Monday, November 30, 2009
Steeped in an overarching idea of American guilt, Mr. Obama and his lieutenants offered nothing less than a doctrine, and a policy, of American penance. No one told Mr. Obama that the Islamic world, where American power is engaged and so dangerously exposed, it is considered bad form, nay a great moral lapse, to speak ill of one's own tribe when in the midst, and in the lands, of others.The crowd may have applauded the cavalier way the new steward of American power referred to his predecessor, but in the privacy of their own language they doubtless wondered about his character and his fidelity. "My brother and I against my cousin, my cousin and I against the stranger," goes one of the Arab world's most honored maxims. The stranger who came into their midst and spoke badly of his own was destined to become an object of suspicion.
There is little Mr. Obama can do about this disenchantment. He can't journey to Turkey to tell its Islamist leaders and political class that a decade of anti-American scapegoating is all forgiven and was the product of American policies—he has already done that. He can't journey to Cairo to tell the fabled "Arab street" that the Iraq war was a wasted war of choice, and that America earned the malice that came its way from Arab lands—he has already done that as well. He can't tell Muslims that America is not at war with Islam—he, like his predecessor, has said that time and again.
Now those surveys of 2009 bring findings from the world of Islam that confirm that the animus toward America has not been radically changed by the ascendancy of Mr. Obama. In the Palestinian territories, 15% have a favorable view of the U.S. while 82% have an unfavorable view. The Obama speech in Ankara didn't seem to help in Turkey, where the favorables are 14% and those unreconciled, 69%. In Egypt, a country that's reaped nearly 40 years of American aid, things stayed roughly the same: 27% have a favorable view of the U.S. while 70% do not. In Pakistan, a place of great consequence for American power, our standing has deteriorated: The unfavorables rose from 63% in 2008 to 68% this year.
The Obama bowing pictures are becoming iconic not for those reasons, however, but because they express a growing political perception, and that is that there is something amateurish about this presidency, something too ad hoc and highly personalized about it, something . . . incompetent, at least in its first year.
I am seriously close to giving up, again. The history of this is so complex that I can’t get far enough into it before by head hurts and I have to stop. Each parameter has a tortuous history of manual and semi-automated interventions that I simply cannot just go back to early versions and run the update prog. I could be throwing away all kinds of corrections – to lat/lons, to WMOs (yes!), and more.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
The cost of Medicare is a good place to begin. At its start, in 1966, Medicare cost $3 billion. The House Ways and Means Committee estimated that Medicare would cost only about $ 12 billion by 1990 (a figure that included an allowance for inflation). This was a supposedly "conservative" estimate. But in 1990 Medicare actually cost $107 billion.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Double-Cropping Done by Kim Jong Il Pyongyang, November 17 (KCNA) -- It was on a Sunday of June, Juche 53 (1964).
An official who visited the residence of General Secretary Kim Jong Il was perplexed by the unimaginable scenery of the garden.
There grew thick trees of economic value in the garden and grain crops, industrial crops, vegetables as well as fodder grass in patches.
Sowing soybean as the second crop after wheat in a patch, Kim Jong Il kindly invited the official to join in sowing with a hoe.
The leader said that as the after-crop beans sprout leaves not so much, the close planting would not have influence on the sunshine over the crops, indicating the plant-interval to him.
When the official said that it was likely to harvest two tons of soybean per hectare, the leader stated with confidence that he anticipated three tons, not two tons and he would reap 6.5 tons altogether in the first and second crops.
The official was full of admiration. The leader told the official that he had fixed various species of crops as double-cropping ones and done experimental cultivation for a few years, stressing that the reserves for increasing the grain production were double-cropping and close-planting.
The official keenly realized that the patches were not simple experimental ones but a breeding farm for the development of agriculture of the country.
Many Jobs Good Saved By Great Leader ObamaWashington D.C., November 12, 001 (First year of Great Leader)An important official visiting many states under General President Obama was perplexed at many beautiful jobs created and happiness in land.Many unicorns strutted in beautiful scenery as happy children sang praises of dear leader. The official smiled and told General President that "many millions" of jobs had been "saved or created" in District 15 of Arizona protectorate. The leader said he worked very hard to make people happy and maybe not "many millions" in District 15, but at least several hundred thousands in 42nd Obamamate in protectorate of Connecticut."The official keenly aware of Great Leaders beautiful genius in economic recovery and full of great admiration like all people under leader.
PresidentBarack Obama gave his sternest warning yet about the need to contain rising U.S. deficits, saying on Wednesday that if government debt were to pile up too much, it could lead to a double-dip recession.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I received an e-mail this morning from Representative Cooper (D) in response to my note to him. Here's the response:
Thank you for contacting me in regards to H.R. 3962, the Affordable Healthcare for America Act. I am grateful to the thousands of Nashville-area residents like you who have shared their opinion on health care reform with me. Everyone feels strongly because health care is so important to our lives.
Having read the bill and taught health policy at Vanderbilt for twelve years, I made the decision to vote yes on H.R. 3962. On November 7th, 2009, the House passed the legislation 220-215.
I voted yes to advance the cause of health care reform by forcing the Senate to act. Without passage of this House bill, the Senate could delay reform indefinitely. That would be the worst possible outcome because our current health-care system is not sustainable. Congress needs to pass good health legislation for the good of the country.
My vote is not an endorsement of all the provisions of the bill because I find much of the bill to be deeply flawed. Passing legislation is a little like writing a term paper in school. The first draft is usually not very good. The second draft is better - H.R. 3962 is the second draft. The bill that the Senate will vote on will be the third draft, which I expect to show major improvement. The final draft will be written afterword, if we get to that point, when the House and the Senate will vote on the same bill.
I will continue to work hard to make sure that the final legislation helps all of our families get quality, affordable health care.
Sidebar: Liberals LOVE "process." They love things like the "peace process" and the "legislative process;" how about RESULTS! How about something in this instance that won't add to the pending bankruptcy of this nation?
Monday, November 9, 2009
I read with dismay Rep. Cooper’s (D) rationale for voting in favor of the healthcare “reform” bill that the House passed in the waning hours of Saturday night past. A bill which weighs almost 20 pounds and runs close to 2,000 pages not counting the late amendments. There is no way on earth anyone could have read this mish-mash, let alone understood it’s contents! Mr. Cooper “harshly criticized the bill,” because he found much of this $1.2 Trillion mess to be “deeply flawed.” But instead of helping to stop the bill so that real healthcare reform could be achieved, he voted in favor of it so the “process could continue!” So, in other words, we have no idea what we will end up with, but let’s move the process forward, the principle be damned. In political speak, Mr. Cooper gets to say he was opposed to the bill because he railed against it on the House floor - then when he attends the MoveOn.Org fest, he can say he voted in favor of the bill. This is cowardice writ large and unworthy of a representative of the people of Tennessee who are overwhelmingly opposed to this legislation.
The "Have it Both Ways" Coalition in the House has got to be put out of office in 2010. Theirs is a self-aggrandizement scheme that is as far removed from the intent of the Constitution as the Andromeda Galaxy is to Earth. (Actually, the latter may be closer, but you get the point.)
In case you were wondering how Rep. Cooper told his constituents he would vote - here's his "No" commitment back in July:
"Cooper to vote "No."
Friday, November 6, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
The 2009 deficit was larger than the combined federal debt of the first two centuries of the country's existence. As staggering as that is to the mind, the 2010 deficit projects to be even bigger, roughly $1.5 trillion.
Unless Washington issues another foolish stimulus package or decides it will continue its ill-advised bailout business, the deficits should moderate somewhat. But the debt created by the deficits will still have to be paid. Ultimately, taxpayers will have to satisfy Washington's massive tab.