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Monday, October 26, 2009

Words To Live By.

"The regular distribution of power into distinct departments; the introduction of legislative balances and checks; the institution of courts composed of judges holding their offices during good behavior; the representation of the people in the legislature by deputies of their own election... They are means, and powerful means, by which the excellences of republican government may be retained and its imperfections lessened or avoided."

-- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 9, 1787


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rand Paul is from Venus, Not Kentucky

Trey Grayson got it partially right when he cast Rand Paul as a non-Kentuckian. In fact, after looking over some of the things that Ron and Rand Paul have been for over the years, it appears they're from Venus. (As in Americans are from Mars, Euorpeans from Venus.) After all, they practically blame the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., have failed to support the troops in war in Iraq and Afghanistan, seek to end the war on drugs, and were against the Patriot Act. They don't even like the term "War on Terror." Sound familiar?


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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rand Paul's Kooky Take on Drugs Will Hurt Him in Rural Kentucky

Not that it's a surprise, but Rand Paul is Too Kooky for Kentucky ( Literally. Last year he served as the one of the principle spokesmen for a Presidential candidate who wants to decriminalize… perhaps legalize… drugs. Here's the Courier Journal's Joe Gerth on Rand and the drug war:

Paul said that on federal drug laws, he believes “most policies of crime and punishment should be and are addressed at the state level.”

He wouldn't say if the U.S. laws should be done away with or if the Drug Enforcement Administration should be disbanded, but he said, “I would favor a more local approach to drugs.”

By taking away precious federal resources, such as the DEA, the FBI, and various forms of federal aid for communities, Paul would hamstring our Appalachian communities in their bid to stem the drug tide. What’s more, difficult cases that require US Attorney oversight and cases built using RICO statutes would be harder to make.

Paul’s ideological take is also at odds with the politics of the region. Congressman Rogers has done a yeoman’s job trying to create programs that would alleviate some of the worst ravages that drugs have inflicted on our communities. These often rely on federal funds. Paul’s decision to abandon outright these efforts won’t make his Senate bid easy in the old (or new) 5th C.D.

Some of the programs that could be directly affected by the election of Rand Paul include:

City/County/DEA partnerships (which provide undercover task force officers in local communities)

Appalachian HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas)

Operation UNITE

At the end of the day, for many main street conservatives in KY, choosing our next Senator is a matter of choosing someone who find you the resources and tools you need to make your communities better. For Rand Paul to abandon outright many of the tools rural communities have come to rely on is downright kooky.

Crossposted at Cyberhillbilly will be cross posting while Osi's away.

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Nick Anderson's Cartoon Is SADLY TRUE! *SIGH*


Monday, October 19, 2009

Words To Live By.

"We lay it down as a fundamental, that laws, to be just, must give a reciprocation of right; that, without this, they are mere arbitrary rules of conduct, founded in force, and not in conscience."

-- Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the state of Virginia, 1782


Joel Pett Pens Another Laughter. It Is So True, Though. LOL.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Former GOP Senator Arlen Spector: "On The Republican Side, It Is No, No, No. A Party Of Obstructionism."

Republicans go ahead say: RINO.

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Sheriff in Colorado County Tells Us What We Already Know About Balloon Boy: It Was A "HOAX" & "Publicity Stunt". Well, *DUH*!

Yep, *DUH*!

Watch news video below:

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Laugh With Joel Pett.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Larimer County, Colorado, Sheriff: Charges Being Prepared For Filing Against Balloon Boy's Parents, Richard Heene And Wife. Read More Below.

DENVER (Reuters) - Criminal charges will soon be filed in the case of a 6-year-old boy who spurred a frantic search for fear he was inside a wayward helium balloon, but who was later found safe at home, officials said on Saturday.

The Larimer County Sheriff's department was preparing charges over the much-publicized incident. The boy's father, Richard Heene, an amateur scientist and inventor, has denied speculation Thursday's incident was a publicity stunt.

Editor's note: Continue reading from Reuters News Agency.

Editor's comment: It's about time, too.

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... And PUKE.

So do you blame the boy for puking at his parents?

Do you not feel like puking yourself, too?

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Meanwhile, For Those Of You Who Are STILL Wondering If The Balloon Boy Episode Was A HOAX, Watch This Video ...

Balloon Boy's Father, Richard Heene, MANIPULATES The Media -- AGAIN, This Time With A "Cardbox Question Box". No Kidding. Watch Video And *SIGH*!

POTUS Barack Obama's Weekly Radio Address: Taking On The Insurance Companies.

Nick Anderson Hits POTUS Barack Obama, Too.


Friday, October 16, 2009

George F. Will: 2010: A Republican Year?

2010: a Republican year?
By George F. Will

WASHINGTON — Demure Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution, but since then has not made many waves. It might, however, be part of a political wave a year from now, thanks to a direct descendent of Benjamin Franklin.

The great man's great-great-great-great-great grandson, Mike Castle, 70, a nine-term Delaware congressman, will be next year's Republican nominee for the Senate seat Joe Biden held for 36 years. This and other candidate-recruitment successes make it reasonable for Republicans to hope that in January 2011 the Senate will contain fewer than 60 Democrats.

Biden's seat is currently occupied by a former Biden staffer who, in service to the ancient notion that public offices should be family patrimonies, will disappear when Biden's son Beau, 40, runs. He is the state's attorney general and has just returned from serving in Iraq with his Army National Guard unit. Delaware has not elected a Republican senator since 1994, but Castle, who has never lost a race, has run statewide 12 times: once for lieutenant governor, twice for governor and nine times for the state's only congressional seat. In the last four elections he averaged 65 percent of the vote.

In 2010, each party will be defending 19 Senate seats. The high number of 38 reflects the fact that six of today's 100 serving senators were appointed, not elected — one each from Massachusetts (Ted Kennedy's replacement), New York (Hillary Clinton's replacement), Illinois (Barack Obama's replacement), Colorado (the replacement of Ken Salazar, who became Interior secretary), Florida (the replacement for Mel Martinez, who quit) and Delaware.

In Colorado, where Democrats have won the last two Senate races, the appointed Democrat, Michael Bennet, faces a primary challenger, Andrew Romanoff, a former speaker of the state House. Annoyed because the governor did not appoint him to replace Salazar, Romanoff spurned the plea of a future Nobel Peace Prize winner that he not challenge Bennet. The Republican nominee might be a former statewide winner — Jane Norton, who was lieutenant governor.

In Illinois, which has not elected a Republican senator since 1998, the front-runner for the Republican nomination is Mark Kirk, a five-term congressman from the Chicago suburbs, where statewide elections often are decided. He annoyed his party by voting for the cap-and-trade legislation, but has sort of semi-apologized.

Connecticut's Sen. Chris Dodd, seeking a sixth term, has an approval rating of 43 percent and has drawn several serious Republican challengers. Any incumbent with a job approval below 50 percent should worry; Nevada's Harry Reid's is below 40.

Three seats held by Republicans are currently in jeopardy — Missouri's (Kit Bond is retiring), Ohio's (George Voinovich is retiring) and New Hampshire's (Judd Gregg is retiring). But Republicans have strong candidates in each state: In Missouri, Rep. Roy Blunt, former House Republican whip; in Ohio, Rob Portman, former congressman, head of the Office of Management and Budget, and trade representative; in New Hampshire, a possible nominee, former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, is currently leading her likely Democratic opponent.

Regarding House elections, substantial Republican gains are possible. As analyst Charles Cook notes, 84 House Democrats represent districts that were carried either by George W. Bush in 2004 or John McCain in 2008, and 48 of those districts were carried by both Bush and McCain. These and other uneasy incumbents know that Congress' job approval is 22 percent.

Much can change, nationally and locally, before Nov. 2, 2010. But perhaps the most politically salient thing is unlikely to change: high unemployment. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the economy, which has lost 7.2million jobs since the recession began in December 2007, must create 100,000 a month just to match population growth. Joseph Seneca, a Rutgers economist, estimates that even if job creation were immediately to reach the pace of the 1990s — an average of 2.15million private-sector jobs were added each year, double the pace of 2001-2007 — the unemployment rate would not fall to 5 percent until 2017.

September's 9.8 percent unemployment rate was the worst since June 1983. But robust growth began then and just 17 months later Ronald Reagan came within 3,800 Minnesota votes of carrying all 50 states. Reagan, however, was reducing government's burdens — taxes, regulations — on the economy. Obama is increasing them.

The possibility of Republican gains, especially in the Senate, helps explain why Obama is in such a rush to remake the nation and save the planet. His window of opportunity could be closing.

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


E.J. DIONNE JR.: What Does Snowe Want?

What does Snowe want?

WASHINGTON — Now two people will have to choose. The fate of the health care bill is largely in the hands of President Barack Obama and Sen Olympia Snowe.

The Finance Committee's vote on Tuesday to send its bill to the Senate floor vindicated Obama's strategy of giving Congress wide latitude to write the early drafts. Major health reform has advanced further than ever before.

But Obama must now abandon his preference for intervening forcefully only after House and Senate bills go to a conference committee. Instead, he needs to focus on the core goals of insuring as many people as possible and expanding, rather than contracting, the choices Americans will have.

However policy experts judge the final product, reform will be sustainable only if beleaguered citizens feel more secure and more confident than they are now that health insurance will be priced within their reach. Obama has said he will own this thing in the end. He's right, and he has to make clear what kind of system he wants to buy.

So does Snowe. Against much conventional thinking, she realized that being the only Republican senator to vote for the bill would vastly enhance her ability to shape the outcome. Now that Democrats have gotten their lone Republican vote, they don't want to lose her — in part because Snowe's support will give cover to the more reluctant moderate and conservative Senate Democrats who must vote “yes” if a bill is to get through.

But what does Snowe really want? It's not clear that even she knows the answer. Many on the left are worried about how she'll use her power. The irony is that it might take a Republican from Maine to advance causes dear to progressives — if she makes those causes her priority.

One of Snowe's fears about the bill that emerged from Sen. Max Baucus' committee is that it still does not make insurance affordable enough for many in the middle class. She is absolutely right to worry. The subsidies in the bill are too low — held down by Obama's unfortunate insistence that, largely for cosmetic reasons, the final cost had to be held to around $900billion. For an extra $30billion or so per year, the bill could put insurance in reach for many more people.

The subsidy shortage is creating a vicious cycle. It's not fair to impose a mandate on people to buy insurance if doing so will break the family budget. So Snowe and Sen. Charles E. Schumer have moved both to lower the penalties on those who don't buy coverage and to protect more people from the mandate. That's the fair thing to do, except that lower penalties mean more people opting out of insurance. This, in turn, means that more will be uninsured.

The subsidies have to rise, and if Snowe makes affordability her highest priority, as she has suggested she will, she'll be doing everyone a favor.

Snowe also has sympathy for Sen. Ron Wyden's desire to give those who already have coverage access to the insurance exchange the bill would establish. Here again, Snowe could do good by helping to expand people's choices.

She could do the same by showing flexibility on creating a public insurance option. At the moment, Snowe favors only a trigger that would bring the option into being if insurance proved unaffordable for too many. But Schumer, who has emerged from this process as a champion negotiator, has been working with Snowe for months to find a middle ground acceptable both to her and to public option advocates. Much depends on the success of their partnership.

It's true that Snowe could also make the bill worse, especially if she persists in her opposition to a strong employer mandate. The Finance Committee bill has a bizarre “free rider” provision that would penalize only businesses whose employees get government-subsidized insurance. This creates a perverse incentive for employers not to hire lower-income people, particularly single mothers. A stronger employer mandate is needed to hold the system together, and to provide financing.

Still, a bill reflecting Snowe's core concerns would be better in most respects than a bill that didn't, and how she chooses to use her influence will owe a great deal to how Obama chooses to influence her. It's another reason why Obama needs to take ownership of a bill that he'll eventually own anyway.

E.J. Dionne is a syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group. His e-mail address is

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"Balloon Boy" Falcone Heene Reveals Family's HOAX In Response To Father's Question: "You Said ... That ... We Did This For A Show." I Say: *AHEM*.

Are you outraged?

Wanna see this family on "Wife Swap", descendants of Aliens? Watch below:

Outraged NOW!?

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Lexington Herald Leader Editorial: End Of An Error For University Of Kentucky Sports.

End of an error for UK sports

On the morning of new University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari's first Big Blue Madness (formerly Midnight Madness), we are much relieved that the Management Madness that was the Billy Gillispie error — sorry, era — is at last finished.

Gillispie was simply a terrible hire. He shouldn't have gotten a job formerly held by coaching greats in the first place. Successful but short coaching stints at the University of Texas El Paso and Texas A&M, neither part of the pressure cooker of college basketball's upper echelons. Two DUI's in his background (and now a third). Weird, sometimes brusque behavior — even on national TV. Intense game-day practices. Mystifying coaching decisions. And now, it comes out, at least one instance of humiliating a player. Center Josh Harrellson was banished to a toilet stall for halftime of a game and then forced to ride back to Lexington on the equipment truck.

Then you start tallying up the dollars Gillispie cost UK in terms of his salary, the $2.98 million settlement because of the "memorandum of understanding" fiasco, legal fees for both sides and who knows how much money lost because of the team's lack of post-season success the past two years.

It all adds up to a multi-million-dollar mistake by the top administration.

What more is there to say?

Athletics Association Board member Luther Deaton, Chairman, president and CEO of Central Bank, put it this way: "It's better to settle something and move on than run up attorney fees."

Yes, settle and move on.

Don't make the lawyers any richer.

But also learn from it.

UK seems to have done that. We continue to have concerns over the NCAA investigations at Calipari's two college head coaching stops. But in many ways, Calipari appears to be the un-Gillispie. He has a signed contract, a long career at top-level college programs and in the NBA, a stable family life — and no DUIs. So far, he has also been a public relations dream for the university.

And, boy, after the Billy G nightmare, Lee T. Todd Jr. and Mitch Barnhart need that about as badly as UK fans want to beat Louisville.


Ryan Alessi:University Of Kentucky's Initial $925,000 Offer To Billy Gillispie Hastened Lawsuit..

UK's initial $925,000 offer to Gillispie hastened lawsuit
By Ryan Alessi

Weeks after firing men's basketball coach Billy Gillispie, the University of Kentucky's lawyers proposed giving him a $925,000 buyout — an offer that was far enough from what Gillispie sought that it set off five months of legal wrangling.

Demetrios Anaipakos, Gillispie's Texas-based attorney, said Thursday that Gillispie had wanted to negotiate but that the tone and substance of UK's offer, which came in a May 1 letter from the university's outside counsel, showed that the gulf between two sides was too wide.

"The fact is that Coach Gillispie only received one offer before filing suit. The offer was for $925,000, and the offer had a deadline of 10 days later," he said. "When faced with that offer, Coach Gillispie determined the best course of action for him was to file suit."

Gillispie sued the UK Athletics Association in federal court in Texas for breach of contract on May 27, two months after UK officials fired him for not being "a good fit." On Tuesday, Gillispie and UK settled that suit and the university's countersuit.

Gillispie will receive $3.25 million, which includes $265,000 to cover his legal bills, from the UK Athletics Association budget.

The former coach had argued that he was entitled to a $6 million buyout as stipulated in his hiring agreement after he was fired two years into a seven-year term. UK, however, resisted because Gillispie and university officials never signed the coach's formal contract.

UK officials declined comment Thursday. Spokesman Jimmy Stanton referred to UK's statement from Tuesday, which called the settlement "fair and final."

Anaipakos said the settlement, which more than tripled the amount of UK's initial offer, "vindicates" Gillispie's decision to sue.

And the disclosure of UK's $925,000 offer puts to rest rumors that Gillispie had "been offered millions of dollars before the suit was filed or ... some other very lucrative package," Anaipakos said.

The $925,000 represented what Gillispie would have been paid in base salary if he had stayed two more years at UK.

Stuart Campbell, Gillispie's agent who represented him during the May buyout negotiations, said he couldn't remember what figure he sent UK as a counter offer.

"I may have come off on $6 million a little bit," said Campbell of the Tulsa, Okla.-based firm, Sneed Lang Herrold. "The only thing I remember was their $925,000 offer and it was just so low."

Anaipakos said the May 1 offer to Gillispie had an air of finality to it.

"The university suggested the availability of funds for immediate payment to Coach Gillispie would change if the offer was not accepted because the university operated on a fiscal year," Anaipakos said.

UK's letter gave Gillispie until May 11 to accept the offer. That was the same day the UK Athletics Association board approved its $72.65 million budget for 2009-2010, which was $10 million more than last year.

The increase in the budget covered the $3.7 million UK Athletics owes Gillipie's succesor, John Calipari, who signed the richest contract in college basketball on March 31, as well as a total of $1.7 million in general university scholarships. But it allotted just $100,000 for legal fees to settle the dispute with Gillispie.

Still, the UK Athletics Association is responsible for paying the $3.25 million settlement to Gillispie, said Stanton. The association is self supporting, largely through sports ticket sales and television revenue.

Calipari said Thursday the settlement was a good move for the university and Gillispie. "He's able to move on and it's not something hanging over some people here," he said.

Staff writer Jerry Tipton contributed to this report.


Rick Bozich: Billy Gillispie Beat The University Of Kentucky System And Cost The School $192,500 Per Victory. *SIGH*.

Billy G cost UK $192,500 per victory
By Rick Bozich

The University of Kentucky officially said goodbye to its $7.7Million Mistake on Tuesday. Billy Gillispie could not beat Gardner-Webb or the Virginia Military Institute. He could, however, beat the system.

The last chapter has been filed for my nominee as Worst Hire in UK Basketball History, but don't forget to include a daunting collection of zeros and commas before you apply that final punctuation mark.

Take the nearly $3million Gillispie will receive from his settlement with the UK Athletic Association, all for doing nothing but keeping his mouth shut. Add $4.7million, a conservative estimate of what he earned during two unsettling seasons on the job.

Divide by 40 victories.

What do you get?

Heartburn — and a guy who earned roughly $192,500 per win.

I realize inflation is an unforgiving bear, but that's a sweet deal when you consider that John Wooden never earned more than $35,000 per season during his run of 10 NCAA titles at UCLA.

(And a belated Happy Birthday to the Wizard of Westwood, who turned a glorious 99 Wednesday. Ah, the good old days. Nobody ever paid Wooden to shut up and go away.)

If you analyze it in the current economic climate of furloughs and layoffs, it is an appalling waste of resources in a world where nearly 10,000 people applied for 90 positions building washing machines for $27,000 per year plus benefits at General Electric.

Billy's Bye-Bye (or is it the Billy Boo-Boo?) should inspire another debate:

Which job was more poorly executed: Gillispie's on the UK bench or athletic director Mitch Barnhart's during the rushed recruiting of Gillispie from Texas A&M in 2007?

As much as Gillispie struggled with basketball strategy, he was worse with public relations and people skills. He could be brusque, difficult, stubborn and needlessly rude (See Jeannine Edwards interviews, Parts I and II). In a team sport, Gillispie was rarely a team player.

It was Part B, more than Part A, which led to his hasty but absolutely necessary dismissal two years into what was supposed to be a six-season run as Tubby Smith's successor. This was never going to end well.

It was Part B, more than Part A, which should have been uncovered during an exhaustive look into what UK was buying when Barnhart turned to Gillispie after he was turned down by Billy Donovan and Rick Barnes.

Only a hunch, but I'm guessing Gillispie didn't become brusque, difficult, stubborn and needlessly rude when he arrived in Lexington. There was documented evidence of his issues from two arrests for driving under the influence before his arrival at UK.

UK's response? Not going to be a problem. Billy's our guy. Shut up and enjoy the pep rally.

Barnhart faced his caveat-emptor moment early in the Gillispie era, when the coach simply would not sign a contract. They negotiated and negotiated. All they could agree upon was this: Gillispie's original memorandum of understanding would serve as his contract.

At least that's what UK kept saying — until it was time to ditch Gillispie. Then it wasn't a contract, at least not a contract that would entitle Gillispie to $6million. He would be paid $1.5million.

Turned out he got about twice that — for doing nothing.

Gillispie is not the first guy to walk away wealthy and laughing. Add his name to a list that includes Kelvin Sampson, Hal Mumme, Ron Cooper, Gerry DiNardo and too many others.

You don't have to beat Gardner-Webb. You only have to beat the system.

Reach Rick Bozich at (502) 582-4650 or Comment on this column, and read his blog and previous columns, at


Joel Pett Scores Another Hit On POTUS Barack Obama. LOL.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

What Is Going On In Kentucky And Why Is Dan Mongiardo Refusing To "Man Up", But Is Instead "Biting His Tongue"?

From The Lexington Herald Leader: Explanation, please
Mongiardo must give words context

It's time for Senate candidate Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo to man up.

We're talking about the recordings of him that keep popping up on the Internet. Yes, they were surreptitiously taped, are obviously spliced and have been distributed anonymously. As such, they are both high-tech dirty trick and political comedy in the old Kentucky tradition.

Yet some of Mongiardo's statements, which he has not denied making, are provocative no matter the context.

What did he mean when he said that being Gov. Steve Beshear's lieutenant governor is like "being married to a whore"? Or that "the only difference between (former Gov. Ernie) Fletcher and Beshear is Beshear has not had a blowup yet, but it is coming"?

The Fletcher administration's "blowup" was a raft of criminal indictments for violating state laws against political interference in hiring. What exactly was Mongiardo implying?

These recordings, for which no one has claimed responsibility, cut with a double edge. They make Mongiardo, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, look like a disloyal motormouth and ingrate. Beshear has endorsed his Senate bid.

They also can be heard as an administration insider, someone who should know, making accusations of corruption against Beshear.

Only Mongiardo can supply the context for his remarks. Only he can explain what he meant and why he said it. It seems to us he owes that much to taxpayers and voters.

If Mongiardo knows of something foul in the Beshear administration, he should speak up. He is, after all, asking voters for a position of trust. How can they trust him if he won't come clean about what he says when he thinks no tape recorder is running?

Editor's comment: to read and watch news video, go here.

Also, the Lexington Herald Leader is right in suggesting that inquiring minds want to know what Dan Mongiardo knows -- or is hinting he knows.

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Kathleen Parker: "The McCain Campaign Had The Right Idea; It Just Picked The Wrong Woman."

Republican women – hear them roar
By Kathleen Parker

WASHINGTON — As the Republican Party continues its pilgrimage through the desert, its leaders may be missing the oasis for the vale of tears.

The answer to the party's woes isn't a revamped Web site ( ) offering — wowser ! — really cool social networking platforms.

The answer won't be found in the sudden realization that 83 percent of young people 18 to 24 have an online profile — or other late-breaking revelations that merely reinforce the perception of the GOP as woefully behind the curve.

The answer is … drum roll, please … women.

If the GOP is really serious about expanding the party, it's time for the men to hush and let the pros take over. As the saying goes: If you need something done, hire a busy woman. Or, as the White House Project puts it: “Add women, change everything.”

In the past few months, several conservative women have emerged as candidates and critics to challenge the notion that the GOP is the party of men. They're also putting to rest any thought that Sarah Palin is the female face of the party.

The McCain campaign had the right idea; it just picked the wrong woman.

Among the newer comers are two mega-businesswomen and two famous daughters, representing younger generations with divergent ideas. Although these aren't the only Republican women rising, they offer a glimpse at what could become a surge of hormonal correction on the conservative side.

First up in this new league of their own are two celebrity entrepreneurs. Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay, is running for governor of California. And Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard CEO, plans to challenge California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer. Neither woman has any political experience beyond advising and stumping for Sen. John McCain during his last presidential run, but that would seem a bonus to an incumbent-weary nation.

Fiorina, the first woman to run a Fortune 20 company, has lost some of her early luster with Republican voters, according to a recent Field Poll. And Democrats have criticized her as “one of the 20 worst CEOs in the country,” a bold charge from the party that propelled a community organizer with zero executive experience to the White House.

Fiorina's lower numbers are likely a reflection of her reduced visibility recently while undergoing breast cancer treatments. By contrast, her Republican opponent has been stumping to the tune of more than 160 political events since last November. A close adviser says Fiorina, who is “definitely running,” is on the mend and expects to be locked and loaded in a couple of weeks.

Billionaire Whitman is running a tight race against two opponents for the Republican nomination, spending much of her own money along the way. If she wins — and then defeats Democrat Jerry Brown (big ifs) — she would become one of only four Republican women governors.

This deficit in high office is both a taint on the GOP and a reflection of the broader assumption that Republicans are monolithically against women's rights. Specifically, the party's pro-life platform alienates pro-choice women, as well as moderates, who otherwise might find common cause with conservative principles.

Women such as pro-choice Whitman and “personally” pro-life Fiorina could help change that impression, while also raising other issues women care about. Fiorina caused a slight ripple in the Republican zeitgeist during McCain's campaign when she criticized insurance companies for covering Viagra and not birth control.

Meanwhile, another Meg (McCain) and Liz Cheney, daughter of the former vice president, have emerged as strong voices in a party with too few sopranos.

It isn't quite fair to group McCain with Cheney, given their respective resumes — one a 24-year-old celebrity blogger whose fame is (thus far) inherited and the other, Cheney, 43, a former deputy assistant secretary of state. But both are relatively fresh voices with instant name recognition. And each appeals to a different, perhaps untapped, demographic.

Cheney, recently dubbed a “red-state rock star,” just launched a new Web site,, where she and others plan to critique foreign policy issues. And the socially liberal McCain, though she may not please the party elders, appeals to younger voters who otherwise wouldn't consider lifting the flap on the old man's tent.

Four women: a pro-life hawk; a pro-choice, pro-gay rights libertarian; two entrepreneurs, one pro-choice and one pro-life. This doesn't sound like your daddy's Republican Party, but it could be your daughter's — if the men wise up.

Kathleen Parker's e-mail address is


In Case You Did Not Know, Group Seeking To Acquire Saint Louis Rams Drops Rush Limpbaugh Like A Used Diaper. Watch Video.

Louisville Courier Journal Editorial: "A TARDY Exoneration". I Couldn't AGREE More.

A tardy exoneration

The exoneration of Edwin Chandler, who served nine years in prison for a Louisville homicide 16 years ago that he did not commit, may be an instance of justice ultimately prevailing. But it is not affirmation that the legal system worked as it should or that it has overcome inherent shortcomings.

Indeed, Mr. Chandler should never have been convicted, or probably even prosecuted. The physical evidence — fingerprints on a bottle of beer, and ownership of a knit cap and sunglasses — could not be matched to him. A man who had been pumping gasoline outside the convenience store where a clerk was shot and killed insisted that Mr. Chandler was not the perpetrator, but police largely ignored him, and he was not called to testify at trial. The police interrogator assumed from the outset that Mr. Chandler was guilty. Mr. Chandler said police used scare tactics to coerce a false confession.

The wrongful prison sentence stripped years from Mr. Chandler's life that can never be returned. It also forces the shooting victim's family to relive a nightmare that should have been closed years ago. But the biggest tragedy is that cases such as this are not a rarity in the United States.

The Innocence Project, whose Kentucky branch handled the Chandler case, says on its Web site that there have been 244 post-conviction exonerations since the venture was begun in 1992 in affiliation with Yeshiva University. Mr. Chandler's conviction seems typical of the miscarriages of justice that the project addresses. Seventy percent of the wrongfully convicted defendants are racial minorities (Mr. Chandler is black), for example, and 40 percent of the cases result in the real perpetrator being identified (a repeat offender has been indicted for the Louisville murder).

In the face of such statistics, it is appalling that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June that inmates in the six states that do not allow post-conviction access to DNA evidence cannot use federal civil rights laws to obtain advanced DNA testing. (The Chandler case was rectified based on fingerprints, but DNA produces most post-conviction reversals.)

The justice system is charged with getting things right — for the benefit of victims, defendants and society. The courts must recognize that this doesn't always happen, and do whatever it can, whenever it can, to prevent or reverse life-altering errors.

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Yea, Joel Pett Is STILL On A Roll!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Eugene Robinson: "Let The Rejectionists Fume". I WHOLEHEARTEDLY AGREE!

Let the rejectionists fume
By Eugene Robinson

WASHINGTON — Somebody explain this to me: The President of the United States wins the Nobel Peace Prize, and Rush Limbaugh joins with the Taliban in bitterly denouncing the award? Glenn Beck has a conniption fit and demands that the President not accept what may be the world's most prestigious honor? The Republican National Committee issues a statement sarcastically mocking our nation's leader — elected, you will recall, by a healthy majority — as unworthy of such recognition?

Why, oh why, do conservatives hate America so?

OK, I know, it's just some conservatives who've been exhibiting what they, in a different context, surely would describe as “Hanoi Jane” behavior. Others who haven't taken leave of their political senses — and are familiar with the concept of manners — responded to President Obama's unexpected award with equanimity and even grace. Sen. John McCain, for example, offered his good-natured congratulations.

Some of Obama's most strident critics, however, just can't give it a rest. They use words like “farce” and “travesty,” as if there were always universal agreement on the worthiness of the Nobel peace laureate. Does anyone remember the controversy over Henry Kissinger or Yasser Arafat or F.W. de Klerk?

The problem for the addlebrained Obama-rejectionists is that the President, as far as they are concerned, couldn't possibly do anything right, and thus is unworthy of any conceivable recognition. If Obama ended all hunger in the world, they'd accuse him of promoting obesity. If he solved global warming, they'd complain it was getting chilly. If he got Mahmoud Abbas and Binyamin Netanyahu to join him around the campfire in a chorus of “Kumbaya,” the rejectionists would claim that his singing was out of tune.

Let the rejectionists fulminate and sputter until they wear themselves out. Politically, they're only bashing themselves. As Republican leaders — except RNC Chairman Michael Steele — are beginning to realize, “I'm With the Taliban Against America” is not likely to be a winning slogan.

More interesting, but no less goofy, is the recommendation — by otherwise sane commentators — that Obama should decline the award. This is ridiculous.

If the award just represented the political views of a handful of left-leaning, self-satisfied Norwegian Eurocrats, as some critics have charged, then it wouldn't matter whether Obama won it or not. But of course it means much more. The Nobel Peace Prize, irrespective of the idiosyncratic process that selects its winner, is universally recognized as a stamp of the world's approval. For an American president to reject such a token of approval would be absurdly counterproductive.

Obama has shifted U.S. foreign policy away from George W. Bush's cowboy ethos toward a multilateral approach. He envisions, and has begun to implement, a different kind of U.S. leadership that I believe is more likely to succeed in an interconnected, multipolar world. That this shift is being noticed and recognized is to Obama's credit — and to our country's.

The peace prize comes as Obama is in the midst of reviewing war strategy in Afghanistan. Some advocates for sending additional troops are complaining — and some advocates of a pullout are hoping — that the award may somehow limit the President's options. But the prize is nothing more than an acknowledgment of what Obama has been saying and doing thus far. He hardly needs to be reminded of his philosophy of international relations — or that he once called Afghanistan a “war of necessity.” Threading that needle is not made any easier or harder by the Nobel committee's decision.

What I really don't understand is the view that somehow there's a tremendous downside for Obama in the award. It raises expectations, these commentators say — as if expectations of any American president, and especially this one, were not already sky high. Obama has taken on the rescue of the U.S. financial system and the long-term restructuring of the economy. He has launched historic initiatives to revolutionize health care, energy policy and the way we educate our children. He said flatly during the campaign that he wants to be remembered as a transformational president.

The only reasonable response is McCain's: congratulations. Nothing, not even the Nobel Peace Prize, can set the bar any higher for President Obama than he's already set it for himself.

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


"Leaders Fall Short On Gay Rights". Read My Comment.

Leaders fall short on gay rights

Full equality for gays and lesbians is the civil rights issue of our time. Men and women who want to preserve and protect the ideals of this nation are being booted from the military because of who they are.

Same-sex couples who seek the recognition of their relationships that their heterosexual counterparts take for granted are denied the rights and responsibilities that come from civil marriage. Ending these and other forms of institutional discrimination based on sexual orientation requires leadership. Pity there's not enough of it coming from either end of Pennsylvania Avenue.

President Obama ran as a candidate of change. Perhaps no other community took that to heart more than the gay community. Mr. Obama promised to end “don't ask, don't tell” policy, which prohibits members of the military from serving if they are openly gay.

He promised to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and denies married same-sex couples more than 1,100 federal benefits available to opposite-sex couples. There's been no visible movement on either pledge.

As he has in the past, Mr. Obama said the right things on gay rights at Saturday's fund-raising dinner for the Human Rights Campaign. “I'm here with you in that fight” for equality, he said. “For even as we face extraordinary challenges as a nation, we cannot — and we will not — put aside issues of basic equality.”

On gays in the military, Mr. Obama mentioned his discussions with the Pentagon, the legislation pending in Congress and stated plainly, “I will end ‘don't ask, don't tell.' That's my commitment to you.” On repealing DOMA, the President said, “I believe strongly in stopping laws designed to take rights away and passing laws that extend equal rights to gay couples.”

Frustration with Mr. Obama and the lack of progress in fulfilling his pledges on gay rights were evident at Sunday's National Equality March. But why is he the only target? Overturning “don't ask, don't tell” and DOMA require legislation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid, D-Nev., have been content to sit on the sidelines while Mr. Obama takes the hits.

This can't continue. Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Reid must exert the necessary leadership in their respective chambers to pass bills the President has promised to sign. Until then, they deserve as much criticism and blame as Mr. Obama for impeding the long march to equality.

An editorial in Tuesday's Washington Post.

Editorial comment: "Full equality for gays and lesbians is the civil rights issue of our time."

That IS the first LIE of this piece.

Update: Laugh with Nick Anderson:


Keith Olbermann "Fact Checks" Rush Limpbaugh: "Like Congratulating Yourself On Spreading Syphilis." Watch Video.

Louisville Courier Journal Editorial: DITTOEHEAD Football. I Say: Rush Limpbaugh Can Keep His "BLOOD MONEY".

Dittohead football

The union that represents National Football League players doesn't want radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh to become an owner of the St. Louis Rams franchise. Neither should anyone else — fans and non-fans alike.

As DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the players' group, said in ane-mail to the union's executive committee, “Sport in America is at its best when it unifies, gives all of us reason to cheer, and when it transcends. Our sport does exactly that when it overcomes division and rejects discrimination and hatred.”

That is not a description of the spirit to which Mr. Limbaugh appeals.

In an earlier flirtation with professional football, he was forced to resign from an ESPN program in 2003 for suggesting that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, who is black, received credit he didn't deserve for his team's success from media with a “social concern” that “a black quarterback do(es) well.” Of course, whenever he is accused of racism, Mr. Limbaugh denies racist intent — saying that his real target is Democrats, liberals, space aliens or, as in the McNabb case, the media.

Other recent examples of Mr. Limbaugh's non-racist intent include his hope that President Obama fails, his decision to play the song “Barack the Magic Negro” on his radio show, his assertion that African Americans are trained from a young age to hate America and his interpretation that slavery wasn't such a bad thing because it built the South. Even standing alone, his declaration that pro football resembles a fight between the Crips and the Bloods without weapons should unnerve the NFL, in which about 65 percent of the players are black.

Moreover, there is the little matter that Mr. Limbaugh is a prescription-pain-killer addict who has avoided criminal conviction only though legal dancing and check-writing. All professional sports, of course, have good reason to be wary about drugs.

Free speech entitles Mr. Limbaugh to speak his mind, and that's as it should be. But words have consequences, and one consequence of Mr. Limbaugh's bluster should be that the NFL's owners find a more suitable buyer in St. Louis.

Editor's comment: Rush Limpbaugh's money is akin to BLOOD MONEY. Saint Louis Ram's fans are CORRECT in rejecting it!


Louisville Courier Journal Editorial: "No Term Limits". I DISAGREE!

No to term limits

What is it about Republicans that makes them think terms limits are a good idea?

The best example of this occurred in 1947, when, in power in Congress for the first time in a generation, the GOP passed the 22nd Amendment, limiting a president to two terms. Their purpose was clear: to prevent America from electing another Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was elected four times and probably would have been elected to four more terms had he lived long enough.

Back in the '90s, tired of long-term Democratic control of Congress, Republicans started the chant again, but they abandoned it pretty quickly after their massive victories in the 1994 midterm elections.

In Louisville, limiting terms hasn't been the issue in the past. Rather, the problem with state and local government was the limitation of one term for mayors and governors — a situation that made them lame ducks from the moment they take their hand off the Bible on inauguration day. Here in Louisville since 1986, voters have twice embraced the notion that mayors should be able to succeed themselves. And in the early 1990s, statewide voters approved the same opportunity for governors.

Continuity in office doesn't assure progress on important issues, but in the case of Louisville, it has. Consider the airport expansion, government consolidation, the waterfront park and Fourth Street Live, and the case is made.

The latest effort to limit the mayor's terms is being pushed by (guess who?) Republicans on the Metro Council, weary, no doubt, of repeated drubbings by Jerry Abramson, who has been mayor for most of the past quarter century, before and after governments were merged. As with the post-war congressional effort, this is spite, pure and simple, but it won't hurt Jerry Abramson, who has decided not to seek a third term and will run instead for lieutenant governor.

Mind you, nobody on the council is talking about limiting his or her own terms. Just the mayor's.

We encourage the council to consider a lesson national Republicans learned after they changed the Constitution to spite FDR. In 1960, President Dwight Eisenhower almost certainly could have been easily re-elected. And in 1988, Ronald Reagan would have been a shoo-in for a third term.

Voters going to the polls on Election Day set term limits. They are the best judge of whether a person deserves a second term. Not politicians who are envious of another's success.

Editor's comment: "Voters going to the polls on Election Day set term limits. They are the best judge of whether a person deserves a second term. Not politicians who are envious of another's success."

Great point.

I used to feel the same way, but the voters are so IGNORANT -- and elected officials want them to stay that way -- that I NOW believe ONLY term limits will save us from ourselves!


"The Baucus Bill Is A Tax Bill".

The Baucus Bill Is a Tax Bill
Middle-class families would get hit with a double-digit increase in their marginal tax rate.

Remember when health-care reform was supposed to make life better for the middle class? That dream began to unravel this past summer when Congress proposed a bill that failed to include any competition-based reforms that would actually bend the curve of health-care costs. It fell apart completely when Democrats began papering over the gaping holes their plan would rip in the federal budget.

As it now stands, the plan proposed by Democrats and the Obama administration would not only fail to reduce the cost burden on middle-class families, it would make that burden significantly worse.

Consider the bill put forward by the Senate Finance Committee. From a budgetary perspective, it is straightforward. The bill creates a new health entitlement program that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates will grow over the longer term at a rate of 8% annually, which is much faster than the growth rate of the economy or tax revenues. This is the same growth rate as the House bill that Sen. Kent Conrad (D., N.D.) deep-sixed by asking the CBO to tell the truth about its impact on health-care costs.

To avoid the fate of the House bill and achieve a veneer of fiscal sensibility, the Senate did three things: It omitted inconvenient truths, it promised that future Congresses will make tough choices to slow entitlement spending, and it dropped the hammer on the middle class.

One inconvenient truth is the fact that Congress will not allow doctors to suffer a 24% cut in their Medicare reimbursements. Senate Democrats chose to ignore this reality and rely on the promise of a cut to make their bill add up. Taking note of this fact pushes the total cost of the bill well over $1 trillion and destroys any pretense of budget balance.

It is beyond fantastic to promise that future Congresses, for 10 straight years, will allow planned cuts in reimbursements to hospitals, other providers, and Medicare Advantage (thereby reducing the benefits of 25% of seniors in Medicare). The 1997 Balanced Budget Act pursued this strategy and successive Congresses steadily unwound its provisions. The very fact that this Congress is pursuing an expensive new entitlement belies the notion that members would be willing to cut existing ones.

Most astounding of all is what this Congress is willing to do to struggling middle-class families. The bill would impose nearly $400 billion in new taxes and fees. Nearly 90% of that burden will be shouldered by those making $200,000 or less.

It might not appear that way at first, because the dollars are collected via a 40% tax on sales by insurers of "Cadillac" policies, fees on health insurers, drug companies and device manufacturers, and an assortment of odds and ends.

But the economics are clear. These costs will be passed on to consumers by either directly raising insurance premiums, or by fueling higher health-care costs that inevitably lead to higher premiums. Consumers will pay the excise tax on high-cost plans. The Joint Committee on Taxation indicates that 87% of the burden would fall on Americans making less than $200,000, and more than half on those earning under $100,000.

Industry fees are even worse because Democrats chose to make these fees nondeductible. This means that insurance companies will have to raise premiums significantly just to break even. American families will bear a burden even greater than the $130 billion in fees that the bill intends to collect. According to my analysis, premiums will rise by as much as $200 billion over the next 10 years—and 90% will again fall on the middle class.

Senate Democrats are also erecting new barriers to middle-class ascent. A family of four making $54,000 would pay $4,800 for health insurance, with the remainder coming from subsidies. If they work harder and raise their income to $66,000, their cost of insurance rises by $2,800. In other words, earning another $12,000 raises their bill by $2,800—a marginal tax rate of 23%. Double-digit increases in effective tax rates will have detrimental effects on the incentives of millions of Americans.

Why does it make sense to double down on the kinds of entitlements already in crisis, instead of passing medical malpractice reform and allowing greater competition among insurers? Why should middle-class families pay more than $2,000 on average, by my estimate, in taxes in the process?

Middle-class families have it tough enough. There is little reason to believe that the pain of the current recession, housing downturn, and financial crisis will quickly fade away—especially with the administration planning to triple the national debt over the next decade.

The promise of real reform remains. But the reality of the Democrats' current effort is starkly less benign. It will create a dangerous new entitlement that will be paid for by the middle class and their children.

Mr. Holtz-Eakin is a former director of the Congressional Budget Office and a fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

Editor's comment: "Why does it make sense to double down on the kinds of entitlements already in crisis, instead of passing medical malpractice reform and allowing greater competition among insurers?"

A GREAT question that DEMANDS an answer.


In Anticipation Of The Passage Of Senator Max Baucus' Healthcare Reform Bill, Senator Mitch McConnell "Pooh Pooh's" It. Watch Video.

Senator Mitch McConnell: "A Maxed-Out Government Credit Card". Watch Video.

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POTUS Barack Obama's Olympics.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

University Of Kentucky CAVES, Coughs Up More Than Three Million Dollars To Billy Gillispie And Company. Can You Sing: Money To Burn? Read More Below.

Here is the agreement. It speaks for itself, so I won't go into it, but I agree with this statement:

“I think he’s been vindicated by the fact that he got a deal that he can now live with,” Anaipakos said -- that is Gillispie's lawyer.

Dance away anyway:


Paul Anka Co-Wrote Micheal Jackson's "This Is It" As "I Never Heard" Heard Here Sung A Year Ago By Tne Singer Safire. Listen.

First listen to Michael Jackson:

Then listen to Safire:

Are you a Michael Jackson fan? Then watch "This Is It" movie trailer below:

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BREAKING NEWS: As Expected, Senate Finance Committee Passes Senator Max Bachus' Healthcare Bill With Republican Senator Olympia Snowe's Support.

You can watch the vote count here.

Now on to the Senate where I conclude the bill will win approval with BIG margin.

Stay tuned.

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Quick Update: Senator Max Bachus' Healthcare Bill Will Get A Republican's Support. Who, You Ask? Maine's Independent Minded Senator, Olympia Snowe!

Keep watching the LIVE program here:

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Watch LIVE Senate Finance Committee Hearing On Senator Max Bachus' Markup Healthcare Reform Bill.

Nick Anderson Makes Us Laugh with The "NOT BUSH" Nobel Peace Prize Cartoon.


Monday, October 12, 2009

I Omitted To Inform You About A VERY Important Kentucky Supreme Court CORRECT Ruling Concerning "Loss Of Consortium". Sorry. Read More Below.

Read the very well reasoned opinion by Justice Mary Noble.

Below is an excerpt:

But just as the Court did not address whether loss of parental consortium continues after the age of majority in Guiler, the legislature has not addressed specifically in the statute whether loss of consortium damages continue after the death of the spouse in KRS 411.145. This question was not at issue in Guiler, but is the controlling question here. Thus this Court must answer that question, and does so by saying that loss of consortium damages under KRS 411 .145 do not cease at death.

The Court reaches this conclusion by first looking at the language of the statute: "a wife or a husband may recover damages." Those damages, as enumerated in subsection (1), encompass "services, assistance, aid, society, companionship and conjugal relationship . . . ." KRS 411 .145(1) . When this loss results from a "negligent or wrongful act" of a third person, the legislative intent is clear that this person must compensate the spouse for the loss. The general focus of this statute is compensatory in nature.

The courts have been exhorted that "common sense must not be a stranger in the house of the law." Cantrell v. Kentucky Unemployment Ins. Comm'n , 450 S.W.2d 235, 237 (Ky. 1970) . It is apparent that the kinds of damage elements enumerated in the statute are those that describe the personal relationship, mental and physical, between spouses. It is equally apparent that the pain and deprivation coming from loss of such interactions does not magically disappear the day a spouse dies . It defies common sense to put a value on such losses while a spouse is lying incapacitated, but to say the loss is worthless after death. While grief and loss are borne in different ways by different people, it is nonetheless a common part of the human condition that a jury can properly evaluate based on the facts and circumstances of each case.

Further, since the statute is intended to be compensatory, full compensation cannot be had if the damages claimed are required to terminate at death. Indeed, in many cases death is so sudden or follows so quickly after the injury that to cut loss of consortium damages off at death is to essentially deny the cause of action to the spouse altogether . In creating the cause of action, the legislature did not indicate in the statute that it applied only when the victims survived . To read the statute that way would be to create a class of plaintiffs whose cause of action depended on the vagaries of fate, rather than an orderly operation of law. Can it reasonably be said that one whose spouse survives suffers more loss of consortium than one whose spouse dies?

Moreover, allowing a loss of consortium claim only if the victim survives would appear to give perverse incentives to potential tortfeasors . Such a rule could create incentives to kill victims instead of leaving them disabled, as only by instantly killing the victim can the tortfeasor be guaranteed to owe no loss of
consortium damages. While this logically follows the common law rule, it is obviously absurd.

Editor's comment: Justice Mary Noble, I couldn't have said it BETTER myself!

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According To Former Republican Senate Leader, Bob Dole: Republicans Are Deliberately Refusing Healthcare Reform So As To NOT Help POTUS Barack Obama!

Dole says he was asked not to issue health care statement

Former Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole, R-Kansas, was in Kansas City last week to speak at a health care forum.

The GOP’s 1996 candidate for president said he was asked by current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., not to issue a bipartisan statement calling for passage of health care reform legislation.

“We’re already hearing from some high-ranking Republicans that we shouldn’t do that — that’s helping the president,” Dole said. He later specified that the people he referred to included one “very prominent Republican, who happens to be the Republican leader of the Senate,” according to The Kansas City Star .

Dole was also quoted as saying that partisanship by his own GOP was behind the delay in reaching agreement on a final health care bill.

“Sometimes people fight you just to fight you,” Dole said. “They don’t want Reagan to get it, they don’t want Obama to get it, so we’ve got to kill it.”

Dole was careful to say he did not agree with everything President Barack Obama was proposing, but “I don’t want the Republicans putting up a ‘no’ sign and saying, ‘We’re not open for business.’”

Dole and former Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., later did release their statement, which did not endorse a specific bill but urged “sweeping changes in health care.”

Dole and Daschle, co-founders of the Bipartisan Policy Center, went on to say this: “As former Senate leaders, we each worked for years to reform the health care system and watched with frustration as efforts failed time and time again. The Congressional and Executive branches must accept responsibility for not getting the job done in the past.”

“Today it is different and Congress could be close to passing comprehensive health reform,” the former senators said. “The American people have waited decades and if this moment passes us by, it may be decades more before there is another opportunity. The current approaches suggested by the Congress are far from perfect, but they do provide some basis on which Congress can move forward and we urge the joint leadership to get together for America’s sake. We have no vote or power but we have experience and our only objective is to be helpful.”

Did McConnell ask Dole not to issue this statement?

Don Stewart, spokesman for the Senate GOP leader, said McConnell “hasn’t spoken with him in a while.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if staff have or something,” Stewart said, “but the leader hasn’t spoken with him.”

In addition, McConnell has given 44 Senate floor speeches since June 1 on the need for health care reform, Stewart said.

“I don’t think he objects to anybody issuing a statement calling for health care reform,” Stewart said. “There’s no daylight between the two.”

Indeed, for months, the most powerful Republican in Washington has been positing that it is his party that is proposing reasonable changes to the health care system while safeguarding the public purse and blocking any increases in taxes. McConnell sees the Democrats as rushing to enact a massive “government takeover” of health care that will cost Americans more money and cut Medicare benefits.

One man’s reasonable approach is another’s obstructionism, and such is the case here, where Obama and Democratic supporters of health care reform see McConnell merely as a defender of the status quo, not a partner in trying to find consensus.

Stewart added that Dole and some other Republicans who have been calling for health care reform — including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and former Sens. Bill Frist and Howard Baker of Tennessee — have not endorsed the Democrats’ plans.

“That…puts them in the same camp as one Addison Mitchell McConnell,” Stewart said.

Dole appeared Friday on Fox News and seemed to have mellowed a bit.

“I hope he did not think I was directing it personally at him,” Dole said of McConnell. “But if we are not in the game, we are just sitting on the sidelines, nothing good is going to happen.”

“…I think Republicans have a lot of good ideas. They ought to put them together in a bill,” Dole said. “There ought to be a vote on the substitute because everybody is for health care reform. Mitch McConnell is. Bob Dole is.”

“…If Mitch is listening, I hope he did not misinterpret what I said.…He is a good guy and he’s smart and he’s a good leader.” ...

Editor's comment: I have ALWAYS suspected that my fellow members of the Republican Party in CONgress who shall remain nameless have been pooh-poohing healthcare reform so they can HURT POTUS Barack Obama politically. NOW, thanks to integrity of some of us in that same party such as Bob Dole, my suspecions have been CONFIRMED.

Call me a RINO if you want, but the actions of some of my fellow party members/ leaders SICKEN me!

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Is Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael S. "Lack Of Steel" Steele A Certified IDIOT? Read His Email Below And You Be The Judge.

From: Michael S. Steele, RNC Chairman
Subject: Nobel Peace Prize for Awesomeness
Dear Friend,

I'm sure you've heard the news -- Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. It's a stunning, if not truly surprising, indication of just how meaningless a once honorable and respected award has become.

What has President Obama actually accomplished? It is unfortunate that the president's star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights.

Even the normally fawning media have expressed shock at the clearly political and unmerited award. But the Democrats clearly see it differently, with DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse stating "the Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists -- the Taliban and Hamas this morning -- in criticizing the President for receiving the Nobel Peace Prize."

Like most Americans, the DNC can't think of one achievement that the president has accomplished, so they resort to their predictable response and standard playbook of demonizing anyone who disagrees with them.

First they call Americans concerned over health care "rabid extremists" and "angry mobs." Now, when challenged to answer the question of what the president has accomplished, Democrats are lashing out calling Republicans terrorists. That type of political rhetoric is shameful.

Friend, the Democrats and their international leftist allies want America made subservient to the agenda of global redistribution and control. And truly patriotic Americans like you and our Republican Party are the only thing standing in their way.

Help our Party spread the word about the Obama Democrats' dangerous naivete and power grab. Please support GOP elected officials as they work to hold the Democrats accountable to the American people for their failed policies and irresponsible rhetoric by making a contribution of $25, $50, $100, $500 or $1,000 to the Republican National Committee today.

Your gift will also help support the recruitment and election of principled candidates who will defeat the Democrats in 2009 and 2010 and promote policies that put America first.


Michael S. Steele
Chairman, Republican National Committee

P.S. Friend, President Obama's award of the Nobel Peace Prize puts the cart before the horse. Help us remind the Democrats that trendy slogans and international esteem don't create new jobs for Americans, reduce the national debt, or keep our country safer in a dangerous world by making a
secure online contribution of $25, $50, $100, $500 or $1,000 to the RNC today. Thank you.

Contributions or gifts to the Republican National Committee are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.
Contributions from corporations, labor unions, federal contractors and foreign nationals
without permanent residency status are prohibited.
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Watch Nick Anderson's video below:

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Words To Live By.

"[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

"[W]here there is no law, there is no liberty; and nothing deserves the name of law but that which is certain and universal in its operation upon all the members of the community."

-- Benjamin Rush, letter to David Ramsay, 1788


Joel Pett Captures The Essense Of The Divergent Views Regarding POTUS Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize Honor. LOL.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Clarence Page: "Congrats, Now Earn The Prize".

Congrats, now earn the prize
By Clarence Page

Congratulations to President Barack Obama on his Nobel Peace Prize. I hope he now can do something to earn it. He could begin by bringing peace to American streets, such as those in his hometown.

Less than nine months into his presidency, it obviously is early for Obama to be lauded for great achievements. Yet the Norwegian Nobel Committee seems to be saying, why wait? They're giving him a big “E” for his efforts.

According to their declaration, the committee decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 should be awarded to Obama “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” The committee “attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.”

Fine. I would like to attach as much importance to his vision and work for cities without kids killing each other for sport in senseless turf battles, if only I knew what his vision was.

He still appears to be searching. A week before the Nobel was announced, Obama was compelled by the fatal video-recorded beating of Derrion Albert, 15, by a mob of teens on Chicago's South Side to take action. He dispatched two cabinet officers to address a youth violence problem that already has been exhaustively studied.

He sent Atty. Gen. Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan to meet with local officials in Chicago. The problem is hardly new to Duncan. He was CEO of the city's public schools before Obama brought him to Washington. He openly lamented in an April interview that, despite many achievements of which he was proud during his seven-year tenure as schools chief, he was a “total failure” at curbing violence. At least he's honest.

Yet, everybody seems to think they have the answer to youth violence. Just ask them. If I had a dollar for every reader who has written to me, often in capital letters, “IT'S THE PARENTS, STUPID,” the windfall probably could pay my son's college tuition.

They're right, of course. Broken families lead to broken lives for kids. But what's the prescription? For the black kids who disproportionately are victims and perpetrators of juvenile violence, for example, it is easy to blame black social problems on the absence of black fathers. It's hard to argue with a black out-of-wedlock birth rate of almost 70 percent. But where are we going to find young marriageable men to marry those unwed mothers? How do we break the cycle of family dysfunction before yet another generation of kids is lost?

More police are needed, but they're not enough, says Phillip Jackson, founder of Chicago's 13-year-old Black Star Project. “Derrion Albert and others are not getting jumped by organized street gangs,” Jackson told me. “These are just neighborhood kids who get together for what they call ‘mobbin,' which usually means fighting. They're not making money with their crime. They just don't think they have anything better to do.”

Jackson didn't expect much from the surge in programs, services and promises by city and federal officials that followed Derrion Albert's death. “We need structural changes,” Jackson said, “not knee-jerk reactions.”

Like what? He referred me to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which appropriately treats youth violence like the disease that it is. Their four sensible prescriptions:

1. Teach parents to talk with their kids and solve problems in nonviolent ways.

2. Teach children to resolve tough social situations without using violence.

3. Pair adults with youngsters to mentor and serve as role models for good behavior.

4. Reduce social and economic causes of violence in the young person's environment.

What doesn't work is buck passing. Each of these strategies require time, money and concern.

Kids need more than cops. They need good mentors and role models. They need something better to do after school than the “mobbing” that leads to gang fights. They need people with whom they can provide early warnings of violence before it happens, without feeling stigmatized as “snitches.” We know these things from programs that have worked to measurably reduce violence in schools and neighborhoods around the country.

So, congratulations on your prize, Mr. President. I hope you can earn it now, not just overseas but also here at home, too. We've diagnosed the youth violence virus for decades. It's time to give more attention to prescriptions that work to stop it.

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


THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN: "The Peace (Keepers) Prize".

The Peace (Keepers) Prize

The Nobel committee did President Obama no favors by prematurely awarding him its peace prize. As he himself acknowledged, he has not done anything yet on the scale that would normally merit such an award — and it dismays me that the most important prize in the world has been devalued in this way.

It is not the president’s fault, though, that the Europeans are so relieved at his style of leadership, in contrast to that of his predecessor, that they want to do all they can to validate and encourage it. I thought the president showed great grace in accepting the prize not for himself but “as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations.”

All that said, I hope Mr. Obama will take this instinct a step further when he travels to Oslo on Dec. 10 for the peace prize ceremony. Here is the speech I hope he will give:

“Let me begin by thanking the Nobel committee for awarding me this prize, the highest award to which any statesman can aspire. As I said on the day it was announced, ‘I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many of the transformative figures who’ve been honored by this prize.’ Therefore, upon reflection, I cannot accept this award on my behalf at all.

“But I will accept it on behalf of the most important peacekeepers in the world for the last century — the men and women of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.

“I will accept this award on behalf of the American soldiers who landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, to liberate Europe from the grip of Nazi fascism. I will accept this award on behalf of the American soldiers and sailors who fought on the high seas and forlorn islands in the Pacific to free East Asia from Japanese tyranny in the Second World War.

“I will accept this award on behalf of the American airmen who in June 1948 broke the Soviet blockade of Berlin with an airlift of food and fuel so that West Berliners could continue to live free. I will accept this award on behalf of the tens of thousands of American soldiers who protected Europe from Communist dictatorship throughout the 50 years of the cold war.

“I will accept this award on behalf of the American soldiers who stand guard today at outposts in the mountains and deserts of Afghanistan to give that country, and particularly its women and girls, a chance to live a decent life free from the Taliban’s religious totalitarianism.

“I will accept this award on behalf of the American men and women who are still on patrol today in Iraq, helping to protect Baghdad’s fledgling government as it tries to organize the rarest of things in that country and that region — another free and fair election.

“I will accept this award on behalf of the thousands of American soldiers who today help protect a free and Democratic South Korea from an unfree and Communist North Korea.

“I will accept this award on behalf of all the American men and women soldiers who have gone on repeated humanitarian rescue missions after earthquakes and floods from the mountains of Pakistan to the coasts of Indonesia. I will accept this award on behalf of American soldiers who serve in the peacekeeping force in the Sinai desert that has kept relations between Egypt and Israel stable ever since the Camp David treaty was signed.

“I will accept this award on behalf of all the American airmen and sailors today who keep the sea lanes open and free in the Pacific and Atlantic so world trade can flow unhindered between nations.

“Finally, I will accept this award on behalf of my grandfather, Stanley Dunham, who arrived at Normandy six weeks after D-Day, and on behalf of my great-uncle, Charlie Payne, who was among those soldiers who liberated part of the Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald.

“Members of the Nobel committee, I accept this award on behalf of all these American men and women soldiers, past and present, because I know — and I want you to know — that there is no peace without peacekeepers.

“Until the words of Isaiah are made true and lasting — and nations never again lift up swords against nations and never learn war anymore — we will need peacekeepers. Lord knows, ours are not perfect, and I have already moved to remedy inexcusable excesses we’ve perpetrated in the war on terrorism.

“But have no doubt, those are the exception. If you want to see the true essence of America, visit any U.S. military outpost in Iraq or Afghanistan. You will meet young men and women of every race and religion who work together as one, far from their families, motivated chiefly by their mission to keep the peace and expand the borders of freedom.

“So for all these reasons — and so you understand that I will never hesitate to call on American soldiers where necessary to take the field against the enemies of peace, tolerance and liberty — I accept this peace prize on behalf of the men and women of the U.S. military: the world’s most important peacekeepers.”


MAUREEN DOWD: "Gandhi Wuz Robbed"!

Gandhi Wuz Robbed

When he heard the Nobel Peace Prize shocker on Friday, Bill Clinton went into one of his purple rages. He picked up the phone and dialed the one person on earth who would be as steamed as he was.

CLINTON: Hey, man, it’s me. This thing is plumb crazy. Can you believe it?

W: No way, Jose!

CLINTON: First that prig Carter. Then that prig Gore. And now President Paris Hilton. The guy’s in office three days and he gets the peace prize? He should have gotten the Nobel in chemistry, because chemistry’s all he’s got. Talk about a fairy tale. This ... is ... just ... wrong! It’s killing me, man. I feel like my head’s explodin’. First I had the vast right-wing conspiracy, and now I have the vast left-wing conspiracy.

W.: I hear ya, 42. As if his head wasn’t big enough. This cat is all cage, no bird. He doesn’t have a clue.

CLINTON: Heck no.

W.: See, I’m the one who should be mad. Let me tell you, this Norwegia thing has nothing to do with him. It’s just another way for the pinkos of the world to drop a cow patty on my legacy. All that garbage in the prize statement about how special La Bamba is for bringing back wimpy multilateral diplomacy, dialogue and negotiations, the kind my dad and Scowcroft loved. Those Nobel ninnies are so lulu left they make the U.N. look like a Fox jamboree. The rookie already got rewarded once for not being me when he got elected. Gosh, what would he do without me?

CLINTON: Fine, but you never expected to win this prize. You were the quote-unquote war president and proud of it. I had to put up with a gazillion hours of Arafat’s insanity, but I guess that still wasn’t enough for those Oslo ice queens. I guess ending ethnic cleansing in Bosnia wasn’t enough, or bringing peace to Northern Ireland. And I guess my work with the Clinton Global Initiative saving lives in Africa and hanging with Bono and Barbra wasn’t enough.

W.: Calm down, bro. You gotta take care of that ticker.

CLINTON: It was a case of premature adulation.

W.: Heh-heh-heh. Yeah, very pre-emptive, sort of like Cheney’s pre-emptive war policy.

CLINTON: If they weren’t going to give it to me, they should at least have given it to the Chinese human rights movement or the Iranian protesters or AIDS workers in the Congo. Or even Bono.

W.: Yeah, man. Bono.

CLINTON: That would have helped make life better for the good guys and harder for the bad guys. Once again, action loses out to talk, just like with Hillary and Obama in the campaign. Nobel Prize for blah-blah-blah. Heck, I used to be considered a pretty good talker myself.

W.: It’s aggravating, I agree. But look at it this way, 42. Everybody’s laughing at La Bamba. He gets a Nobel for nada. Being loved by Europeans isn’t gonna do him any good here in the U.S. of A. I whupped that Frenchy Kerry, didn’t I?

CLINTON: The only peace Obama has made is bringing together the Taliban, Rush Limbaugh, the Palestinians and the Israelis to agree the guy is undeserving. It just confirms everyone’s suspicion that all this dude knows how to do is dazzle.

W.: He doesn’t want to be a Decider. He wants to be a Transformer. He transformed, all right — from Miss America to Miss Universe. He’s a five-spiral crash, and getting the gold is just a reminder of all he hasn’t done. He’s going to have to look over and see that big medallion hanging up there in the Oval, mocking him as an empty suit, a pretty boy beloved by the Blame-America-First crowd, whenever he has to send more troops to Afghanistan, or the Taliban act up, or Iran fires up for nukes.

CLINTON: Maybe you’re right, George. Some winners think the Nobel’s the kiss of death. Any peace prize that goes to Henry Kissinger but not Gandhi ain’t worth a can of Alpo. Heck, if Gandhi had known he was going to lose out to Henry the K, he could have had more time to eat french fries and chase girls.

W.: And finish getting dressed. Heh-heh-heh.

CLINTON: Barack’s going to give that $1.4 million away to charity. I got a charity. How ’bout he just signs it over to me? Speaking of money, we need to do another of those joint lecture things.

W.: I’m fairly footloose. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Go choke on a herring, Norwegia!


Louisville Courier Journal Editorial: "Prized Peacemaker".

Prized peacemaker

Barack Obama is only the third sitting President of the United States to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The news on Friday from Oslo could be described as stunning, even to the prize recipient, who is nine months into his presidency.

Some groused that the award was premature. The Taliban and Hamas weren't pleased. And the folks who cheered Chicago's loss of the Olympics despite a personal plea from the President have probably taken to their beds in the days since the Nobel announcement.

But other leaders — including former Peace Prize winners Mohamed Elbaradei and Shimon Peres — have hailed the decision.

For its part, the Nobel committee unanimously cited the President's work to rid the world of nuclear weapons and for his commitment to multilateral diplomacy.

Given the prize committee's statement, it is clear the President received the award for who and what he is, as well as for who and what he is not.

After eight years of Bush-era, cowboy swagger on the global stage — “bring it on,” “you're either with us or against us,” preemptive war — it is also clear how welcome our regime change at home has been to those who live beyond our own shores.

One only has to re-visit President Obama's “A New Beginning” speech in Cairo last June to appreciate the contrasts read by our global neighbors. Maybe the award will serve the same purpose in our own land, too. (The text is posted on our Web site,

Mr. Obama was speaking of the relationship between Americans and Muslims around the world in that speech, but the themes of “principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings” resound among all people and all nations. The Nobel Peace Prize is an indication of how mightily they do resound.

“So long as our relationship is defined by differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, those who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. And this cycle of suspicion and discord must end,” Mr. Obama said in Cairo.

“All of us share this world but for a brief moment in time. The question is whether we spend that time focused on what pushes us apart, or whether we commit ourselves to an effort — a sustained effort — to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children . . . ”

This year's Nobel Peace Prize serves as more than an individual award for the new and young President and his embrace of international dialogue, engagement and negotiation. It also serves as a strong signal to the people of the United States, who endorsed Mr. Obama with their votes, that their country is again at home in the world.

Some will say this award, and what it means, was bestowed too early. But some of us believe that the vision it celebrates came not a moment too soon.

Editor's note: To read POTUS Barack Obama's Cairo speech, go here.

Editor's comment: I congratulate POTUS Barack Obama for the honor; Tin foil hatters can go pout in a conner.


Frank Rich: Two Wrongs Make Another Fiasco.

Two Wrongs Make Another Fiasco

THOSE of us who love F. Scott Fitzgerald must acknowledge that he did get one big thing wrong. There are second acts in American lives. (Just ask Marion Barry, or William Shatner.) The real question is whether everyone deserves a second act. Perhaps the most surreal aspect of our great Afghanistan debate is the Beltway credence given to the ravings of the unrepentant blunderers who dug us into this hole in the first place.

Let’s be clear: Those who demanded that America divert its troops and treasure from Afghanistan to Iraq in 2002 and 2003 — when there was no Qaeda presence in Iraq — bear responsibility for the chaos in Afghanistan that ensued. Now they have the nerve to imperiously and tardily demand that America increase its 68,000-strong presence in Afghanistan to clean up their mess — even though the number of Qaeda insurgents there has dwindled to fewer than 100, according to the president’s national security adviser, Gen. James Jones.

But why let facts get in the way? Just as these hawks insisted that Iraq was “the central front in the war on terror” when the central front was Afghanistan, so they insist that Afghanistan is the central front now that it has migrated to Pakistan. When the day comes for them to anoint Pakistan as the central front, it will be proof positive that Al Qaeda has consolidated its hold on Somalia and Yemen.

To appreciate this crowd’s spotless record of failure, consider its noisiest standard-bearer, John McCain. He made every wrong judgment call that could be made after 9/11. It’s not just that he echoed the Bush administration’s constant innuendos that Iraq collaborated with Al Qaeda’s attack on America. Or that he hyped the faulty W.M.D. evidence to the hysterical extreme of fingering Iraq for the anthrax attacks in Washington. Or that he promised we would win the Iraq war “easily.” Or that he predicted that the Sunnis and the Shiites would “probably get along” in post-Saddam Iraq because there was “not a history of clashes” between them.

What’s more mortifying still is that McCain was just as wrong about Afghanistan and Pakistan. He routinely minimized or dismissed the growing threats in both countries over the past six years, lest they draw American resources away from his pet crusade in Iraq.

Two years after 9/11 he was claiming that we could “in the long term” somehow “muddle through” in Afghanistan. (He now has the chutzpah to accuse President Obama of wanting to “muddle through” there.) Even after the insurgency accelerated in Afghanistan in 2005, McCain was still bragging about the “remarkable success” of that prematurely abandoned war. In 2007, some 15 months after the Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf signed a phony “truce” ceding territory on the Afghanistan border to terrorists, McCain gave Musharraf a thumb’s up. As a presidential candidate in the summer of 2008, McCain cared so little about Afghanistan it didn’t even merit a mention among the national security planks on his campaign Web site.

He takes no responsibility for any of this. Asked by Katie Couric last week about our failures in Afghanistan, McCain spoke as if he were an innocent bystander: “I think the reason why we didn’t do a better job on Afghanistan is our attention — either rightly or wrongly — was on Iraq.” As Tonto says to the Lone Ranger, “What do you mean ‘we,’ white man?”

Along with his tribunes in Congress and the punditocracy, Wrong-Way McCain still presumes to give America its marching orders. With his Senate brethren in the Three Amigos, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, he took to The Wall Street Journal’s op-ed page to assert that “we have no choice” but to go all-in on Afghanistan — rightly or wrongly, presumably — just as we had in Iraq. Why? “The U.S. walked away from Afghanistan once before, following the Soviet collapse,” they wrote. “The result was 9/11. We must not make that mistake again.”

This shameless argument assumes — perhaps correctly — that no one in this country remembers anything. So let me provide a reminder: We already did make that mistake again when we walked away from Afghanistan to invade Iraq in 2003 — and we did so at the Three Amigos’ urging. Then, too, they promoted their strategy as a way of preventing another 9/11 — even though no one culpable for 9/11 was in Iraq. Now we’re being asked to pay for their mistake by squandering stretched American resources in yet another country where Al Qaeda has largely vanished.

To make the case, the Amigos and their fellow travelers conflate the Taliban with Al Qaeda much as they long conflated Saddam’s regime with Al Qaeda. But as Rajiv Chandrasekaran of The Washington Post reported on Thursday, American intelligence officials now say that “there are few, if any, links between Taliban commanders in Afghanistan today and senior Al Qaeda members” — a far cry from the tight Taliban-bin Laden alliance of 2001.

The rhetorical sleights of hand in the hawks’ arguments don’t end there. If you listen carefully to McCain and his neocon echo chamber, you’ll notice certain tics. President Obama better make his decision by tomorrow, or Armageddon (if not mushroom clouds) will arrive. We must “win” in Afghanistan — but victory is left vaguely defined. That’s because we will never build a functioning state in a country where there has never been one. Nor can we score a victory against the world’s dispersed, stateless terrorists by getting bogged down in a hellish landscape that contains few of them.

Most tellingly, perhaps, those clamoring for an escalation in Afghanistan avoid mentioning the name of the country’s president, Hamid Karzai, or the fraud-filled August election that conclusively delegitimized his government. To do so would require explaining why America should place its troops in alliance with a corrupt partner knee-deep in the narcotics trade. As long as Karzai and the election are airbrushed out of history, it can be disingenuously argued that nothing has changed on the ground since Obama’s inauguration and that he has no right to revise his earlier judgment that Afghanistan is a “war of necessity.”

Those demanding more combat troops for Afghanistan also avoid defining the real costs. The Congressional Research Service estimates that the war was running $2.6 billion a month in Pentagon expenses alone even before Obama added 20,000 troops this year. Surely fiscal conservatives like McCain and Graham who rant about deficits being “generational theft” have an obligation to explain what the added bill will be on an Afghanistan escalation and where the additional money will come from. But that would require them to use the dread words “sacrifice” and “higher taxes” when they want us to believe that this war, like Iraq, would be cost-free.

The real troop numbers are similarly elusive. Pre-emptively railing against the prospect of “half measures” by Obama, Lieberman asked MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell rhetorically last week whether it would be “real counterinsurgency” or “counterinsurgency light.” But the measure Lieberman endorses — Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s reported recommendation of 40,000 additional troops — is itself counterinsurgency light. In his definitive recent field manual on the subject, Gen. David Petraeus stipulates that real counterinsurgency requires 20 to 25 troops for each thousand residents. That comes out, conservatively, to 640,000 troops for Afghanistan (population, 32 million). Some 535,000 American troops couldn’t achieve a successful counterinsurgency in South Vietnam, which had half Afghanistan’s population and just over a quarter of its land area.

Lieberman suggested to Mitchell that we could train an enhanced, centralized Afghan army to fill any gaps. In how many decades? The existing Afghan “army” is small, illiterate, impoverished and as factionalized as the government. For his part, McCain likes to justify McChrystal’s number of 40,000 by imbuing it with the supposedly magical powers of the “surge” in Iraq. But it’s rewriting history to say that the “surge” brought “victory” to Iraq. What it did was stanch the catastrophic bleeding in an unnecessary war McCain had helped gin up. Lest anyone forget, we still don’t know who has “won” in Iraq.

Afghanistan is not Iraq. It is poorer, even larger and more populous, more fragmented and less historically susceptible to foreign intervention. Even if the countries were interchangeable, the wars are not. No one-size surge fits all. President Bush sent the additional troops to Iraq only after Sunni leaders in Anbar Province soured on Al Qaeda and reached out for American support. There is no equivalent “Anbar Awakening” in Afghanistan. Most Afghans “don’t feel threatened by the Taliban in their daily lives” and “aren’t asking for American protection,” reported Richard Engel of NBC News last week. After eight years of war, many see Americans as occupiers.

Americans, meanwhile, want to see the fine print after eight years of fiasco with little accounting. While McCain and company remain frozen where they were in 2001, many of their fellow citizens have learned from the Iraq tragedy. Polls persistently find that the country is skeptical about what should and can be accomplished in Afghanistan. They voted for Obama not least because they wanted a new post-9/11 vision of national security, and they will not again be so easily bullied by the blustering hawks’ doomsday scenarios. That gives our deliberating president both the time and the political space to get this long war’s second act right.