 1,000 staffers.

What are the projects on which all these staffers and members work? Raising the minimum wage, for one. ACORN conceived and led the successful initiative campaign to raise the wage in Florida in 2004 and in four more states in 2006. In the past four years, it successfully pressured seven legislatures in other states to raise their minimum wage as well.

Another major campaign has been to limit the interest and fees that banks charge homeowners. In the 1990s, ACORN spearheaded a number of legal actions, often joined by states' attorneys general, that compelled such lenders as Citigroup to change many of their practices. The group has led successful drives to outlaw the most egregious predatory lending in nine states. It also counsels thousands of inner-city homeowners and home buyers.

ACORN's third focus has been to expand the electorate. In the 2007-08 election cycle, it registered 1.3 million new voters in the nation's inner cities. This activity particularly vexed many Republican politicians, who have repeatedly accused the organization of massive voter fraud. The Bush administration's politicization of the Justice Department — its widely reported firing of U.S. attorneys for their failure to bring voter fraud indictments (all of them looked and could find scarcely any instances of same) — stemmed from the administration's apparent desire to depress minority turnout, a goal it sought to accomplish by demonizing ACORN.

Now, how much of this would you know from following the stories about ACORN that have been running in even the best of the media? Little to nothing, as Peter Dreier, a professor of politics at Occidental College, and Christopher R. Martin, a professor of journalism at University of Northern Iowa, just concluded in an exhaustive study of news coverage of ACORN. Looking at the 647 stories on the group that ran in leading newspapers and broadcast networks in 2007 and 2008, they found that not only did a majority of such stories focus on allegations of voter fraud but also that 83 percent of the stories that linked ACORN to those allegations failed to mention that actual instances of voter fraud were all but nonexistent.

“Only a handful of the stories in The New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal ,” Dreier and Martin note, “mentioned that actual cases of voter fraud were very rare” — even though all three papers had covered the firings of the U.S. attorneys for their failure to find such cases. But the steady drumbeat from right-wing pundits and journalists about ACORN and voter fraud, the authors conclude, eventually set the terms of discussion even at elite mainstream media.

Nonetheless, the mainstream media have also come under attack for not giving greater play to the most recent round of alleged ACORN scandals because the stories were first aired on the TV broadcasts of such right-wing polemicists as Glenn Beck. On Sunday, The Post's ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, wrote that “one explanation may be that traditional news outlets like The Post simply don't pay sufficient attention to conservative media or viewpoints.” Dreier and Martin's study makes clear that in the case of ACORN, the reverse is true.

Dreier and Martin also note that newspapers in cities where ACORN has long been active against predatory lending and in voter registration — they studied the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette , the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Cleveland Plain Dealer — provided more balanced stories and relied less on partisan sources than the national papers did. But with some national newspapers shuttering their domestic bureaus, the truth about ACORN — the nation's premier tribune for the poor — may be harder and harder to find.

Harold Meyerson is editor-at-large of American Prospect and the L.A. Weekly.

Editor's comment: Mr. Mayerson: A picture is worth a thousand words, and in Acorn, we have millions of words by way of pictures of their nefarious actions.


Words To Live By.

"Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason and the mind becomes a wreck."

-- Thomas Jefferson


At The United Nations, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Explains Why The Holocaust Didn't Happen -- Yet, As Seen By Nick Anderson.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Al Cross Continues His Crusade To Get Kentucky's Tin Foil Hatters To "See The Light". I Say: Good Luck, Man. More Grease To Your Writing Elbows!

Obama column stirred reactions

It's nice to know that people read what you write. It would be even nicer if all understood it. But sometimes even misunderstandings can lead to more dialogue, and to greater understanding.

I'd like to think that about my last column, which decried the ignorance, suspicion, fear and hatred of President Obama that I said has been “much in evidence this month” in Kentucky. It got more reaction from readers than anything I have written in 35 years of writing about politics in this state.

The reaction was about evenly divided. There was a lot of heat, but also some light.

Perhaps the first online comment, and the first reply to it, summed up the reaction:

A reader wrote, “It is not hate to disagree with someone's ideas.”

“Agreed,” another replied, “but you can hardly say that a sizeable chunk of these people don't also just hate him outright.”

Contrary to the reaction of the first correspondent and a few others, the column didn't call all opponents of Obama ignorant or hateful. The hateful appear to account for a small minority of the opponents, though they have received disproportionate media attention, making them look like a “sizeable chunk,” especially to Obama supporters.

Hate often starts with ignorance, which leads to suspicion, which leads to fear, which leads to hate. Our state and nation have too much of all four right now. That has led to a marked decline in the civility needed to find common ground, and that should concern all people of good will, regardless of their political beliefs.

Your columnist is not without blame. My apologies to state Republican Chairman Steve Robertson, who applied the adjective “creepy” to the plans surrounding Obama's speech to school children, not to the speech itself.

The most interesting and intense reactions came from people who thought their opposition to Obama was being equated with racism, though the column made only a glancing reference to race, saying his campaign left room for the weeds of ignorance, suspicion, fear and hate to grow wrote off Kentucky after exit polls showed much of the opposition to him in last year's Democratic primary election was racially based.

Some read “hate” as a synonym for “racism,” which it often is, but not primarily in this case, I think. My life's experience and my recent mail tell me that there are plenty of people who are completely unmoved by race but have been whipped up by misinformation and demagoguery into hating what they think Obama stands for: Marxism, socialism, fascism, or other such fanciful notions.

Better-informed opponents of Obama are simply concerned that he is a decidedly liberal President whose fiscal policies are dangerous. They don't like being lumped in with racists, and they shouldn't be. But they need to realize they are on the same side of the political battlefield with them, and do what they can to marginalize them.

At the same time, those on Obama's side need to think hard before playing the race card.

Former President Jimmy Carter, 84, was off base when he said “an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity” for Obama “is based on the fact that he is a black man.” Even if you very narrowly defined “intense animosity” and applied a very low threshold for “overwhelming,” that still might not be true.

Carter spoke from his experience as a politician who advocated civil rights in the face of entrenched race hatred, but he had no current data to support his assertion. And even if such data existed, playing the race card does little if anything to advance the debate about the issues facing the nation.

When the debate devolves into folks on the extremes yelling at each other, it's pretty hard to find common ground for the common good. Those who have mixed and moderate views are unwilling or unable to make themselves heard. That was the ultimate point of the column, and of this one.

Thanks to all who took time to write. I especially appreciated the comments of Ken Stammerman of Louisville, a Democrat and former State Department officer in the Middle East:

“I am concerned that the coarseness and ignorant speech of the Obama haters is operating as a kind of Gresham's law, the bad driving out the good at least on the right, where responsible conservative voices are silent. The crazies and racists go to the fore when they think they have numbers on their side, and in Kentucky, they may have the numbers. I've seen hatred worsen when otherwise responsible political leaders let it grow or even feed it for temporary political advantage. Your colleagues with experience of the Middle East conflicts can add to what I've seen in places like Hebron and Jerusalem.”

Al Cross, former Courier-Journal political writer, is director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky. His e-mail address is His views are his own, not those of the University of Kentucky.


POTUS Barack Obama's Healthcare Debate Is On Every T. V. Channel. LOL.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Steve Nunn's Case Sent To Grand Jury, "[His] Lawyer, Astrida Lemkins, Declined Comment After The Brief Hearing." WOW! That's A FIRST, I'm Sure!!

Murder charge against Nunn sent to grand jury
By BRUCE SCHREINER - Associated Press Writer

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- A Kentucky politician charged with killing his ex-girlfriend waived a preliminary court hearing Friday, setting up a grand jury review of the murder case involving the former state lawmaker and one-time gubernatorial aspirant.

A grim-looking Steve Nunn participated in the hearing by video hookup from the Fayette County Detention Center, two weeks after Amanda Ross, 29, was shot to death outside her Lexington home. Family and friends of Ross sat in the courtroom wearing badges showing her picture and the word "remember."

Nunn, dressed in a jailhouse jumpsuit, showed no emotion and spoke only when Fayette County District Judge Julie Goodman asked if he could see his attorney. Nunn replied he could.

Nunn pleaded not guilty last week.

Goodman scheduled a hearing next Tuesday that could delve into a prosecution motion to require Nunn to provide a DNA sample and whether he will undergo a psychological evaluation.

Nunn's lawyer, Astrida Lemkins, declined comment after the brief hearing.

Evidence In "Fed" Killing Of Census Worker Bill Sparkman In Kentucky Points To "Tin Foil Hatters With Drug Connections.

Witness says census worker bound, naked
Coroner confirms ‘Fed' written on victim found in graveyard
From Staff and Wire Dispatches

A part-time U.S. Census worker discovered with a rope around his neck and tied to a tree in a Daniel Boone National Forest cemetery two weeks ago was naked, with his hands and feet bound with duct tape, an Ohio man who found him said Friday.

Jerry Weaver of Fairfield, Ohio, told The Associated Press that he was with a group of relatives looking at family gravesites when they discovered the body of Bill Sparkman, 51, on Sept. 12.

“The only thing he had on was a pair of socks,” Weaver said. “And they had duct taped his hands, his wrists. He had duct tape over his eyes, and they gagged him with a red rag or something.”

The Clay County coroner, Jim Trosper, confirmed Friday that the word “Fed” was written on Sparkman's chest with what appeared to have been a felt-tipped pen.

Why the word was written, or by whom, Trosper and other officials aren't saying. Spokesmen for the Kentucky State Police and the FBI said Friday only that they were still trying to determine if Sparkman died of foul play and if so, whether it was connected to his job as a federal employee.

Weaver, who works for a family topsoil business in Fairfield, said he was in town for a family reunion and was visiting gravesites at a cemetery in the forest when he and relatives came across Sparkman's body.

Weaver said “they even had duct tape around his neck.”

“And they had like his identification tag on his neck,” he said. “They had it duct-taped to the side of his neck, on the right side, almost on his right shoulder.”

Weaver said he couldn't tell if the tag was a Census Bureau I.D. He said he didn't get close enough to read it.

State police have said the state medical examiner determined that Sparkman, of London, died of asphyxiation, but clarified Friday that was a preliminary determination pending a full medical examination of the body. Police haven't determined if Sparkman's death was an accident, a homicide or a suicide. The rope around Sparkman's neck was tied to a tree, but he was in contact with the ground in a remote area of the forest near a cemetery, police said.

The scene left Weaver without a doubt how Sparkman died.

“He was murdered,” he said. “There's no doubt.”

Weaver said the body was about 50 yards from a 2003 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck. He said Sparkman's clothes were in the bed of the truck.

“His tailgate was down,” Weaver said. “I thought he could have been killed somewhere else and brought there and hanged up for display, or they actually could have killed him right there. It was a bad, bad scene.”

Editor's note: to continue reading the intriquing story, go here.

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Tin Foil Hatters United.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Former Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman And Former Senator Ted Kennedy Confidant, Paul Kirk Jr, Is Sworn In As His Successor. Watch Video.

Did you know the GOP tried to block the Kirk appointment?

Shameful, isn't it?

Did you hear that he will not run for the office during the special election?

Impressive, isn't it?

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"Women For Mongiardo" Will Host Fundraiser In Louisville On Monday, September 28, 2009. Read More Below.

Eleanor Jordan & Virginia Woodward
with Women for Mongiardo
invite you to a reception honoring
Lt. Governor Dr. Daniel Mongiardo
Candidate for US Senate

Monday, September 28, 2009
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

The Willow
1400 Willow Avenue, 4th Floor

Hors d’oeuvres by Victoria’s
$25 - $50 - $100 contributions requested
Contribute online or at the door


Hosts: Barbara Gould, Hon. Eleanor Jordan, Lois Combs Weinberg, Virginia L. Woodward and Dr. James D. Woodward, Hon. Robin Webb

Sponsors: Milly Diehl, Ann Ellerkamp, Betsy Nowland Curry, Hon. Tim Shaughnessy

Supporters: Hon. Linda Belcher, Hon. Perry Clark and Sheila Clark, Mariann Guidugli Dunn, Ruth Lerner and Brian Sherry, Bonny Manning, Lissy Plattner, Margaret Plattner, Cathy Shannon, Sally Thalheimer, Dr. Susan Turner, Candace Witte, Alayne White, Sandy Woodward, Aimee Boyle Wulfeck, Sheila Yancey

Friends: Patsy Blevins, Donna Britton, Hon. Tom Burch, Hon. Sherry Conner, Lindsay Crawford, Marilyn Crider, Diana Darnell, Gerry Ellis, Arnita Gadson, Edward Halbig, Diane Hancock, Margaret Harris, Chris Kellogg, Celeste Lanier, Sue Orth, Charleen Rabold, Sandra Higgins Stinson, Bobbi Jo Weber, Christal Williams

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Trey Grayson Takes On ACORN. Good For Him. Read More Below.

Dear Friends,

I am sure you have seen recent reports exposing the corruption of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) after several of their employees were caught on hidden video attempting to aid tax evasion, prostitution and other illegal activities.

This is the same group that was investigated for turning in fraudulent voter registration cards in several states in the last election.
Unfortunately our tax dollars have been funding this left-wing organization for years. Since 1994 ACORN has received at least $53 million in taxpayer funding. Republicans in Congress are working to cut off the funding and asking federal agencies to rescind recently awarded grants, but according to a recent report "House

Democratic leaders are making no promises that the defunding measures will actually make it into the final version of the housing appropriations bill."
As your Secretary of State I am proud to have taken action against ACORN and other groups engaging in "pay-per-card" voter registration activities in Kentucky. I wrote a bill in 2006 that prohibits payment to individuals for voter registration activities based on the number of voters registered. We were able to find bi-partisan sponsors for this bill who shepherded it to passage in the Kentucky General Assembly, and that law has prevented voter fraud shenanigans in Kentucky similar to what ACORN was accused of undertaking in other states in 2008.

Incredibly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has rejected a call by 28 Republican Senators to hold a Congressional inquiry into the activities of ACORN. If I am elected as your U.S. Senator next year, I will continue my efforts to fight voter fraud and corruption.

The activities of ACORN and its employees and directors deserve close scrutiny, and those who have violated the law should be prosecuted.
If you want to write Harry Reid to demand an investigation of this corrupt organization, you may email him here.

Thanks for your support for my campaign for U.S. Senate.


Trey Grayson

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Holy Cr*p. All That TARP Money May Be For Naught. Listen To Neil Barofsky, The 39 Year Old Responsible For Administering The Funds.

Kentucky Registry Of Election Finance (KREF) SLAPS Former Lt. Governor Steve Henry With $10,000.00 Fine, Crminal Charges Could Follow. OUCH!

Henry to pay $10,000 fine for campaign violations
By Joseph Gerth

Former Lt. Gov. Steve Henry has agreed to pay a $10,000 fine and to stop raising money to repay what’s left of more than $1 million in loans he made to his 2007 gubernatorial campaign as a settlement of charges leveled against him by the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.

That now clears the way for a special prosecutor to decide if he will seek criminal charges against Henry in connection with his gubernatorial campaign and a federal fundraising account that Henry said was exploring a 2008 race for the U.S. Senate.

The registry voted Friday to accept an agreement negotiated by the registry staff and Henry's lawyer.

The registry had previously found that Henry illegally accepted contributions greater than state law allows from six people, inaccurately reported the rental value of three computers as an in-kind contribution, gave incomplete descriptions of donors and accepted contributions from six people who laundered money from an employee of an eastern Kentucky road contractor.

But the most important charges had to do with the illegal use of a secondary campaign account, making it difficult for auditors to trace contributions and expenditures. State law requires that all campaign money be deposited into a primary campaign account before it moved to secondary accounts.

The violations are all to be considered “non-knowing,” meaning that Henry didn’t intentionally violate the law.

Special prosecutor James Crawford, the commonwealth’s attorney for Carroll, Grant and Owen counties, had asked for an audit of Henry’s account after former campaign workers accused Henry of various violations of state law, including using a Senate exploratory committee to lay the groundwork for a gubernatorial run.

State law doesn’t allow for exploratory committees in state races.

The agreement between Henry and the Registry says that Henry must close his campaign account by November, said registry chairman Craig Dilger. At that point, Henry wouldn’t be allowed to recoup whatever money is still owed him by the campaign, Dilger said.

According to his annual report in 2008, a year and a half after his loss in the 2007 Democratic primary, Henry’s campaign had not repaid him any of the $1,016,000 he loaned the campaign. ... .

Editor's comment: OUCH!

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Eugene Robinson: [Former United States Senator, John Edwards, Is] The Worst Kind Of Cad." I, WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE!

The worst kind of cad
By Eugene Robinson

WASHINGTON — Pretty much by definition, a man who can be described as a cad is not a wholly admirable human being. There are, however, cads whose behavior shows a certain panache, an undeniable flair, a sense of humor and a genuine, if deeply flawed, humanity. Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, I would argue, is one of these “lovable rogue” cads.

John Edwards is not. His caddishness, it appears, has no redeeming social or political value. He's just a bad cad.

According to widely published reports, a former close Edwards aide has shopped a book proposal in which he claims that the former presidential candidate is indeed the father of his mistress' 19-month-old daughter — which Edwards has categorically denied. The aide, Andrew Young, is in a position to know: When the affair was revealed, Young allowed himself to be named as the child's father. That was a lie, Young now says, intended to salvage what was left of Edwards' political career.

But that's not the worst of it — and certainly not the tackiest. Young further claims that Edwards promised the mistress, Rielle Hunter, that he would marry her after his wife, Elizabeth, had died of her inoperable cancer. And that they would have a rooftop ceremony in New York. And that there would be music by the Dave Matthews Band.

That may be the most caddish thing I've ever heard.

I used to like John Edwards a lot. No, I wasn't dazzled by the perfect smile or the perfect $400 haircuts or the perfect unctuousness with which he looked you in the eye and projected a top-dollar trial lawyer's showy sincerity. Whenever I had a conversation with him, I felt as if I were in a jury box listening to a well-rehearsed closing argument.

I liked the fact that all his artifice and ambition were right there on the surface. I liked his combativeness, his skill as a debater, his quick intelligence. I liked his personal saga — his up-from-the-mills rise to the top. I liked his family, and I especially liked the story of his family — the long marriage that had survived so many cruel tests. At a lunch we had in 2006, I asked about Elizabeth, whose cancer was in remission. For a moment, the persona vanished and the person appeared. There was hope in his eyes, and love, when he told me she was still disease-free.

I thought the world of Elizabeth — her toughness, her commitment, her grace — and I guess I assumed that if she loved the guy, he couldn't be all bad. I forgot the first rule of journalism: Never assume.

So when reporters from the National Enquirer cornered Edwards at the Beverly Hilton, where he had arranged a secret meeting with Hunter and the baby, I was stunned. I knew that married men sometimes stray, especially married men who are rich, famous and male-model handsome. I also knew that cancer can be brutal on marriages, and that sometimes even the strongest don't survive. But he hadn't just betrayed his wife, he had betrayed the staffers, volunteers and voters who gave him their toil and trust. He had betrayed the Democratic Party and, potentially, the nation. What if this walking scandal had somehow won the nomination?

After all, Edwards knew the Enquirer was on his tail — the tabloid had done previous stories about the affair. Going to that meeting with mistress and “love child” in Beverly Hills showed a recklessness that was nothing short of pathological.

More pathology ensued. Edwards insisted it was a physical impossibility that he was the father of Hunter's daughter, as if the truth would never come out.

In the course of what Young describes as an elaborate subterfuge to conceal Edwards' paternity, two of the former senator's wealthy campaign donors were tapped for funds that went to Hunter as what would appear to be hush money. Edwards is being investigated by federal prosecutors for possible campaign-finance violations, though I think it will be hard for the law to lay a glove on him.

But looking forward, with his mistress, to the day when Elizabeth would die? Planning a post-funeral wedding? Choosing the rock band? Even if all this was just a fairy tale meant to reassure Hunter and keep her quiet, I can't have any “like” for John Edwards anymore. The forgivable kind of cad could never do such a thing. Only the worst kind would.

Eugene Robinson is a Washington Post columnist. His e-mail address is

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Continuing On Glenn Beck, Read Here Alexander Zaitchik's "The Making Of Glenn Beck".

The making of Glenn Beck
His roots, from the alleged suicide of his mom to Top 40 radio to the birth of the morning zoo.

By Alexander Zaitchik

Sept. 21, 2009 | Early one morning in May 1979, a 41-year-old divorcee named Mary Beck went boating in Washington's Puget Sound. Her companions on the expedition were a retired papermaker named Orean Carrol, whose boat she helped launch near the Tacoma suburb of Puyallup, and Carrol's pet dog. Exactly what happened next remains shrouded in morning mist, but among the crew, only the dog would survive the day. The boat was recovered late that afternoon adrift near Vashon Island, just north of Tacoma. It was empty but for two wallets and the frightened animal. Mary Beck's body was discovered floating fully clothed nearby. Carrol's corpse washed ashore at the Vashon ferry terminal the following morning.

The county coroner found no evidence of violence on either body. Police investigators told Tacoma's News Tribune that the double drowning appeared to be a classic man-overboard mishap -- a failed rescue attempt in which both parties perished.

At the time of Beck's death, she held custody of her 15-year-old son, Glenn, with whom she had moved to Puyallup. She had left her estranged husband William behind in Mt. Vernon, Wash., another small city 100 miles due north. After producing two daughters and a son, the Becks' marriage had collapsed in 1977 under the weight of Mary's chemical addictions and manic fits of depression. It was in the two years bridging this divorce and his mother's drowning that a teenage Glenn Beck launched one of the most bizarre and unlikely careers in the history of American broadcasting.

Since launching his talk radio career in the late '90s, Beck has constructed a persona anchored in a biography of struggle and redemption. It is a narrative with shades of another haunted Washingtonian who found entertainment fame, Kurt Cobain. Both men hailed from broken homes in the drizzly Pacific Northwest. Both men would find youthful fortune behind microphones while struggling with drugs, prescribed and recreational. Both would contemplate suicide before their tethers finally snapped in 1994. That year Cobain would wrap his mouth around a loaded shotgun. Beck, after contemplating doing the same while listening to a Nirvana album, would not.

(Editor's note: This is part one in a three-part series on Glenn Beck's roots. Read Part 2 here and Part 3 here.} To continue reading part 1, go here.

OK, maybe, I have a small affinity for Glenn Beck.


Barney Frank On Acorn: He Calls For An Investigation -- Of The Investigators. HYPOCRITE, I Tell Ya!

Barney Frank on Acorn
He calls for an investigation—of the investigators

In a letter published nearby, Representative Barney Frank takes us to task for an editorial last week in which we noted his absence from the House's 345-75 vote to defund Acorn, the "community organizing" group that has been caught on video at least five times offering advice on how to evade the authorities while enslaving children as prostitutes. Mr. Frank, whose spokesman tells us he would have voted against the measure (that is, in favor of funding Acorn), has a point. Any implication that he is trying to dodge the matter is mistaken.

Even after the recent revelations, Mr. Frank is a vigorous and unashamed defender of Acorn. Yesterday he and House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers sent a letter to the Congressional Research Service (CRS) requesting a "careful and objective analysis of a number of issues concerning ACORN." (Mr. Conyers voted to defund Acorn but later said he did so "accidentally.")

The investigation that Messrs. Frank and Conyers envision does not, to say the least, sound aggressive. They ask the researchers to get to the bottom of, among other things, "the extent to which ACORN has assisted [the] homeless." With respect to the child-prostitution sting, they ask the CRS to look into "conflicting allegations" about "the propriety of these activities"—by which they mean not the advice Acorn gave on getting away with crimes, but "the federal and state laws that could apply to such videotaping and distribution of conversations without the consent of all parties."

The Democratic duo also ask CRS whether the legislation defunding Acorn "could constitute an unlawful bill of attainder" by singling out the group—as if the refusal to continue providing federal subsidies is tantamount to punishing it for a crime. Such Constitutional scruples were not evident in March, when the pair joined all but six House Democrats (and 85 Republicans) in voting to impose a 90% tax on executives of AIG and other disfavored corporations.

Messrs. Frank and Conyers do ask if Acorn has misused federal funds or engaged in voter fraud—but the CRS is hardly in a position to investigate whether Acorn has committed such crimes. If Messrs. Frank and Conyers were serious about learning the truth, they'd send their letter to the Justice Department, not the Congressional Research Service.

Editor's comment: HYPOCRITES!

If ACORN was a Republican group, these CONgressman will be asking for Justice Department investigation.

HYPOCRITES, I tell ya!!

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We Can't Leave Acorn Alone. LOL.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

United States Senator, Jay Rockefeler, Accuses His Fellow Senators Of Selling Out, Claims "The Insurance Industry ... Is Running Some People."

Go here to watch the video.

I'm glad someone -- anyone -- is FINALLY telling the truth about the healthcare reform "debate" -- WINK -- ;).

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Speaking Of POTUS Barack Obama, He Becomes FIRST EVER American President To Preside Over The United Nations' Security Council. Watch Video.

George F. Will: [POTUS Barack] Obama And The Tire Tariffs.

Obama and the tire tariffs
By George F. Will

WASHINGTON — While in Pittsburgh, a sense of seemliness should prevent President Barack Obama from again exhorting the G-20, as he did April 2 in London, to be strong in resisting domestic pressures for protectionism. This month, invertebrate as he invariably is when organized labor barks, he imposed 35 percent tariffs on imports of tires that China makes for the low-price end of the market. This antic nonsense matters not only because of trade disruptions it may cause, but also because it is evidence of his willowy weakness under pressure from his political patrons.

In 2000, as a price of China's admission to the World Trade Organization, Congress enacted a provision for “relief from market disruption” to American industries from surges of Chinese imports. Actually, American consumers cause “disruption” in American markets when their preferences change in response to progress — better products and bargains. Never mind. Congress said disruption exists whenever imports of a product “like or directly competitive with” a U.S. product increase “rapidly” and threaten “significant” injury to a U.S. industry. Evidence of disruption includes the volume of imports of a particular product, the effect of imports on the prices of competing U.S. goods, and the effect on the U.S. industry.

Notice that China need not be guilty of any wrongdoing: It can be punished even if it is not “dumping” — not selling goods below the cost of manufacturing and distributing them. (That we consider it wrongdoing for a nation to sell us things we want at very low prices is a superstition to be marveled at another day.) And China need not be punished: Presidential action is entirely discretionary. So Barack Obama was using the sort of slippery language that increasingly defines his loquacity when he said he was simply “enforcing” a trade agreement.

None of the 10 manufacturers who comprise the domestic tire industry sought this protectionism. Seven of the 10 also make tires in other countries. Most U.S. manufacturers have stopped making low-end tires, preferring the higher profit from more expensive models. (Four U.S. companies make low-end tires in China.)

The President smote China because a single union, the United Steelworkers, asked him to. It represents rubber workers, but only those responsible for 47 percent of U.S. tiremaking. The President's action will not create more than a negligible number of jobs, if any. It will not restore a significant number, if any, of the almost 5,200 jobs that were lost in the tire industry between 2004 and 2008. Rather, the President will create jobs in other nations (e.g., Mexico, Indonesia) that make low-end tires. They make them partly because some U.S. firms have outsourced the manufacturing of such tires to low-wage countries so the U.S. firms can make a small profit, while making high-end and higher-profit tires here in high-wage America.

The 215 percent increase in tire imports from China is largely the fault, so to speak, of lower-income Americans, many of whom will respond to the Presidential increase in the cost of low-end tires by driving longer on their worn tires. How many injuries and deaths will this cause? How many jobs will it cost in tire replacement businesses, or among longshoremen who handle imports? We will find out. The costs of the President's sacrifice of the national interest to the economic illiteracy of a single labor union may also include injuries China might inflict by imposing retaliatory protectionism or reducing its purchases of U.S. government debt, purchases that enable Americans to consume more government services than they are willing to pay for.

Obama was silent when Congress, pleasing the Teamsters union, violated the North American Free Trade Agreement by stopping Mexican trucks from delivering goods north of the border. And although he is almost never silent about anything, he did not protest “Buy American” provisions in the stimulus legislation. And he has not denounced the idea many Democratic climate tinkerers have of imposing “border adjustment mechanisms” — tariffs — on imports from countries that choose not to burden their manufacturers, as the Obama administration proposes burdening American manufacturers, with restrictions on carbon emissions. And he allows unratified trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama to languish. Nevertheless, he says he favors free trade.

He must — or so he thinks — say so much about so many things, perhaps he cannot keep track of the multiplying contradictions in his endless utterances. But they — and the tire tariffs — are related to the sagging support for his health care program.

George F. Will is a syndicated columnist with The Washington Post. His e-mail address is


BREAKING NEWS: Speaker Greg Stumbo Reacts To Steve Nunn/Amanda Ross Killing Case, Prefiles "Amanda's" Domestic Violence Bill.

Speaker Stumbo files “Amanda’s Bill” in effort to reduce domestic violence

Frankfort – House Speaker Greg Stumbo pre-filed legislation today that he said would give domestic-violence victims “a fighting chance” if an offender violated a court order to stay away.
The proposed legislation is named in honor of Amanda Ross, whose Sept. 11th murder in Lexington is being investigated as a domestic-violence case. Her mother, Diana Ross, attended the press conference announcing the legislation in the chamber of the Kentucky House of Representatives.
“Those who fear for their life like Amanda need to know if they are in imminent danger,” Speaker Stumbo said. “This bill would give them that knowledge.”
“Shortly after Amanda’s death, our family decided that we would use our loss to help protect others,” Diana said. “Nothing we can do here will bring Amanda back to us.
“Today with this proposal bearing Amanda’s name, we begin our effort to honor her life while working to help others,” she added. “This legislative proposal is a good first step. Our prayer is that once enacted that it will keep other families from losing a loved one. Perhaps it will bring the needed attention, discussion and changes to improve the plight of all victims of domestic violence.”
If the legislation becomes law during the 2010 Regular Session, judges would have the authority to require offenders named in domestic violence orders to wear an electronic monitor that would let victims know if they were approaching.
Speaker Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, noted that more than a dozen states already have similar laws. “Based on their experiences, we believe that the monitors would be used in about 15 percent of the cases,” he said. “This would be targeted at those who have met several risk factors, such as violently threatening or stalking the victim.”
The cost would be paid by the offender. A current program being run in Fayette County to track prisoners on probation costs the offender $7.50 per day.
“Cost is certainly a factor, but let’s not forget the tremendous costs already caused by domestic violence,” Speaker Stumbo said. “Nationwide, domestic violence victims lose $2 million a day in wages because they cannot go to work. Hundreds of millions of dollars more are spent on medical care. One murder trial alone can cost $185,000, and a year in jail costs more than $19,000. This monitoring system has the potential to save not only lives, but a substantial amount of money as well.”

Several law-enforcement officials have come out in favor of the proposed legislation.
“The Lexington Division of Police strongly supports any effort to provide additional levels of safety for the victims of domestic abuse,” said Lexington Police Chief Ronnie J. Bastin. “Our Division recognizes this technology as having the potential of being a strong step towards notifying victims and law enforcement in a way that the current system cannot otherwise accomplish. We would be glad to partner with other agencies in exploring the use of technology to make our community safer.”
Martin Scott, the president of the Kentucky State Fraternal Order of Police, added, “I support the Speaker’s efforts to prevent victims of domestic violence from being re-victimized. Any time you have the ability to monitor the accused, it makes it safer for all those involved.”
“The Kentucky Sheriffs’ Association supports Speaker Stumbo’s efforts 100 percent,” Executive Director Jerry Wagner said. “We will be actively involved in writing, passing, and implementing the legislation.”

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Thomas Sowell: The Underdog.

The underdog
By Thomas Sowell

It is a good reflection on Americans that they tend to be on the side of the underdog. But it is often hard to tell who is in fact the underdog, or why.

Many years ago, there was a big, lumbering catcher named Ernie Lombardi whose slowness afoot was legendary. Someone once said that not only was Ernie Lombardi the slowest man who ever played major league baseball, whoever was second slowest was probably a lot faster runner than Ernie Lombardi.

When Lombardi came to bat, infielders played back on the outfield grass. That gave them more range in getting to balls that Lombardi hit. They could snare line-drives that would otherwise be base hits. With ground balls, they could easily throw to first base from the outfield grass and get the slow-moving Lombardi out.

Despite all that, Ernie Lombardi had a lifetime batting average of .306 and even led the league in batting a couple of years. But many people said that, if Lombardi had had just average speed, he could have been a .400 hitter.

One day, as a teenager sitting in the Polo Grounds, the stadium where the then New York Giants played, I was privileged to watch a historic event. Ernie Lombardi laid down a bunt!

The crowd went wild. The play took forever, with Lombardi laboriously clumping down to first base — running as hard as he could, but still not very fast — while the third baseman made a long run in from left field to get to the bunt.

We cheered ourselves hoarse rooting for big Ernie as he doggedly but slowly made his way down the first base line. He barely beat the throw, which set off another explosion of cheers.

We were not just cheering for a home-town player. We were rooting for Lombardi to get revenge on those who had taken advantage of him for so long. We were cheering for the underdog.

But was Lombardi really an underdog? How many players end up their careers with a lifetime batting average over .300 or with two batting titles? Like most of us, Lombardi was handicapped in some ways and privileged in others.

Many people would consider it a handicap to be a black orphan, born in the Jim Crow South during the Great Depression of the 1930s. But the home into which I was adopted had four adults and I was the only child. Many years later, when I was a parent and asked one of the surviving members of that family how old I was when I started walking, she said: “Oh, Tommy, nobody knows when you could walk. Somebody was always carrying you.”

You can't buy that. A leading historian of education has said that the New York City public schools were the best in the country during the 1940s. That was when I went to school there. That was enough piece of sheer good luck that came my way. Today the classes are smaller, the buildings more modern — but the education itself is a disaster. I got the kind of education that people have to go to expensive private schools to get today.

Perhaps more important, nobody told me that I couldn't make it because I was poor and black, or that I ought to hate white people today because of what some other white people did to my ancestors in some other time.

Nobody sugar-coated the facts of racial discrimination. But Professor Sterling Brown of Howard University, who wrote with eloquent bitterness about racism, nevertheless said to me when I prepared to transfer to Harvard: “Don't come back here and tell me you didn't make it 'cause white folks were mean.”

He burned my bridges behind me, the way they used to do with armies going into battle, so that they had no place to retreat to, and so had to fight to win.

One of the problems with trying to help underdogs, especially with government programs, is that they and everyone else start to think of them as underdogs, focusing on their problems rather than their opportunities. Thinking of themselves as underdogs can also dissipate their energies in resentments of others, rather than spending that energy making the most of their own possibilities.

It must have been discouraging for Ernie Lombardi, especially in his early years, to be repeatedly thrown out at first base on balls that would have been base hits for anybody else. But he couldn't let himself dwell on that — not and win two batting titles.

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He writes a column for Creators Syndicate.


Cal Thomas: Glenn Beck Explained.

Glenn Beck explained
By Cal Thomas

“They would not listen, they're not listening still,

“Perhaps they never will.”

— DON MCLEAN , “Vincent”

Radio and TV commentator Glenn Beck was mentioned three times in separate opinion columns on the same day and in an article the next day in The New York Times, possibly a record for someone who does not hold elective office.

Oh, and then there's this week's Time magazine cover. He's everywhere. Beck is also the Left's latest explanation for what is wrong with America. Many on the Left believe that if conservatives would just get out of the way, shut up and allow liberals to re-create America in their image, we would all be better off. But those loud-mouthed cable TV and radio talk show hosts keep uneducated, God-worshipping, flag-waving, NASCAR-loving, country music-fueled trailer trash riled up and prevent their brave new world from being born.

The articles, essays and columns about Beck, and so many others on the Right, drip with the condescension conservatives have come to expect from liberal elites who think because they went to the “right” schools they are better than everyone else.

I had not met Glenn Beck, so last week I visited him in his high-rise Manhattan office. His walls are decorated with black-and-white photographs of people he clearly admires. There are entertainers like Red Skelton and a young filmmaker named Walt Disney. You could watch Skelton on TV and view Disney movies along with your wife and kids, knowing you'd never hear a bad word, including a bad word about America.

Beck has an old Admiral black-and-white TV an aide says they are trying to “make work.” When it did work, it carried programs worth watching, including news broadcasts by real journalists like Edward R. Murrow, whose photo hangs on a wall close to Beck's office.

Is it Beck who is stirring the pot or has the pot been stirring for some time and it is he, and a few others, giving the masses a voice? Maybe it's the leadership vacuum in the country that has thrust Beck and Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin (1 million of his latest book sold) and others to the forefront. If Republicans were behaving like Republicans, perhaps there would be less perceived need for them.

If the Left bothered to hang out where conservatives do and take seriously their concerns about a country to which they pay taxes and for which many of them, or their parents, or children have fought, maybe they would understand what has so many upset.

Pollster Frank Luntz understands. In a recent column for The New York Daily News, Luntz reports on his interview survey of 6,400 people, the results of which appear in his new book What Americans Really Want ... Really . Luntz discovered that people are angry with the government because of the lack of accountability by our leaders and a lack of progress on anything meaningful in Washington.

The “absence of accountability,” he writes, “ranks No. 1 in the hearts and guts of the average American. Washington spends billions to bail out big business and then can't explain where the money went. Washington spends $800 billion on a stimulus package filled with earmarks and pork projects. And now Washington is trying to create a trillion-dollar health care experiment when over 85 percent of Americans are satisfied with their health care just as it is.”

As Professor Harold Hill put it: “Make your blood boil? Well, I should say.”

Luntz continues: “This could be forgiven, perhaps, if those elected officials from Washington exhibited even an ounce of respect for the voters who pay their salaries. But the combination of a political class that ignores those with whom they disagree and a business class that ignores the very real suffering of the working class (if they are, in fact, working) while pocketing million-dollar bonuses has convinced the public that no one cares.”

Glenn Beck seems to care and that's why his ratings are now challenging the godfather of cable, Bill O'Reilly.

I ask if he fears being transformed into another “Lonesome Rhodes,” the politically corrupted main character in Budd Schulberg's classic film, “A Face in the Crowd”? Beck tells me I am not the first to warn of such a possibility. He says he isn't worried about yielding to that temptation. Beck believes in God and doesn't think government is Him. And he's going to his son's ball game the next day.

That explains Glenn Beck. Any questions?

Cal Thomas is a columnist with Tribune Media Services. His e-mail address is


Clarence Page: [Bill] Cosby Likes "The [POTUS BARACK] Obama Show".

Cosby likes ‘The Obama Show'
By Clarence Page

Twenty-five years ago NBC took a risk. In late September, the network launched a half-hour situation comedy about a prosperous, well-educated family whose children actually listened to their parents without a lot of wisecracks.

And, oh, by the way, the family also happened to be black. Young people today may have a hard time imagining it, but that was a big deal at the time.

ABC had turned the show down but NBC, which was lagging in the ratings, was a bit more desperate. They won. “The Cosby Show” lasted eight years, five of them as the number-one sit-com in the Nielsen ratings.

Changing times give the show's anniversary special significance as we ponder how much the show helped change our times. The program is often credited with enriching the image of the African-American family in the eyes of the world. I think it also deserves credit for reaffirming the value of the traditional American family unit, regardless of race or ethnicity, although with a more equal-partner role for the wife than used to be the typical case in 1950s sit-coms.

Heathcliff Huxtable was a doctor. Clair Huxtable was a lawyer. I don't recall seeing her in an apron, although it is not hard to imagine Cliff wearing one, if only to offer a visible argument for partnership in a successful marriage.

Before Cosby brought us the Huxtable family, networks had little interest in reviving the too-perfectly idealized strong-dad/omniscient mom/obedient kids format of “Father Knows Best” or “Leave It to Beaver.” But repackaging those old-school middle-class family set-ups with a middle-class black family sent a reassuring social message that subtly grabbed viewers' hearts: The American Dream was not for whites only.

Cosby sounds less grandiose when talking about his achievement, but no less ambitious. He simply didn't like the sitcoms TV offered.

“It had nothing to do with the color of them — I just didn't like any of them,” he said in a recent interview with the online Web site The Root . “I wanted to take the house back. I felt that on all these other shows the children owned the house. Now in real life, I have five children and (my wife and I) aren't letting people go around the house the way the writers were writing for these kids.”

The show offered a glimpse of the self-help initiatives for which Cosby has more recently crusaded across the country, despite critics — like Georgetown Prof. Michael Eric Dyson, author of Is Bill Cosby Right? (Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?) — who complain that he lets structural racism off the hook.

But if Cosby's view is conservative, as Ta-Nehisi Coates, a blogger with The Atlantic, put it recently, “he's much closer to the conservatism of black nationalism than to the conservatism of Shelby Steele.” He does not reject outside help for the black poor. He does call attention to what blacks at all levels of social need should do to help one another.

It is inevitable that we also wonder how much “The Cosby Show” helped to prepare the way for President Barack Obama's election. Cosby plays that down. “You can't get elected because of somebody you see on TV,” he told The Root. But he was being modest about media power. Since John F. Kennedy narrowly beat Richard M. Nixon in 1960, no one has gotten elected president without paying due respect to the selling power of TV images.

I think President Obama owes a cultural debt to the Huxtables. What better way for the Obamas to calm voter anxieties than to present the nation with a real-life version of America's most beloved TV family?

I also think the anti-Cosby backlash has been overblown. Having interviewed Cosby several times over the years and witnessed him work the standing-room-only crowds at his call-outs, his rhetoric resonates with the social conservatism of black barbershops, churches and backyard barbecues that looks for allies in the battle against social dysfunction.

In similar fashion, he broadened the vision that we Americans have of ourselves. Amid all of our divisions over other issues, he tapped the fundamental values that most of us share. He reaffirmed the value of nuclear families at time when black Americans in particular were suffering from rising crime, violence, drug addiction and out-of-wedlock births.

Cosby tapped the old-school values that still make up a common culture in our otherwise diverse country. He made mainstream Americans more comfortable with the idea of a black family on their television sets and, eventually in the White House.

Cosby says he enjoys what he calls, “The Obama Show.” He should. He helped to produce it.

Clarence Page is a columnist with the Chicago Tribune. His email address is


Leonard Pitts: "How Quickly They Forgot Lessons Of Sunday School." But, What If They Were NOT Listening?

How quickly they forgot lessons of Sunday School
By Leonard Pitts

“Thou shalt not bear false witness...”

— Exodus 20:16

Jim Wallis wants to take Glenn Beck to Sunday school.

On occasion, the Fox News host has spoken of his daughter, who was born with cerebral palsy. According to Sojourners, a faith-based organization Wallis co-founded and leads, Beck recalled last month how doctors warned that the baby, if carried to term, might never walk, speak or feed herself. That was 21 years ago, and she is now a miraculous young woman who defied the dire expectations.

Beck has suggested that under health care reform, the government would be empowered to euthanize children like his. But who is Washington to decide whether a life is worth living? “That's for God to decide,” he is quoted as saying. “Not the government.”

From this, we learn two things. The first is that Glenn Beck believes in God. The second is that Glenn Beck lies. You'd hope those things would be mutually exclusive.

For the record and for the umpteenth time: No version of health care reform being contemplated by Congress mandates death for the old, the disabled or the infirm. That's a canard. It is mendacity, prevarication, bald-faced lie.

In other words, politics.

The art of the untruth is, after all, the life's blood of governance. As a brief spin through , the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checking Web site will attest, no party, ideology or politician has a monopoly on lying. Lying is as bipartisan as it gets.

And yet, the lies that have characterized the debate over health care are in a class all their own — not simply because they are outrageous, but because they are designed specifically to enflame and terrorize. As such, those lies are deserving of special rebuke. Last week, they got it.

Sojourners, which calls itself the nation's largest network of progressive Christians, says its members sent out thousands of e-mails to five of the biggest offenders: Beck, his fellow Fox personalities Sean Hannity, Steve Doocy and Bill O'Reilly, and radio host Rush Limbaugh. Each e-mail said the same thing in essence: Stop lying. Wallis, a celebrated theologian and author of The Great Awakening: Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post-Religious Right America , says Sojourners is trying to redeem things people “really should've learned in Sunday school.”

“For example, Sean Hannity said we're going to have a government rationing body that tells women with breast cancer, ‘You're dead. It's a death sentence.' That's just not true. So instead, in our e-mail we told the story of a real person, a real woman who was denied her breast cancer surgery because of her health provider's discovery of a pre-existing condition called acne.”

He adds, “A lot of the things the talk-show hosts say will happen are ‘already' happening because of the behavior of the health-care providers. They're not true because of health care reform, they're true because of the present system.”

It is not, says Wallis, his intention to accuse everyone who opposes health care reform of lying. Nor, he says, is it his intention to promote a given proposal. All he's trying to do is reframe health care as the moral issue it is, and restore verities we all learned in Sunday School. Or Hebrew School. Or Islamic School. Or, heck, kindergarten.

That it's wrong to lie, wrong to pick on the vulnerable. And that we have a duty to care for those who cannot care for themselves, the ones Jesus called “the least of these.”

Those are simple, sacred and profound principles. But you wonder if the simple, sacred and profound still have power to sway us. Obviously, Jim Wallis has faith they do. I hope he's right. Yet what a spectacular leap it takes to believe the tiny whisper of conscience might be heard over the shrill outcry of America screaming at its mirror.

That is in itself a sobering measure of how far we've wandered from the things we once knew as kids.

Leonard Pitts is a columnist for the Miami Herald. His e-mail address is

Editor's comment: Mr. Pitts you state: How quickly they forgot lessons of Sunday School.

... but the REAL question is: were they listening to the sermon in the first place?


Connie Hair: IRS Throws ACORN Under The Bus. I Say: GREAT.

IRS Throws ACORN Under the Bus
by Connie Hair

The IRS yesterday severed its ties with ACORN, the profoundly corrupt community organizing group embroiled in a seemingly never-ending string of controversies, criminal investigations and voter registration fraud charges. Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau also severed ties with the group.

The latest controversy is over the series of videos covertly taped by new media journalists James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles. In these videos, O’Keefe and Giles, posing as a pimp and prostitute, are given tax advice by ACORN representatives in different cities across the country.

The tax advice included listing “performance artist” as the prostitute’s employment code in order to file income taxes as part of a scheme to secure a loan, with ACORN’s help, to buy a house to be used as a brothel. ACORN employees didn’t flinch when the undercover journalists informed them they were trafficking in 12 underage El Salvadoran girls to work in the brothel. One helpful ACORN representative advised that they may be able to claim two or three of them as dependents.

According to Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the House Republican leader, ACORN had received upwards of $56 million in direct federal taxpayer funding since 1994. Boehner, Republican Whip Eric Cantor (Va.) and Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), ranking Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee with IRS oversight responsibilities, sent a letter to the IRS asking that the agency end its relationship with the group.

“For the second time in less than two weeks, a federal agency has severed its ties with ACORN,” Boehner said. “The IRS has rightly recognized that this troubled organization has no place advising hard-working Americans on tax-related matters.”

“ACORN has violated serious federal laws, and it is a victory for all taxpayers that the IRS has ended its association with this corrupt organization,” Cantor said.

“It is clear ACORN was using taxpayer funds to encourage others to engage in cheating the tax code,” Camp said. “The IRS made the right call and now it is time for the rest of the federal government to end any and all relationships with this corrupt organization.”

Now about that ACORN IRS tax-exempt status…

Barney Frank Throws ACORN under the Bus

On Fox News last night, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), told host Bill O’Reilly he would have voted for the ban on ACORN funding had he not missed the vote for the posthumous Medal of Honor ceremony for constituent Sgt. Jared Monti last week at the White House.

“I told the staffer who asked me that I would have been against the funding,” Frank said. “I said it imprecisely or he heard it imprecisely, and he heard it as I would have been against the motion. I would have voted for the recommittal motion and against the funding. … I think they have forfeited their right to get funds.”

In other news, a pig just flew by my window.

Meanwhile, back in the Senate...

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) yesterday refused to investigate ACORN’s criminal activities and the sources of federal funding that ACORN and its affiliates receive. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), along with 27 other Republican Senators, asked the Majority Leader back on September 17th to start the investigation.

“Despite the fact that the U.S. Senate has at its disposal 20 committees, 68 subcommittees, and 4 joint committees, the Majority Leader has denied our request, stating he will not instruct Senate leaders ‘to do anything that would distract from efforts to address’ the issues currently before Congress,” Cornyn said. “Yet under the direction of this same Majority Leader, in conjunction with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congress has held more than 150 oversight hearings on Bush-era practices and activities -- transcribing more than 3,200 pages of witness testimony and printing more than 17,000 pages of unclassified, publicly available reports. For Majority Leader Reid, it seems that ‘oversight’ is a selective responsibility, and the misuse of taxpayer dollars by a fraud-ridden organization does not qualify as a priority in his purview as the Leader of the U.S. Senate.”

Editor's comment: if you want to laugh, check out ACORN's complaint.

What do I think?

This lawsuit is NOT going anywhere, UNLESS the Defendants countersue. I suspect ACORN will dismiss the lawsuit, because discovery in the case will reveal too many secrets ACORN wants to see hidden. If I were the Defendants' lawyer I will do exactly that much.