September 30, 2009

Garrison Keillor Muses Over Cutting Republicans ‘Out of the Health-care System’

KeillorHere’s more “civility” from the Left.

In a Chicago Tribune article today that appears to open as an attempt at humor but quickly devolves into nastiness, NPR-dependent radio host and author Garrison Keillor, among other things, blames them and not those who have brought legal actions for years-long fights over keeping religious symbols right where they are, and — while conveniently forgetting that Republican Mitt Romney gave us the Massachusetts disaster known as CommonwealthCare that current Bay State Democratic governor Deval Patrick considers the model for ObamaCare — ponders the pros and cons of cutting Republicans “out of the health-care system entirely.”

There are few if any indications in the last 2/3 of his column that Keillor was attempting anything resembling humor. If he was, he failed.

Here are some paragraphs from the screed:

The so-called cultural wars over abortion and prayer in the schools and pornography and gays did nothing about anything, except elect dullards to office who brought a certain nihilistic approach to governance that helped bring about the disaster in the banking industry that ate up a lot of 401(k)s, and all thanks to high-flyers in shirts like cheap wallpaper who never learned enough to let it discourage them from believing that they had magical powers over the laws of economics and could hand out mortgages to people with no assets and somehow the sun would come out tomorrow. The anti-regulation conservatives enabled those people. We’re still waiting for an apology.

Uh no, Garrison. The government’s Community Reinvestment Act, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac did that. And it will surely surprise social conservatives that they have controlled Wall Street all along.

Continuing:

And now here comes the U.S. Supreme Court, about to rule in the case of a little plywood cross erected, as it turns out, on federal land in the Mojave Desert as a memorial to the war dead — could there be anything less pressing right now? But we shall have great legal minds wrangling over something that doesn’t make a dime’s worth of difference to anybody whomsoever.

Thirty-six years of bitterness over Roe vs. Wade and what has it gotten us? If the decision were overturned tomorrow, not much would change.

….. When an entire major party has excused itself from meaningful debate and a thoughtful U.S. senator like Orrin Hatch no longer finds it important to make sense and an up-and-comer like Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty attacks the president for giving a speech telling schoolchildren to work hard in school and get good grades, one starts to wonder if the country wouldn’t be better off without them and if Republicans should be cut out of the health-care system entirely and simply provided with aspirin and hand sanitizer. Thirty-two percent of the population identifies with the GOP, and if we cut off health care to them, we could probably pay off the deficit in short order.

Actually, Garrison, you should be careful what you wish for. One could argue that GOP-identifiers are disproportionately productive compared to the rest of society and cost it less in entitlement and other benefits. If that is so, things might get worse instead of better. At your advanced age, I wouldn’t take a chance like that if I were you. It would be a particularly good idea, assuming you’re interested in quality care, to ensure that Republican doctors aren’t among those you cut out of the system. Since 45% of all doctors are reportedly considering quitting if ObamaCare is enacted, and many of them are Republicans, perhaps even more than 32% of them, that should be of more than academic interest.

Rush mentioned Keillor’s column on the air, and took passing offense that the Tribune was willing to publish it. The paper shouldn’t have done it, and I daresay would not have published a column by a conservative proposing, supposedly in jest, cutting far-leftists out of the health-care system.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Econ Update: 2Q09 GDP at -0.7%; ADP Reports Big Job Losses Again

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:39 pm

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that the economy contracted by 0.7% in the second quarter. That was an improvement from the -1.0% estimate a month ago.

Separately, ADP’s Employment came in with 254,000 seasonally adjusted jobs lost in the private sector during September (they say “from August to September”).

ADP says that the 254,000 jobs lost is the lowest number since July 2008. That would make sense, because July 2008 was the first full month of the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy, which as we know turned into the POR Recession/”RepressionAs Normal People Define It.

According to ADP’s full September press release (PDF), 788,000 private sector jobs were lost during the third quarter (357K in July, 277K in August, and the 254K above). That represents a 0.72% contraction in the private sector workforce.

An ABC report says that analysts are forecasting 180,000 seasonally adjusted jobs lost in the entire economy when the Bureau of Labor Statistics weighs in on Friday. Ignoring possible prior-month adjustments, that would mean 672,000 seasonally adjusted jobs lost during the third quarter.

I would suggest that those who screamed “recession!” when job losses were about 1/2 to 2/3 of what occurred during the first half of 2008 — especially in the second quarter of 2008, when the economy was growing — would be advised not to claim that the recession is over, or even that there is a legitimate “recovery,” when 50%-100% more people are still losing their jobs each month. But they probably won’t listen.

Dem Congressman: ‘Republicans Want You To Die Quickly’; What Will the ‘Civility’ Crowd Say?

GraysonAlanFLcongress0909

The Politico’s Jonathan Allen reported last night that Democratic Congressment Alan Grayson of Florida let loose on the House floor. (UPDATE: Politico now has a YouTube video of Grayson’s performance at the link.)

Hopefully, Allen himself was only being sloppy with his own wording:

Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., warned Americans that “Republicans want you to die quickly” during an after-hours House floor speech Tuesday night.

His remarks, which drew angry and immediate calls for an apology from Republicans, were highlighted by a sign reading “The Republican Health Care Plan: Die Quickly.”

“Warned”? As if “Republicans want you to die quickly” is a fact?

What follows, via Politico’s Glenn Thrush, is what you can’t say about a President:

Especially useful: The section on how to properly insult the executive branch in the in the chamber.

“Disgrace” and “nitwits” — okay.

“Liar” or “sexual misconduct” — ixnay.

Under section 370 of the House Rules and Manual it has been held that a Member could:
• refer to the government as “something hated, something oppressive.”
• refer to the President as “using legislative or judicial pork.”
• refer to a Presidential message as a “disgrace to the country.”
• refer to unnamed officials as “our half-baked nitwits handling foreign affairs.”

Likewise, it has been held that a member could not:
• call the president a “liar.”
• call the president a “hypocrite.”
• describe the president’s veto of a bill as “cowardly.”
• charge that the president has been “intellectually dishonest.”
• refer to the president as “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.”
• refer to alleged “sexual misconduct on the president’s part.”

Yet saying that “Republicans want you to die quickly” is not a problem?

In a November 2005 House floor speech, Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-OH) quoted a Buckeye State Representative who wished to remind Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) of something:

House Republicans maneuvered for swift rejection Friday of any notion of immediately
pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq, sparking a nasty, sometimes personal debate over the war following a Democratic lawmaker’s own call for withdrawal.

….. At one point in the emotional debate, Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, told of a phone call she received from a Marine colonel.

“He asked me to send Congress a message – stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message – that cowards cut and run, Marines never do,” Schmidt said.

What Schmidt said supposedly violated a ruling against criticizing a fellow individual House member, even though Schmidt was only relaying a constituent’s message that did not itself criticize Murtha personally; if the poor guy took it personally, that’s his problem. Schmidt, under pressure from fellow party members, later apologized; I say she had nothing to apologize for.

Schmidt’s statement got her saturation media coverage and a Saturday Night Live parody.

But I’m betting that asserting (not “warning,” Mr. Allen) on the House floor that “Republicans want you to die quickly” — in effect personally tarring each and every GOP House member — will be seen as okey-dokey, or at a minimum won’t generate a wave of outrage, if it’s noted at all.

I can’t wait to see all of the coverage of Grayson’s smear in the supposedly civility-obsessed establishment media. Actually, I can, because I virtually know that I’ll have to. I half-expect that the cop-out will be, “Well, our old buddies at the Politico covered it, and they did a fine job, so we don’t have to mention it.”

The real reason will be that civility is a one-way street.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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BizzyBlog Update: Here is the vid

What a buffoon.

Lucid Links (093009, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:55 am

Commenter Daniel at my post a few days ago on the Associated Press’s Kelo update has some pictures at his place of the New London, CT area in question, known as Fort Trumbull.

Paraphrasing Joni Mitchell, New London’s city fathers painted a picture of paradise, and put up a bunch of empty lots.

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I hope someone’s keeping track of the names of celebs, diplomats, government officials and others who are outraged at Roman Polanski’s arrest and the attempts to extradite him back to the U.S. to face the music, while minimizing the ugliness of what he did, i.e., drugging and raping a child. Allah at Hot Air reminds us that “The conviction’s on the books. All that’s left to settle is the sentence. …. Convicted child-rapist and fugitive from justice.”

Because the next time any one of them yammers on about doing this or that “for the children,” I hope someone throws their ugly, elitist hypocrisy right back in their faces with brute force. The current Numbers 1 and 2 on that list are Debra Winger and Whoopi Goldberg.

What Polanski’s victim wants now is irrelevant; what he did to her then when she was legally not able to consent (and against her will in any event) is. As noted here by Kate Harding: “The justice system doesn’t work on behalf of victims; it works on behalf of justice.”

Go here (HT Michelle Malkin) to see what Polanski said a year after he fled. Michelle is right: “Sicko.”

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Non-surprise of the day: “Without Bush, media lose interest in war caskets.”

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In one sentence, the Associated Press’s Karen Matthews crystallizes the la-la-la we’re never wrong attitudes of the media elite that just won’t ever admit that one of their brethren erred.

In writing about the dismissal of Dan Rather’s lawsuit against CBS, she says that:

The dispute began with a piece Rather narrated for the now-defunct “60 Minutes II,” in which he reported that Bush got preferential treatment during his Vietnam War-era service in the Texas Air National Guard.

Rather cited new documents CBS had obtained, but the authenticity of the documents later came under attack.

Uh, Karen, the documents were forged fakes, period. Five years later, and journalists still won’t acknowledge the obvious.

Related: No one should be surprised by this (HT NewsBusters) — “Ex-CBS Anchor Dan Rather to Headline Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz Event.” Howler of the day: “Rather is going to speak on ‘new media.’”

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This wasn’t supposed to happen: “The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® Dips in September.” It went from 54.5 to 53.1. Analysts had expected an uptick to 57.

AP’s Anne D’Innocenzio writes that “worries about job security seem to be offsetting any enthusiasm about rising home values and stocks.”

According to D’Innocenzio, “A reading above 90 means the economy is on solid footing. Above 100 signals strong growth.”

So sentiment is far from growth.

Uncle Sam’s cash collections continue to seriously contract.

The auto biz on track for its worst month since related records have been kept.

August’s combined ISM indices were still in contraction.

Oh, and net seasonally adjusted job losses continue to be in the hundreds of thousands.

Yet analysts are pegging third-quarter growth at 3%-4%. If it really turns out that way, I’ll need to be convinced that it wasn’t artificially induced and totally unsustainable. This post from a month ago claims that any growth will be “thanks to big subsidies” and “will be a one time event.” That seems right, though I fail to see how the big subsidies translate into production of real goods and services, i.e., real growth, which is what GDP is supposed to measure.

Pre-emptive strike: No, the second quarter of 2008′s growth was not artificially induced.

Positivity: Dog helps rescue man from mud, water

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:55 am

From Cincinnati:

September 29, 2009

An 80-year-old man who somehow became trapped in the bottom of a 15-foot deep septic tank behind his home has an unlikely neighbor to thank for his rescue – a 9-year-old mutt named Murphy.

Stacey Walsh, who was spending time at her mother’s house two doors down from 646 Pontius Road, where the man was trapped in muck and water, said she heard the dog barking wildly about 5 p.m.

“He was barking like he was being attacked – like he’s never barked before,” Walsh said. “He was pointed in the direction of the hole. Then we heard Mr. Paff yelling for help.”

• Photos: Man, 80, rescued from cistern

But getting to the man, who Walsh identified as Paul Paff, would be difficult. Even when rescue crews arrived, it took nearly 2½ hours to get the man out as temperatures dropped into the 50s.

“It may have been as long as 3½ hours before he was discovered … so he was in the hole five to six hours,” said Delhi Township Fire Chief Bill Zoz. “The rescuers commented he was a pretty tough old guy – friendly. He kept talking to them.”

The first responders started a bucket brigade, moving water and waste out of the hole. It soon became apparent they needed heavier equipment.

Emergency crews from several jurisdictions sent manpower and gear, including a heater to pump warm air into the tank, septic trucks to pump out the water and sewage, lights other materials.

Hours into the rescue, the Red Cross brought in food and drink for the estimated 60 emergency personnel.

When Paff was finally extricated using a rope and pulley system by the Hamilton County Urban Search and Rescue unit, he was decontaminated on the scene – the warm water was brought over by a neighbor – and transported to University Hospital by a medical helicopter.

He had signs of hypothermia, but authorities said he appeared uninjured. He does have known medical conditions, but authorities did not disclose details of his ailments.

As of 10:30 p.m., the hospital said he was in stable condition but still being evaluated. ….

Go here for the rest of the story.