November 19, 2009

‘Hi, I’m Government Healthcare’ (UPDATE: CBO Weighs In)

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:36 pm

Given the time frame, this is well-done (HT Conservative Blog Watch):

The long version, all 2,074 pages of it, is at this PDF link originating at this post at The Hill.

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UPDATE: Nobody with a brain ever believed it anyway, but the core claim about cost savings at The Hill link just cited (“The Congressional Budget Office [CBO] has estimated that it will cost $849 billion over ten years, will reduce the deficit by $127 billion and would cover 31 million Americans”) has already been nuked by the CBO itself (HT Hot Air) –

CBO estimates that enacting both H.R. 3961 and H.R. 3962 would add $89 billion to budget deficits over the 2010–2019 period. That amount is about $12 billion less than the sum of the effects of enacting the bills separately.

It’s also a $216 billion swing (from +$127 to -$89).

I have a feeling Doug Elmendorf at CBO is just warming up.

Stimulus Fraud? Say It Isn’t So!

Filed under: Activism,Economy,Scams,Taxes & Government — Rose @ 12:40 pm

Yes, the government thinks we’re that fricking stupid

Stimulus Fraud Posted 11/17/2009 07:49 PM ET

The Economy: We knew something was funny when the White House claimed that 640,000 to 1 million jobs had been created from this year’s stimulus. What we didn’t know was that it would turn into a massive fraud.

Not only have 640,000 new jobs not been created from the stimulus — an absurd claim, given the economy’s loss of nearly 4 million payroll positions this year — but it now seems that even the jobs themselves are fictional.

Thanks to the digging of a number of data sleuths, it turns out that many of the jobs reported by states come from made-up congressional districts.

This would be funny if it weren’t a criminal waste of public funds. And yet, G. Edward DeSeve, who runs the government’s economic recovery program, says the errors are “relatively few” and “don’t change the fundamental conclusions one can draw from the data.”

Excuse us? The “relatively few” errors are in fact thousands in number. But that’s the pernicious place we find ourselves today — a public official defending shoddy accounting that looks an awful lot like fraud to the tune of billions of dollars.

One example: the 15th Congressional District of Arizona, where 30 jobs were salvaged with $761,420 in spending, according to Recovery.gov, the official government Web site. As ABC News reports: “There is no 15th Congressional District in Arizona; the state has only eight districts.”

States as diverse as Kansas, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Ohio, Minnesota and West Virginia also reported phony jobs.

Makes sense…Ted Strickland begged for $7 billion in “stimulus” money to plug the GAPING hole in Ohio’s budget. Didn’t “stimulate” one job.

…All told, according to the useful Web site Watchdog.org, some $6.4 billion was spent to “create or save” 30,000 jobs in phantom districts. That comes out to about $225,000 per nonexistent job. And that’s only what’s been found so far.

The Washington Examiner’s bogus-job count is even higher — at 75,343, a figure likely to climb as more are discovered.

Some cases were egregious. California’s state university system took in $268.5 million in stimulus funds, claiming it “saved” 26,000 jobs. It has since admitted that few, if any, jobs were really at risk.

The government’s response to all this? “Human beings make mistakes,” shrugged Recovery Board spokesman Ed Pound on Monday. But by Tuesday, as the furor grew, the board’s DeSeve was vowing to go through reports with a “fine-tooth comb.”

The entire post is here.

Sooooo, will the next wave of ACORN protests take place at the WH or at the homes of the thugs who have the “stimulus” money lining their freezers?

Eventually, even people who are dumb enough to believe a word Obama said/says, will figure out that by definition, the political left will always epitomize and advance the very conditions [they say] they want to eliminate.

Oh, So Now U.S. Soldiers Are ‘A Pretty Good Photo-op’; Let’s See How This Obamism Gets Covered

ObamaSalutingAtDover2009The Washington Post’s Anne Kornblut (saved here in case her report is modified or disappears) captured a comment Obama made to U.S troops at Osan Air Base in South Korea while heading back to Washington after his Asian trip. 

I believe that the comment (bolded) could be seen as shining a less than flattering light on the president’s mindset:

Obama arrived on the base 3:19 p.m. local time (1 a.m. Eastern Standard Time), and received a rousing welcome from 1,500 troops in camouflage uniforms, many holding cameras or pointing cell phones to snap pictures.

“You guys make a pretty good photo op,” the president said.

Does anyone think that a similar comment by Bush 43 (not that he would ever think to make it) would escape establishment media criticism? Let’s see if this Obamism slides by without criticism.

Earlier in the report, Kornblut noted that Obama’s Afghan dither continues:

President Barack Obama will not announce his decision on sending more troops to Afghanistan before the Thanksgiving holiday, senior aides said on Thursday.

….. Obama and his top military and diplomatic aides have been deliberating for months over how to proceed in Afghanistan, where the United States and its partners have sought for eight years to defeat the Taliban and deny al-Qaeda a safe haven from which it can plan and launch attacks.

Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, has stated that without the deployment of up to 40,000 additional of troops within the next year, the mission “will likely result in failure.” But some aides are arguing for a much smaller troop increase, and the U.S. ambassador in Kabul, Karl W. Eikenberry, has questioned whether the Afghan government can be a reliable partner.

Obama said in interviews Wednesday that he would reveal his decision within the next several weeks. On Thursday, aides clarified that there would be no announcement before Thanksgiving, one week away. Senior administration officials said Obama intends to meet with his national security team again before going public with his plans.

My cynical and admittedly speculative take on the “photo-op” comment is that Obama’s far more cynical “senior aides” actually discussed the president’s visit to our soldiers as a photo-op. The president (to their probable horror) picked up on it, thinking that using the term would be cute. If so, the slip, if you will, is quite revealing.

Possible comment fodder: As to Afghanistan, hasn’t it been almost 100 days, if not longer, since General McChrystal made his request? And if I recall correctly, it was for 40,000 troops, not “up to” 40,000 as stated by Ms. Kornblut, which would give readers the impression that significantly fewer boots on the ground might be okay. I don’t think so.

Photo above is the right portion of an AP original found here.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Lickety-Split Links (111909, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:01 am

Look in the mirror, pal — “US President Barack Obama warned that the US economy could head into a “double-dip recession” unless urgent steps were taken to rein in mounting public debt.” It’s been your guys’ POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy since the summer of 2008; we’re just living in it, and reacting to it as best we can.

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Fox’s “Fair and Balanced” tag line is valid, and so obvious because most of the rest of the establishment media outlets are so obviously biased.

Fox is also not afraid to point to the other guys’ warts when warranted, which must annoy the heck of them. Too bad, so sad.

For example, at its web site, Fox’s Robert Shaffer notes this about the Associated Press’s assignment of 11 reporters to participate in a fact-check of Sarah Palin’s new book:

Reviewing books and holding public figures accountable is at the core of good journalism, but the treatment Palin’s book received appears to be something new for the AP. The organization did not review for accuracy recent books by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, then-Sen. Joe Biden, either book by Barack Obama released before he was president or autobiographies by Bill or Hillary Clinton.

That is a fair and balanced observation about another news outfit that is anything but that.

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Memo to Eric Holder: When you’ve lost credibility with NPR, you’ve clearly run out of people who believe your indefensible garbage.

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Bad news for Nancy “Botox” Pelosi — The extensive list of taxes contained in the recently released 2,074-page Senate statist health care bill includes a “5% excise tax on cosmetic surgery and similar procedures – begins for surgery in 2010 – $6 B tax increase!” If Pelosi is hard to find during the last few days of 2009, we’ll know why.

Positivity: University of Miami student meets man who saved his life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 8:37 am

From Miami, Florida:

Posted on Tuesday, 11.17.09

A University of Miami student battling a rare disease is in remission, thanks to a discovery made by the UM Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.

This summer, Steven Guarin had accepted his fate: The rare tumors ravaging his 21-year-old body would probably kill him within weeks.

The University of Miami student twice had received aggressive, traditional cancer treatment for a rare lymphoma at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UM Miller School of Medicine.

Both times he recovered, only to have the killer tumors return with a vengeance, covering most of his body. But today, Guarin is in total remission, thanks to a medical researcher whom Guarin met for the first time Tuesday.

“I’m thankful you dedicated your life to research,” Guarin said, shaking Eckhard Podack’s hand. “There are many to thank, but you are the first. It feels good to not be sick.”

That wasn’t the case five months ago. Guarin, the son of Colombian immigrants who live in Kendall, was too weak for more chemotherapy. His doctors feared he would die within days. His mother and aunt kept vigil by his bedside at Sylvester, praying.

“He’s the baby of the family and my only boy,” his mother, Maria, said Tuesday. “Imagine the state we were in.”

Joseph Rosenblatt, his oncologist at Sylvester, said the outlook was bleak. “We had run out of options.”

But Guarin was at an academic medical center, where physicians and researchers work together to develop and test new therapies for patients. Rosenblatt was testing a new drug to seek out and kill cancer cells — a drug that was developed in a Sylvester lab almost two decades ago.

Podack, now a distinguished Sylvester professor and chair of the department of microbiology and immunology, sold the first incarnation of the drug to Seattle Genetics Inc. in the early 1990s. The company spent years and millions of dollars testing and refining the drug, adding a powerful chemotherapy to create SGN-35.

GUIDED MISSILE

The result: a guided missile that carries chemo directly to the cancer cells, avoiding healthy tissue.

The problem was Guarin was too sick to be considered a candidate for the promising therapy.

“We had to figure out a way to get Steve into the trial, even though he did not meet the criteria. He was just too sick by then. He had a raging fever, his liver was failing and his blood count was horrible,” Rosenblatt said.

Rosenblatt convinced Seattle Genetics to accept the communications student as the first patient to enroll in the trial.

The gamble, so far, has paid off. Within two days of his first infusion, Guarin’s tumors, which were once hot and visibly growing under his skin, had vanished.

“Within a day and a half, I went from fevers and pain and lymph nodes everywhere to walking,” Guarin said. “For me, it’s a miracle drug.”

An added benefit of SGN-35: no side effects.

Guarin would soon learn that the drug that is still keeping him alive had been developed in a laboratory just a few hundred yards from his hospital bed — by a researcher who never had met a patient who his research has helped. ….

Go here for the rest of the story.