Sunday, 14 June 2009
Murder by Bureaucracy
COMMENT: To be forewarned is to be forearmed. You received some good information yesterday and as you receive additional information you will want to be attentive and Arm Yourself for the Coming Battle Against Government-Run Health Care.
United States Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) will soon unveil his plan to institute a government-run, taxpayer-funded health care system.
Please take a moment to view this hard-hitting TV ad warning about the dangers of implementing a government-run health care system.
Wise guy liberal talk show hosts and writers of impassioned letters to the editor have been lecturing me with the argument that Obama and his Democrats are not remotely planning any sort of government health-care rationing in their socialized medicine plan, which is going to save so much money that they are now scrounging around for the biggest tax increase in U.S. history to pay for it. But Obama has now made fools out of all of them with the release last week of his White House report, "The Economic Case for Health Care Reform" (.pdf), produced by his Council of Economic Advisors (CEA).
Read the document, and you will see that it envisions a complete government takeover of America's health care in great detail. Wise, all-knowing, government bureaucrats in Washington will identify exactly what health care in each locality in the entire country is waste, and eliminate it. They will determine whether the treatments and health care your doctor has prescribed for you are right, and the best of the alternatives, and they will control his practice through their payment policies and regulations, forcing him to follow what they in their all-knowing wisdom think is best. Worst of all, they will decide whether the health care your doctor thinks you need is "cost-effective," meaning they will decide whether the cost of your health care is worth it, to them.
Listen to Obama, and you will hear him say almost every day that his health reforms are going to save America and its economy by reducing health costs. The CEA report explains exactly how and why he is going to do that. They don't use the word, of course, but nevertheless it is all overwhelming, government, health-care rationing, meaning you and your doctor lose control and choice over your health care, and centralized, government bureaucrats in Washington decide what health care you get and when. Think about it, and you will realize that in the government-run system Obama envisions, there is no other way to achieve the cost reductions he is talking about than through extensive government health-care rationing, meaning denying you the health care you want.
Indeed, the CEA report says 30% of American health care is waste, which government bureaucracy is now going to eliminate. That is a lot of health care to deny you. Doctors and hospitals who don't think this downsizing is going to affect them, and their freedom to control and run their own practices, are whistling past the graveyard. Wake up, and you will realize that in Obama's Brave New World, you are going to be the targets, just like the bank executives are today.
The Government Doesn't, Can't, and Won't Know
The economists who wrote the CEA report on health-care reform start by assuming first that the government is omniscient. They don't say that, but that assumption jumps out of every line.
For example, the report says the government is going to sharply reduce health costs by
Looking systematically at what works and what doesn't in order to provide more high value care and less care that is of low value. For many types of medical conditions, a patient may have a choice of several methods or treatments, each having different benefits or risks. Systematic examinations of the merits of different treatments and dissemination of the results of these examinations to patients and providers is one mechanism for promoting high value health care.
You will notice in reading Obamaspeak on health policy a distinct lack of nouns. Just who is going to look systematically at what works and what doesn't? And just who is going to conduct those "systematic examinations of the merits of different treatments?" And will whoever that is really know what works and what doesn't for 300 million patients across America, and "the merits of different treatments"? The answer to the first two questions is a centralized government health-care bureaucracy in Washington. Intelligent readers might think the answer to the last question is "No," or maybe "Hell, no!" But the answer is really, "Of course not, wake up and smell the coffee before it is too late."
The CEA report says at the beginning that "up to 30 percent of health-care costs (or about 5 percent of GDP) could be saved without compromising health outcomes." Achieving that result to slash the federal deficit, increase GDP ultimately by 8%, and reduce unemployment is going to require a lot more than "dissemination of the results [of the above] examinations to patients and providers [as] one mechanism for promoting high value health care."
Read more here
"The Doctor Will See All of You Now"
by Phyllis Schlafly, December 12, 2008
You are sitting in a doctor's waiting room with eight other sick patients and the nurse announces: The doctor will see all of you now — at the same time. That's how the Boston Globe recently described shared visits that are being used to cope with the long waits now customary in Massachusetts.
Ted Kennedy and Barack Obama are planning that the new Democratic Congress's first order of business will be to extend the Massachusetts health-care mistake to all 50 states. Like other legislative rush-acts (i.e., the 2007 amnesty bill and the 2008 bailouts), details are currently withheld to avoid giving members of Congress and the public adequate time to analyze the bill before the vote is called.
If Kennedy succeeds in his goal of using the Massachusetts plan as a model for national health care, average Americans will no longer get immediate access to medical care. They will have the long waits and massive new taxpayer costs which the Massachusetts plan has produced.
Defending the practice of group visits, one doctor told the Boston Globe, "people came to me with similar complaints and I had these canned speeches." The doctor does not ask the patients to take off their clothes in front of the group; he makes do with less effective, fully-clothed examinations.
The group session consists mostly of hearing other people's complaints, while the doctor dishes out advice in front of all the patients. Privacy and modesty are gone, but you can pick up the germs of the other sick patients in the room with you.
One doctor observed that "this is not the type of medical care anyone with a modicum of intelligence would want." Is this the change Obama promised?
At Holyoke Health Center in Boston, patients wait four months simply to get an appointment. This causes some patients to go to costly emergency rooms for routine visits.
While emergency rooms are handling routine matters and taking medical histories, people who need urgent attention wait in line. In parts of western Massachusetts, which is non-urban like most of the United States, the wait has grown longer than one year just to get a physical.
The Massachusetts health-care plan is universal and mandatory. The Massachusetts plan also introduces other words into the health-care vocabulary such as group diagnosis, long waits, rationing, forced taxes, and high costs.
The Massachusetts plan forces people to buy insurance they do not want or need. Once they are compelled to pay for it, they naturally want something for their money, and that crowds out people who really need medical care.
The Massachusetts plan is a fiscal disaster, costing far more than estimated, with no end in sight. Massachusetts is wealthier than most states, but this plan threatens to bankrupt even it.
The Massachusetts plan forces people to buy insurance under threat of having to pay a penalty on their income tax return. Kennedy's staff has been quietly meeting with the insurance industry to make sure it will be just as happy with a national version of mandatory insurance as it is in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts politicians had promised voters not to worry about costs because the state would collect $95 million in fees in the first year from small businesses that do not insure their employees. But those fees were never collected because small businesses cannot afford this, and taxpayers are forced to ante up that shortfall.
Massachusetts taxpayers were not told that this plan forces public funding for abortion by anyone who wants one, not only the poor. Kennedy's plan will likely try to force Americans nationwide to pay for all abortions as the Massachusetts plan does, perhaps by regulations if not by statute.
Massachusetts medical care is beginning to look like Canada, where waiting lists, rationing, and travel to foreign countries for care have become the norm. Meanwhile, Members of Congress continue to enjoy special gold-plated health care not available to most Americans.
Former Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle, who is a high-paid health-care consultant for a lobbying firm, is expected to be appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services. He is holding town hall meetings this month to create the illusion of public support for the Kennedy plan.
As HHS Secretary, Daschle will write the regulatory details that Congress doesn't dare to put in the proposed statute. So much for Obama's promise to change Washington, eliminate the influence of lobbyists, and avoid conflicts of interest!
Obama is planning to use his giant campaign database to pressure Congress into speedy action. Americans will have to protest quickly if they want to prevent the mandatory and expensive Massachusetts plan from being forced on the country.
Posted on 06/14/2009 5:39 PM by Bobbie Patray
Sunday, 14 June 2009
The Health Care Bill is the Ball Game
The Health Care Bill is the Ball Game
By Mona Charen
You might suppose that President Obama has his hands full running two wars, administering General Motors, "rescuing" the banking system, attempting to empower unions over management, hushing up whispers about hypocrisy regarding Guantanamo detainees, managing the mortgage crisis, imposing "clean energy" on the nation, handling nuclear North Korea and nearly nuclear Iran, "stimulating" the economy, reviving the "peace process" between Palestinians and Israelis, inaugurating a new relationship with Russia and with the Muslim world, and reversing the rise of the world's oceans, but no, he has one more agenda item -- overhauling U.S. health care.
The administration is hoping that a health bill will be voted on by early August, which may be overly optimistic but still means that this summer will be dominated by the health care debate. Its outcome will determine the overall success or failure of Obama's effort to torque America toward the European model of statism. It isn't just that the health care sector accounts for 17 percent of the U.S. economy. It is also the case that if enacted, a nationalized health service -- no matter how crushingly expensive or bureaucratic -- will vitiate arguments about the proper scope of government. All future pleas for reducing the size of the state will run into the accusation that the small government advocate is eager to take antibiotics from the mouth of a child or insulin from a diabetic.
Whereas the Clinton administration advertised the overhaul of American health care primarily as a means of covering the uninsured, President Obama is making the bolder claim that revamping health care is a way to save money. Really? Medicare is already the program that ate the government, scheduled to go into bankruptcy itself in 2019. As the trustees report put it, "while Medicare's annual costs were 3.2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2008, or about three quarters of Social Security's, they are projected to surpass Social Security expenditures in 2028 and reach 11.4 percent of GDP in 2083." Or consider the Massachusetts health care reform introduced by Mitt Romney. Like every other government health care program, Romney's has vastly exceeded cost projections. Initially projected at $125 million per year, the program actually cost taxpayers $133 million in 2007, $647 million in 2008, $869 million in 2009, and could top $1.1 billion next year.
Read more here
Pay as you go -- except for health care
Obama: It's OK to borrow to pay for health care
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed budget rules that would allow Congress to borrow tens of billions of dollars and put the nation deeper in debt to jump-start the administration's emerging health care overhaul. The "pay-as-you-go" budget formula plan is significantly weaker than a proposal Obama issued with little fanfare last month.
It would carve out about $2.5 trillion worth of exemptions for Obama's priorities over the next decade. His health care reform plan also would get a green light to run big deficits in its early years. But over a decade, Congress would have to come up with money to cover those early year deficits.
Obama's latest proposal for addressing deficits urges Congress to pass a law requiring lawmakers to pay for new spending programs and tax cuts without further adding to exploding deficits projected to total about $10 trillion over the next decade.
If new spending or tax reductions are not offset, there would be automatic cuts in so-called mandatory programs — although Social Security payments and the Medicaid health care program for poor and disabled would be exempt and cuts to Medicare would be sharply limited.
Read more here
Posted on 06/14/2009 5:37 PM by Bobbie Patray
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Excellent Analysis of Obama's Cairo speech
Here is the text as prepared for delivery, provided by the White House, via USA Today, June 4 -- with my comments interspersed:
I am honored to be in the timeless city of Cairo, and to be hosted by two remarkable institutions. For over a thousand years, Al-Azhar has stood as a beacon of Islamic learning,
...whose Grand Sheikh, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, has given his approval — on Islamic grounds — to suicide bombing.
and for over a century, Cairo University has been a source of Egypt's advancement. Together, you represent the harmony between tradition and progress. I am grateful for your hospitality, and the hospitality of the people of Egypt. I am also proud to carry with me the goodwill of the American people, and a greeting of peace from Muslim communities in my country: assalaamu alaykum.
According to Islamic law, a Muslim may only extend this greeting -- Peace be upon you -- to a fellow Muslim. To a non-Muslim he is to say, "Peace be upon those who are rightly guided," i.e., Peace be upon the Muslims. Islamic law is silent about what Muslims must do when naive non-Muslim Islamophilic Presidents offer the greeting to Muslims.
We meet at a time of tension between the United States and Muslims around the world – tension rooted in historical forces that go beyond any current policy debate. The relationship between Islam and the West includes centuries of co-existence and cooperation, but also conflict and religious wars. More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations. Moreover, the sweeping change brought by modernity and globalization led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam.
"Co-existence and cooperation"? When and where, exactly?
Note that Obama lists only ways in which the West has, in his view, mistreated the Islamic world. Not a word about the jihad doctrine, not a word about Islamic supremacism and the imperative to make war against and subjugate non-Muslims as dhimmis. Not a word about the culture of hatred and contempt for non-Muslims that existed long before the spread of American culture ("modernity and globalization") around the world, which Obama D'Souzaishly suggests is responsible for the hostility Muslims have for the West.
Violent extremists have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims. The attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. This has bred more fear and mistrust.
The idea that the jihadists are a "small but potent minority of Muslims" is universally accepted dogma, but has no evidence to back it up. The evidence that appears to back it up is highly tendentious -- check out here how Dalia Mogahed (now an Obama adviser) and John Esposito cooked survey data from the Islamic world to increase the number of "moderates."
And of course it was by no means only "the attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians" that "has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights." It was also the Islamic texts and teachings that inspired those attacks that have fueled this perception. But Obama is not singular in declining to acknowledge the existence of such texts and teachings. In that he is following George W. Bush and every influential American politician, diplomat, and analyst.
So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity. This cycle of suspicion and discord must end.
I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
No word, of course, of the Sharia laws that impugn the dignity of human beings who are women or non-Muslim by denying them various basic rights.
Read more here
Posted on 06/09/2009 5:57 AM by Bobbie Patray
Friday, 5 June 2009
From Russia with love?
IMPORTANT COMMENT: This thought-provoking article is worth reading and is being widely circulated by various groups. I did some research about the SOURCE of the article. It appears that PRAVDA On-line is not affiliated with the old Russian Newspaper:
Media figures falsely claim anti-Obama hit piece produced by newspaper Pravda
June 02, 2009 8:12 pm ET
On June 1, several media figures falsely claimed that an April 27 opinion piece attacking President Obama for instigating an "American decent [sic] into Marxism" was the product of the Russian newspaper Pravda. In fact, the piece, written by blogger Stanislav Mishin, was published on the Russian website PRAVDA On-line, a separate media outlet that routinely features sensationalistic stories.
The piece was originally published on April 1 as a post on Mishin's blog, Mat Rodina.
CNN's Jack Cafferty claimed that the piece was published by "the online edition of the Russian news agency Pravda," while Rush Limbaugh stated that it was the product of the "English-language version of Pravda, the state-run media in the old Soviet Union." In fact, as its website itself makes clear, PRAVDA On-line is not affiliated with either the current newspaper Pravda or the version published "in the old Soviet Union." Rather, PRAVDA On-line's "About" page states that the original newspaper Pravda was "a publication of the Communist Party, and, as such, it became a state-owned newspaper" until it was shut down by the government in 1991. Subsequently, two separate news agencies, "[t]he newspaper Pravda" and "PRAVDA On-line" were formed:
Read more here
American capitalism gone with a whimper
It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.
True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.
Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.
First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their "right" to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our "democracy". Pride blind the foolish.
Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different "branches and denominations" were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the "winning" side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the "winning" side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.
The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America's short history but in the world. If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.
These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?
These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more then a whimper to their masters.
Then came Barack Obama's command that GM's (General Motor) president step down from leadership of his company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land of "pure" free markets, the American president now has the power, the self given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will. Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions.
So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a "bold" move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK's Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our "wise" Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.
Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper...but a "freeman" whimper.
So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set "fair" maximum salaries, evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses? Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert basking in his homosexuality (of course, amongst the modern, enlightened American societal norm, as well as that of the general West, homosexuality is not only not a looked down upon life choice, but is often praised as a virtue) and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.
The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other words, divest while there is still value left.
The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.
The article has been reprinted with the kind permission from the author and originally appears on his blog, Mat Rodina
URL: http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/107459-american_capitalism-0 © 1999-2009. «PRAVDA.Ru». When reproducing our materials in whole or in part, hyperlink to PRAVDA.Ru should be made. The opinions and views of the authors do not always coincide with the point of view of PRAVDA.Ru's editors.
Posted on 06/05/2009 7:22 AM by Bobbie Patray
Thursday, 4 June 2009
Barack Hussein Obama: US "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world"
1. Obama's Top Ten Mistakes of the Week
2. Barack Hussein Obama: US "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world"
3. Obama's Muslim comment sparks debate
4. The Emergence of President Obama's Muslim Roots
This could be an interesting check list to see how many of the predicted ten come to pass:
1. Obama's Top Ten Mistakes of the Week
Posted 06/04/2009 ET
Here are the ten most likely mistakes Barack Obama will almost certainly make during his upcoming trip to the Islamic world:
1. He will probably reiterate his call to Israel to stop all civilian population growth in West Bank settlements, under the assumption that further territorial concessions by the Israelis, and ultimately the creation of a Palestinian state, will result at last in peace in the Middle East. Unfortunately, this view fails to take into account the intransigence and absolutism of the jihadist worldview held by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizballah, and their puppetmasters in Damascus and Tehran. Israel’s foes will ultimately be satisfied by nothing less than the total destruction of the Jewish state, and just as the Gaza withdrawal of 2005 emboldened the jihadists rather than pacifying the area (as was widely assumed would be the result at the time), so further land concessions will only be seen as signs of weakness and of the need to step up jihad efforts.
Read more here
2. Barack Hussein Obama: US "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world"
It is important to note that "if you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world".
So says President Barack Obama. Or I should say: Barack Hussein Obama.
That's right: Barack Hussein Obama. Say it proud. Say it out loud. The middle moniker that dared not speak its name during the election campaign is now front and centre of the US president's attempt to woo the Muslim world, the theme of his visits to Riyadh on Wednesday and Cairo on Thursday.
Petrified of the potential political fallout of being branded a Muslim, Candidate Obama - a practicing Christian - never used the name "Hussein" and its use was frowned upon as a forbidden code for the nutty accusation that he was some kind of Islamic Manchurian candidate.
No more. To say Barack Hussein Obama - BHO for short - now appears to be the height of political correctness.
As I argue in this analysis for the Telegraph dead tree edition, Obama is seeking to return to a Middle East policy based on realism - buttressed by the bona fides of his own multi-cultural (including Muslim) background.
As ABC's Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller astutely outline here, the Obama administration is embracing the new president's inner Muslim, as it were. Deputy national security adviser stated that Obama had "experienced Islam on three continents...growing up in Indonesia, having a Muslim father -- obviously Muslim Americans [are] a key part of Illinois and Chicago".
Just in case the Arab world hasn't yet got this message of inbuilt tolerance, Mr Obama himself has gone a step further. In an interview with France's Canal Plus released on Tuesday evening, he suggested that the United States might be a Muslim country.
Obama said he wanted to "create a better dialogue so that the Muslim world understands more effectively how the United States but also how the West thinks about many of these difficult issues like terrorism, like democracy, to discuss the framework for what's happened in Iraq and Afghanistan and our outreach to Iran, and also how we view the prospects for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians".
So far, so blah - President George W. Bush often expressed much the same sentiments.
But then, as is his habit , Obama turned the concept around. "Now, the flip side is I think that the United States and the West generally, we have to educate ourselves more effectively on Islam.
Read more here
3. Obama's Muslim comment sparks debate
President Obama's assertion that the United States is one of the world's biggest Muslim countries has sparked debate about the comment's accuracy and how far the president will extend himself to the Muslim world.
"If you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world," the president told French television station Canal Plus on Monday, the eve of his five-day, overseas trip with stops in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said the statement is incorrect and using such language is a "dangerous gambit."
"All politicians pander. Obama is raising it to a global level," he said. "First of all, it's false: Even if you take the inflated numbers that Islamic advocacy organizations claim, Muslims are a tiny, tiny minority in the United States.
"Obama should also not fall into the extremists trap of using Muslim as a unitary adjective. There is no more a Muslim world than a Christian world. However, there are lots of different Muslims and Christians in the world and countries. This isn't to be politically correct, but we shouldn't concede to adapt the parameters of the Middle Eastern political debate."
The U.S. government does not count populations by religion, but several unofficial estimates put the Muslim-American population at roughly 5 million, which would rank the U.S. about 35th among 150 countries with Muslim populations.
"I think the statement was really an effort to hold up the Muslin-American nation in which Islam and Democracy are not incompatible, Islam and prosperity are not incompatible," said Steve Grand, a Brookings fellow and director of the group's Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World.
He also said Muslims in the United States are slightly more educated and have more money than the rest of the population so "the clash does not really fit the reality in the U.S."
Mr. Grand acknowledged the population number is hard to pin down but said the estimate of 2 to 6 million Muslims in the U.S. is near the number in Jordan.
Jim Phillips, a Heritage Foundation senior research fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs, said he was surprised by Mr. Obama's comment because America only has about 3 to 5 million Muslims.
"And that is far from the largest Muslim country -- Indonesia," he said, "It reminds me of his campaign statement that he had been to 57 states. I think that he needs to cut back on his work schedule and get some rest."
Read more here
4. The Emergence of President Obama's Muslim Roots
June 02, 2009 6:58 PM
ABC News' Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller report: The other day we heard a comment from a White House aide that never would have been uttered during the primaries or general election campaign.
During a conference call in preparation for President Obama's trip to Cairo, Egypt, where he will address the Muslim world, deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Denis McDonough said "the President himself experienced Islam on three continents before he was able to -- or before he's been able to visit, really, the heart of the Islamic world -- you know, growing up in Indonesia, having a Muslim father -- obviously Muslim Americans (are) a key part of Illinois and Chicago."
Given widespread unease and prejudice against Muslims among Americans, especially in the wake of 9/11, the Obama campaign was perhaps understandably very sensitive during the primaries and general election to downplay the candidate's Muslim roots.
With insane rumors suggesting he was some sort of Muslim Manchurian candidate, then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and his campaign did everything they could to emphasize his Christianity and de-emphasize the fact that his father, Barack Obama Sr., was born Muslim.
Read more here
Posted on 06/04/2009 9:39 AM by Bobbie Patray
Monday, 1 June 2009
Sotomayor: "The court of appeals is where policy is made"
COMMENT: "Activist Judge" -- it would appear that the definition of that term is Sonia Sotomayer. The President stated that "empathy" was the quality that he was looking for -- it certainly appears that he found just that. “The court of appeals is where policy is made" and the quote in red below are just a few of the 'clues' about the kind of Justice Sotomayer will be, should she be confirmed.
Some Key Questions for Sonia Sotomayor
by Robert Knight
When Senators get a chance to vet Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, there are some important questions that they may want to get to the bottom of.
“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”
You also said “our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.”
Finally, you urged some advocacy groups “to figure out how we go about creating the opportunity for there to be more women and people of color on the bench so we can finally have statistically significant numbers to measure the differences we will and are making.”
Impartial justice is the expected standard in America’s courts. Judges are to apply the law, not make decisions based on the group identity of the parties involved. Otherwise, justice would not be blind and the scales could be tipped toward favoritism.
Question: Will you judge according to the rule of law or according to your “empathy” for particular parties in a case? Do you believe that government and corporate policies should openly discriminate against white males by employing affirmative action?
National sovereignty – In The International Judge, a book for which you wrote a foreword, there is this observation on p. 228:
Read more here
Read More here
Sotomayer Ruled Fish Must Be Protected from Power Plants Regardless of Cost-Benefit Analysis
(CNSNews.com) - Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama's nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter, ruled in a 2007 case that power companies must protect “fish and other aquatic organisms” from being sucked into cooling vents regardless of the costs, saying the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was not allowed to use a cost-benefit analysis in measuring power companies’ compliance with the federal Clean Water Act.
Sotomayor Ruled That States Do Not Have to Obey Second Amendment
Thursday, May 28, 2009
By Matt Cover
(CNSNews.com) – Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor ruled in January 2009 that states do not have to obey the Second Amendment’s commandment that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
In Maloney v. Cuomo, Sotomayor signed an opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that said the Second Amendment does not protect individuals from having their right to keep and bear arms restricted by state governments.
Read more here
Obama Makes His First U.S. Supreme Court Pick: From Souter to Sotomayor
Barack Obama has ended the well publicized speculation concerning the identity of his first Supreme Court nominee by naming to the critical High Court seat a well publicized contender — Sonia Sotomayor. Sotomayor has been tapped to take the seat of retiring Justice David Souter. Souter, a Reagan appointment, turned sour on the Court and has been a staunch Reconstructionist — an opponent of the Constitutionalist theory necessary if our Constitution and culture are to survive and thrive. What can we expect of Sotomayor? We offer a preliminary view below. For several years, Court Watch has identified and articulated the essential characteristics of a Constitutionalist judge. This description is presented below in "A Portrait of a Constitutionalist Judge." We follow this "yardstick" with "A Portrait of Judge Sotomayor."
A Portrait of a Constitutionalist Judge
- The Constitution is, and must be, by definition, the "supreme, fundamental, paramount, permanent" law of the land. No court decision, statutory law, or other form of "law" is either equal to, or superior to, the Constitution.
- The basic purpose of our Constitution, as of all constitutions, is to provide the stability necessary for our legal system to survive and thrive. Additionally, the Preamble lists six specific constitutional purposes, which balance individual liberty with the common good.
- The provisions of our Constitution have fixed meanings. These meanings can, and must, be determined by careful objective study of such factors as the express language of the text (understood in its original meaning), the context of the provision being interpreted and of the entire document, the intent of the Framers, and the worldview in which the Constitution was embedded by its Framers.
- The Constitution, properly interpreted, can express the values of only one worldview. It cannot reflect a "pluralism" or "diversity" of worldviews.
- The worldview in which the Constitution is embedded is the Judeo-Christian worldview. The Constitution's principles and purposes are defined and prioritized by the Judeo-Christian value system. The Constitution cannot survive if it is ripped from its Judeo-Christian moorings.
- The Constitution embodies a multiplicity of distinct principles to guide our legal system and our culture. These principles include popular sovereignty with representative government, life, liberty, the rule of law, due process of law, equal protection of the laws, and private property/free enterprise. These principles are to be secured by structural principles including federalism and separation of powers.
- Judges have neither the authority nor the competence to rewrite the Constitution by altering its basic meaning. Judges are governed by the Constitution. They are required to respect their boundaries and give full respect to the constitution document, the consent of the governed, the other branches of the national government, the state governments, and other societal institutions.
A Portrait of Judge Sonia Sotomayor
Educational and Professional Background
Judge Sonia Sotomayor graduated from Princeton University summa cum laude in 1976 and attended Yale Law School. At Yale, she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal and managing editor of the Yale Studies in World Public Order. She began her legal career in 1979 as an Assistant District Attorney in New York County. Since October 7th, 1998, Sonia Sotomayor has been a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Despite the fact that President George H.W. Bush nominated Sotomayor for the district court judgeship, there is more to the story. "When President Bush nominated Sotomayor in 1991, the New York senators Moynihan and D'Amato, had forced on the White House a deal that enabled a senator not of the President's party to name one of every four District Court nominees in New York. Sotomayor was Moynihan's pick." According to Ed Whelan, it is likely that Bush only nominated her to move along the other nominees that Moynihan was holding up.
Judge Sotomayor appears willing to expand constitutional rights beyond the text of the Constitution. The most direct example of this is found in her decision in Malesko v. Correctional Services Corp., 229 F. 3d 374 (2d Cir 2000), rev'd 534 U.S. 61 (2001). In that case, Judge Sotomayor attempted to expand the liability of individual federal agents who violate constitutional rights to include corporations. In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Second Circuit's decision. Chief Justice Rehnquist noted that the plaintiff was "seek[ing] a marked extension of Bivens, to a context that would not advance Bivens' core purpose of deterring individual officers from engaging in unconstitutional wrongdoing." Correctional Services Corp v. Malesko, 534 U.S. 61 (2001).
Judge Sotomayor has written a foreword to a book called The International Judge: An Introduction to the Men and Women Who Decide the World's Cases, which suggests that she believes foreign case law and statutes have a role in the adjudication of U.S. cases.
In an October 3, 2008 commentary on National Review Online, Ed Whelan pointed out that "[o]n those occasions on which the Supreme Court has reviewed Sotomayor's rulings, she hasn't fared well, drawing some pointed criticism and garnering at most 11 out of 44 possible votes for her reasoning across five cases.
No one expects that Barack Obama will select federal judges who are faithful to the Constitution, and many Americans (especially we Constitutionalists) have expressed a sense of alienation and futility in opposing Obama nominees. The truth is, however, that now is the time to mount the most vigorous campaign possible on behalf of Constitutionalist principles. James Madison said it well, "Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power that knowledge gives."
Now is the perfect time to arm ourselves with knowledge — to become knowledge-empowered! You can begin this process by visiting our Eagle Forum web site www.eagleforum.org and clicking on "Blackstone Blitz" — a short but power-packed study designed for just such a time as this. Continue to arm yourself with additional knowledge from reputable sources as the Sotomayor nomination battle heats to a white-hot intensity, climaxing in the confirmation vote in the U. S. Senate. Share that knowledge, and let your leaders know the truth about Constitutionalist judging!
How close is the "portrait of Sotomayor" to the "portrait of a Constitutionalist judge"? Judge for yourself!!!
Posted on 06/01/2009 7:14 AM by Bobbie Patray