Thank you, all, for enriching my life.

This has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. I try to play myself off like a tough, happy, friendly guy, but that is the opposite of the turmoil I’ve felt. I’m a better man than I’ve acted at times, and in the overall scheme of things, my smart-assed political banter isn’t worth my self-respect or my family’s safety and solvency.

This latest chapter, and the quality of humanity surrounding it have forced me to make a decision.  I need to move on from this community in order to fulfill more opportunities that are more in the realm of things that are good for me and my family.

I don’t like worrying that maybe I should be waiting outside my kids’ school to make sure someone isn’t watching them. I don’t like pondering the fact that someone would actually try to take away my means of support for my family because I disagree with them. I especially don’t like that people I probably know have acted inappropriately in defending me.

So, I’m out. Those of you who I have met outside Pols will hopefully stay in touch.

In terms of the Guerin Green thing, I’m not pursuing it legally or through law enforcement, or through any other means. I wish I’d never heard of Defense Denver or the Cherry Creek

News or Guerin Green and  I just want it to go away. They will never hear from me or my opinion again.

As long as I have breath in my lungs, my children will never set foot in a DPS classroom, so I have no interest any more in what happens there.

Thank you all for teaching me so much, and I wish you all the best.  

DeFENSE Denver Poll.

I’m just entertained by the level of evasion from these guys, but in fairness, thought I’d post a poll to see if I’m an ‘outlier’.

The long version of the question is this:

Who here thinks DeFENSE Denver and Donkey Ass have answered anyones initially civil questions about who is behind their organization, and what their true motives for the recall are?

DeFENSE Denver supporters: Forthcoming or not?

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If you could go back in history…

(Not necessarily political, but an interesting diary from a longtime Polster worthy of discussion. – promoted by Colorado Pols)

I was having a conversation with one of my best friends last week, and the topic of ‘If you could go back in time, what are the three places you’d go, and why?’.

Of course, my first thought was ‘Hmm – who would I assassinate?’, which I was talked out of by my much sweeter and intelligent friend.

So, Polsters, where would it be?  This could be political in nature, and we’re all just so interesting I thought it would be cool to see what you all come up with.  There are some obvious ones like the birth/death/resurrection, D Day, NYC to see Andy Kauffman perform live….

To start us off…

1. I’d go back to see Caesar returning to Rome.  I just think that’s such an amazing piece of history to be able to witness.  

2. Belize around the time of Christ when the Mayans were thriving.  It’s such a beautiful place and the ruins are just spectacular.

3. I’d go find Nikolai Tesla, just to witness some of the amazing demonstrations he put on, and to steal some of his technology to use at a huge multinational corporation I’d start up to be part of the MIC and….  Ok, ok.  Just kidding.  But I would go find Tesla.

How about it, you interesting people?

Education symptom. …Updated….

(Hopefully the discussion can be on what works and not a flame-war – promoted by DavidThi808)

On the thread talking about Douglas County parents finally finding a potential way around the unions’ destructive policies that have destroyed public education, Ardy had asked me for some evidence demonstrating my point that teacher’s unions had lost track of what their mission was about and now concentrated almost solely on being a political force rather than actually focusing on finding the best way to educate students.

UPDATE: I have emailed Bill Moloney to ask him if he’d more thoroughly source his paper for the Centennial Inst.  Will advise.

Below the fold is a gleaming example that demonstrates this.

The L.A. Times did an exhaustive piece on the test scores of students, sorted by teachers, and looked for trends with individual teachers.  

The results were striking – what became clear is that certain teachers were able to clearly drastically raise their students’ test scores across demographic lines, while some other teachers had the opposite effect, again, across socio-economic and demographic groupings.

Here seems to be the nut that runs counter to the unions’ current mission: (Emphasis mine).

• Many of the factors commonly assumed to be important to teachers’ effectiveness were not. Although teachers are paid more for experience, education and training, none of this had much bearing on whether they improved their students’ performance.

Other studies of the district have found that students’ race, wealth, English proficiency or previous achievement level played little role in whether their teacher was effective.

“In the past, too often we’ve just gone with gut instinct and haven’t been careful about whether those things are important,” said Richard Buddin, a senior economist and education researcher at Rand Corp., who conducted the statistical analysis as an independent consultant for The Times.

Students are tested across the country throughout the year, but teachers are not often rated by these test scores.  Why?  

I’ll give you three guesses.  Here’s more interesting information about ‘value-added analysis’.

Value-added analysis offers a rigorous approach. In essence, a student’s past performance on tests is used to project his or her future results. The difference between the prediction and the student’s actual performance after a year is the “value” that the teacher added or subtracted.

For example, if a third-grade student ranked in the 60th percentile among all district third-graders, he would be expected to rank similarly in fourth grade. If he fell to the 40th percentile, it would suggest that his teacher had not been very effective, at least for him. If he sprang into the 80th percentile, his teacher would appear to have been highly effective.

Any single student’s performance in a given year could be due to other factors – a child’s attention could suffer during a divorce, for example. But when the performance of dozens of a teacher’s students is averaged – often over several years – the value-added score becomes more reliable, statisticians say.

The approach, pioneered by economists in the 1970s, has only recently gained traction in education.

A small number of states and districts already use value-added scores to determine which teachers should be rewarded and which need help. This summer, one district took a harder line: Washington, D.C., schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee fired 26 teachers based in significant part on their poor value-added scores.

Wait…I’ve heard that name before somewhere.  Hmm.  Oh – that’s right!  Union money poured in to the campaign coffer of the D.C. Mayor who appointed Rhee’s opponent:

The national union spent roughly $1 million in contributions to a labor-backed independent expenditure campaign — also supported by the public workers union AFSCME — and on its own extensive political operation, a Democratic political consultant familiar with the details of the spending told POLITICO. The spending suggests that the vote — while not a referendum on Fenty’s attempt to shake up the school system — was deeply shaped by that policy.

Oh, right.  It’s for the kids.  Good bye, Ms. Rhee.  Thanks for at least trying in D.C.

Continuing on with the L.A. Times (the right wing propaganda spin rag that it is) piece.  

What was striking to me about the article, is that several of the teachers whose students suffered test-wise under them (scores dropped while under their tutelage) were interested in figuring out how to reverse the trend – ‘how can we improve this?’

Here’s why:

Because the union exists not to protect the best teachers, but to protect the worst.  Not just from being fired (seeing teachers being fired for performance is more rare than seeing bigfoot), but from even being evaluated in a manner such as the Times dared to do.  Once teachers get tenure, that’s about it.  It would take an incredible scandal or egregious violation of the law to be fired.

Bill Moloney, former Education Commissioner, recently had a piece in the Enver-day Ost-Pay that cleverly touches on the root of some of these glaring issues.

Of course, because the Ost-Pay are assholes, I can’t quote it or link to it, so I will paraphrase and link to a paper that Moloney did for the Centennial institute.


Education is an entitlement, whether we choose to look at it that way or not.  And because of the unions’ focus on class size reduction (which does not translate in any way to educational improvement) it is now an unsustainable entitlement.

I would also encourage you folks to listen to this interview Moloney gave on Mike Rosen’s show.

It’s civil, and incredibly insightful.

Following is a highlight from Moloney’s piece for the Centennial Institute:

Q9: What is wrong with the way America recruits, trains, compensates, assesses, and retains teachers ?

A9: Nearly everything, sad to say.

a. Recruitment: Other nations only admit the “best and the brightest” into teacher preparation programs, accepting only a small minority of candidates based on rigorous objective criteria. In this country, candidates are self-selected based on paying tuition, piling up irrelevant credits, listening to the least esteemed professors on the campus, taking no tests in their intended subject areas, receiving inflated grades, and serving no real apprenticeship – after they are hired by people who have no objective criteria to judge them in the first place, and who therefore utilized such extraneous criteria as “Are you certified?” or “Can you coach?”

b. Compensation: In the USA, unlike other nations, teacher pay is based on a lock-step “unitary salary scale” that values only seniority and the random acquisition of credits – making no distinction for the importance of subject or successful performance. Merit pay is therefore almost unheard of.

c. Training: In the USA, unlike other nations, teacher training is falsely assumed by employers to have occurred in the Ed Schools from whence candidates came.

d. Assessment: As is well known, rigorous evaluation and the removal of bad teachers simply doesn’t happen.

e. Retention: Public schools have no capacity to make a counter-offer to a highly successful physics teacher tempted by private industry. Said teacher must be paid the same salary as an elementary P.E. teacher with the same seniority and credit totals.

Q10: Why isn’t class-size reduction a good idea?

A10: CSR is the most costly and damaging “reform” in the last half century. Elementary class- size caps in California, mandated by referendum, starved all other education initiatives and ultimately bankrupted the system. Florida is currently ignoring and in the process of repealing a similar referendum mandate.

Years of research consistently demonstrate that class-size reduction doesn’t improve educational outcomes. Even if it did the immense cost would be an unacceptable trade-off.

Other industrial nations routinely operate with class sizes that are twice America’s 15-1 student- staff ratio and still consistently outperform the US in educational outcomes. They use money saved to recruit and retain high-quality teachers who can then deliver high-quality instruction.

Q11: Then why do people like and often vote for class-size reduction?

A11: CSR has an intuitive appeal, and seems logical. People have been told by educators that it really works. People have not been told about the research, the enormous costs, or the more valuable things they lose because of the costs.

Funding and Fallacies

Q12: Is education under-funded, as we are often told? Or is there runaway cost escalation in our schools? What do the data show?

A12: The data show runaway cost escalation. There is no other way to interpret them. a. Education spending per pupil in this country, adjusted for inflation, has increased more than

100% since 1983.

b. Between 1955 and 2007 student-staff ratios fell from 27-1 to 15-1.

c. The number of American teachers jumped 61% between 1970 and 2008, even though student population increased by only 8%.

d. Teacher salaries, adjusted for inflation, have increased 42% since 1960.

e. In the same period, teachers’ health and pension benefits have risen to a level approximately double that of the average American.

Productivity is said to increase when more output is achieved for each person employed and each dollar invested. When there is less output per person and per dollar, productivity has worsened.

It is clear that the latter description fits, given the persistently mediocre learning performance in US classrooms over several decades, despite ever-greater applications of human and financial resources. (See details under Q2 and Q3 above.)

By no stretch of the imagination is American public education, or Colorado public education, under-funded. They are under-delivering on reasonable expectations, under-performing on minimal standards and, worst, under-serving the children placed in their care.

I know almost all of you are liberal Dems, or at the very least, self-described liberal independents.

You are almost all very good people, as well.  I know that I’m a very anti-union person in most all cases, probably over-the-top about it, but this is one case where I can demonstrably show you that the teachers unions, because of their leadership, are doing everything they can to stop some moves that might damage their grip on power but might actually be the best thing for U.S. students.  I’d just appreciate it if you would read some of these links and respond.

Oh – the L.A. Times?  For the sin of putting this database together is now the target of a massive boycott by the teacher’s union.

What was your most satisfying, and disappointing election results from last night?

Both locally and nationally.  Which wins really made you excited and hopeful, and which losses stung the most?

For me, locally, a tie – the most satisfying had to be Markey going down by such a wide margin to Gardner, and Cary Kennedy losing to Walker Stapleton.  

Markey and many House Dems can directly tie their defeat to their vote for Obamacare.  Save that, it’s a closer race and maybe she can hold on.  

Kennedy losing was satisfying because of that awful tact of focusing on an 11-year-old DUI that has been paid for in the eyes of the law long, long ago.  It was a shameful attack.

Nationally, knowing Alan Grayson will never again get to speak on the House floor is especially satisfying.  He’s a beast – an immature, disgusting excuse for a human being.

Fiorina losing to Senator Ma’am was really disappointing.  Boxer is corrupt, and represents what can go wrong with no term limits in the Senate.

Bueller?  Anyone?  Anyone?

Desperate Dems using McCarthyism?

First, McCarthyism is partially defined by Wikipedia as:

…a term used to describe the making of accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence.

Although McCarthy was eventually partially vindicated, the technique of throwing a horrible accusation out, and then asking the accused to prove otherwise is antithetical to our system here in the U.S.

So why, then, are the Dems taking the ball and running with it by accusing the Chamber of Commerce of using foreign money to win elections here in the U.S., while providing no proof whatsoever?

More blow the fold…

David Zurawik, the Media Critic at the Baltimore Sun (h/t to Ed Morrissey at Hotair) writes a scathing condemnation of this ad:

Says Z…

Check out this new ad from the Democratic National Committee. I am sure we are nowhere near touching bottom on the level to which these attack ads will sink by Nov.2, but this is a new low so far into the midterm battle.

Here is what’s so appalling to me: The ad makes the totally unsubstantiated charge that the Chamber of Commerce is taking money from foreign interests and using it to “steal our democracy.” And worse, President Obama is out on the campaign trail, according to the New York Times, creating an echo chamber by making the same reckless claims just as the ad hits the airwaves. And when CBS newsman Bob Schieffer Sunday asks David Axelrod if there is any proof for the claim, the senior Obama aide says they don’t need proof — it’s up to the Chamber of Commerce to prove it isn’t true.

All of this flies in thew face of some recent history, but more importantly, you have the President and the Vice President engaging in this horrific, unfair tactic and admitting it.Emphasis mine:

[Obama said:] “You don’t know,” he said here. “It could be the oil industry, it could be the insurance industry, it could even be foreign-owned corporations. You don’t know because they don’t have to disclose. Now that’s not just a threat to Democrats, that’s a threat to our democracy.”

Oh really, Mr. President?  Hmmm..Perhaps you have a point.

Foreign-connected PACs

Election cycle:2010

Total: $12,204,154

To Dems: $6,517,903

To Repubs: $5,581,701

The Times goes on…

The Democrats have offered no evidence that the chamber is using foreign money to influence the elections. The chamber has overseas affiliates that pay dues to the main organization but says it has a process to segregate those funds from any used for electioneering.

“The D.N.C. is going to exhaust itself trying so hard to change the political conversation,” Thomas J. Collamore, the chamber’s senior vice president of communications and strategy, said in a statement. “Its ad attacking the U.S. Chamber is a blatant attempt to avoid a serious discussion of Americans’ top priority – creating jobs and growing the economy. The ad is ridiculous and false.”

David Axelrod, the president’s senior adviser, was asked Sunday by Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation” on CBS if he had any evidence that the chamber was using secret foreign funds to influence the election.

“Well, do you have any evidence that it’s not, Bob?” Mr. Axelrod replied. “The fact is that the chamber has asserted that, but they won’t release any information about where their campaign money is coming from. And that’s at the core of the problem here.”

The Democratic committee’s spokesman, Hari Sevugan, likewise offered no evidence and suggested it was up to the chamber to disprove the assertions. “Serious questions have been raised,” he said in an e-mail. “If they want to clear this up, they can open up their books.”

The chamber is hardly the only organization playing a role in the campaign that has international affiliations and gets money from foreign institutions. Among others are groups on the political left like the A.F.L.-C.I.O. and the Sierra Club. The law requires them to isolate foreign money from any domestic political activity.

For how easily the left pulls out the sheiks of “McCartyism!!!” when none exists, you’d think they’d be a little more careful about actually executing it.

Post Endorses Ryan Frazier.

Maybe Ed should have dumped the rest of his “Perlmutter for Change” signs.

To wit:

His opponent, Republican Ryan Frazier, is a conservative whose votes may not end up reflecting the district’s blend of ideological diversity either, but we think it’s time for new blood in Congress.

If this race is as competitive as it is, how bad are things (justifiably) going to really be for Dems in November?

The greatest ass-kicking in Union history.

(This deserves a wider readership because it proves Laughing

Boy is in cahoots with the lamestream liberal media at Comedy Central.  And because it’s a slow day.  And mainly because the story — a union hiring non-union pickets at minimum wage to picket Wal-Mart for hiring non-union workers at near minimum wage levels — is funny.   – promoted by Voyageur

Comes to us via a totally unexpected source.

Sorry, can’t embed……

In which Caddell..

…is right on point, you non-bitter-non-gun-clingers.

Unlike President Reagan at his first-term midpoint, in 1982, “Obama is not able to go out there and say, ‘Stay the course.’ That’s just not possible. The Democrats’ hope with health care was that ‘people will like it after we pass it.’ Well, they hate it, and you don’t see any effort to promote it. The Democrats had a chance to do this right – most people supported aspects of reform – but because of the way it was passed, as a crime against democracy, the country has simply not accepted it. The lies, the browbeating, the ‘deem and pass’ – all of it was a suicide mission.”

How right on is this quote?  I’d say….


Why, if Obamacare® is the next best thing to sliced bread, is it not being promoted front and center in this year’s election, outside of a small fringe group of lunatics?

Should the Dems campaign on Obamacare?

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Ok. Time to whip this out. [Crap! Link updated!]

Watch this. I’m not looking for comments at all, just found something that I think will touch all of us in a good way, no matter where we come from.

Everyone have a great night/day.


Maybe this will make a little more sense now.  It’s not political at all, just something I really enjoyed watching.  

Obamacare’s first exposure to a public vote: FAIL.

Missouri had a referendum on the biggest disaster fobbed off on the American people since FDR was in office.


(More beneath the fold)

Boo Yah!!!

Emphasis is so happily mine.

A “yes” vote is a vote to amend current Missouri law to deny the government authority to “penalize citizens for refusing to purchase private health insurance or infringe upon the right to offer or accept direct payment for lawful healthcare services.” A “no” vote is a vote to reject the proposed referendum.

Yes 667,680 71.1%

No 271,102 28.9%

Total Votes   938,782

In the words [almost] of Roger Daltrey….

I think 2010 is gonna be a good year……for John Suthers.

Gallup: Oops!

(Actually, there is a lot more to say. Mainly this: “Who the hell knows what’s going on?” – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Not much more to say than this:

Do we have consensus now that the poll was either:

Mis-sampled, or

a total anomaly?

Hey, Pols – why don’t you front page this one like you did when it mistakenly showed an inexplicable rise in the generic ballot for Dems?

Obama’s Opposition: How Racist?

I asked this question in a post on a thread, and was surprised that I didn’t get any real answers, which surprised me, so an anonymous poll which follows will now give folks an easier way to estimate the percentage of opposition to President Obama they believe to be motivated by race, rather than policy.

Astute analysis will follow poll.


So…let’s hear it.

What percentage of Obama's opposition is Racist?

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Quinnipiac shows Gallup jump for Dems to be outlier.

(Finally! – promoted by ClubTwitty)

Not just more bad news for the Dems in Congress, but Obama has fallen to his lowest approval rating ever. [Emphasis mine]

Anti-incumbent sentiment slams both parties as voters disapprove 59 – 31 percent of the job Democrats are doing, and disapprove 59 – 29 percent of Republicans in Congress. But voters say 43 – 38 percent they would vote for a Republican in a generic Congressional race.

And that’s some of the best news for Obama in the poll….but it might be great news for him, and bad news for the country in the end.

More Quinnipiac:

A year after President Barack Obama’s political honeymoon ended, his job approval rating has dropped to a negative 44 – 48 percent, his worst net score ever, and American voters say by a narrow 39 – 36 percent margin that they would vote for an unnamed Republican rather than President Obama in 2012, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

And the best …ahem… worst part of all:

“It was a year ago, during the summer of 2009 that America’s love affair with President Barack Obama began to wane. In July of 2009, the President had a 57 – 33 percent approval rating. Today, his support among Democrats remains strong, but the disillusionment among independent voters, who dropped from 52 – 37 percent approval to 52 – 38 percent disapproval in the last 12 months, is what leads to his weakness overall when voters start thinking about 2012,” said Peter A. Brown., assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“In politics a month is a lifetime and we have 28 months until November of 2012. But politicians with re-elect numbers at 40 percent bear watching,” Brown added.

Now, that said, Charles Krauthammer had a thoroughly depressing and terrifying, but IMO accurate representation of why these numbers might not be bad for Obama at this point.

That’s why there’s so much tension between Obama and the congressional Democrats. For Obama, 2010 matters little. If Democrats lose control of one or both houses, Obama will likely have an easier time in 2012, just as Bill Clinton used Newt Gingrich and the Republicans as his foil for his 1996 re-election campaign.

Obama is down, but it’s very early in the play. Like Reagan, he came here to do things. And he’s done much in his first 500 days. What he has left to do he knows must await his next 500 days – those that come after re-election.

2012 is the real prize. Obama sees far, farther than even his own partisans. Republicans underestimate him at their peril.

Here’s the terrifying part…

But Obama’s most far-reaching accomplishment is his structural alteration of the U.S. budget. The stimulus, the vast expansion of domestic spending, the creation of ruinous deficits as far as the eye can see are not easily reversed.

These are not mere temporary countercyclical measures. They are structural deficits because, as everyone from Obama on down admits, the real money is in entitlements, most specifically Medicare and Medicaid. But Obama- care freezes these out as a source of debt reduction. Obamacare’s $500 billion in Medicare cuts and $600 billion in tax increases are siphoned away for a new entitlement – and no longer available for deficit reduction.

The result? There just isn’t enough to cut elsewhere to prevent national insolvency. That will require massive tax increases – most likely a European- style value-added tax. Just as President Reagan cut taxes to starve the federal government and prevent massive growth in spending, Obama’s wild spending will necessitate huge tax increases.

The net effect of 18 months of Obamaism will be to undo much of Reaganism. Both presidencies were highly ideological, grandly ambitious and often underappreciated by their own side. In his early years, Reagan was bitterly attacked from his right. Obama is attacked from his left for insufficient zeal on gay rights, immigration reform, closing Guantanamo – the list is long. The critics don’t understand the big picture. Obama’s transformational agenda is a play in two acts.

We’ve now spent so much money on entitlements that we really have no way out, and that’s why it was such a brilliant move on Obama’s part. He passed a worthless stimulus and a health care bill that basically does nothing for many years (and then simply makes health care more expensive for those who pay for it currently and will intentionally lead to the end of private insurers), so that now Republicans look like bad guys for arguing over unemployment extensions simply because they don’t want to borrow money to pay for it, but at this point, there is no other option.

Unfortunately, what has been done is economically unsustainable.  We are already well on our way to becoming a big version of California.  We have eliminated our budgetary margin of error with entitlements – not even massive tax increases will get us back to where we need to be, but you can be sure they’re coming.


Was it worth it to have committed what looks to be economic suicide in order to redistribute wealth and invoke some of these massive government takeovers of so much of the economy and huge new entitlements, and why?

An Excercise: What Do You Like or Admire About the Other Party?

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

I have my doubts that some of you can do this.  With all the vitriol lately, this might be an interesting window into what makes us similar:

Without sarcasm, what do you honestly like or admire about the opposing party to your own?

If you’re an independent, try to find something good to say about the organized party that least represents you.

We’re all so darn witty in here it would be really easy to say something funny and sarcastic to show that you like nothing about the opposition, but that’s easy.  Try to come up with something you really do like about them.

I’ll start (it’s only fair) below the fold.

I really admire the Democrats commitment to protecting the unprotected.  This is not a birth control joke.

The Dems have historically made a point of serving the forgotten members of our society, and I dig that.

Ok, fire away.

Ed Perlmutter reneges on pledge for Veterans’ Memorial

Ed Perlmutter had pledged $500,000 from earmarks for the Colorado Freedom Memorial.  He sat on their board, and listed his support for the memorial on his website.

Out of the blue, he sends a representative to talk to Rick Crandall, the memorial’s biggest advocate at an event where Crandall is walking onstage to emcee, and tells him the money has been pulled because “the chairman was concerned it would raise red flags”.

WTF is that?  Who is “the chairman”?  ‘Red flags’ supporting a veterans’ memorial?

Congressman Perlmutter, why do you hate our veterans?

Ok. Just be honest.

I read this in the WSJ today.  Basically it has quotes from John Cassidy from the New Yorker that illustrate that the health care reform movement has very little to do with reform, and a lot to do with things like redistribution of wealth and growing government in order to benefit Dems, because who could win an election on the platform on taking away your free government health care that’s paid for by the rich.

Why are they doing it? Because, according to Mr. Cassidy, ObamaCare serves the twin goals of “making the United States a more equitable country” and furthering the Democrats’ “political calculus.”

I’ve heard Ed Schultz say similar things, as have some of my leftie buddies.

So now the question.

Is the HC reform bill/movement currently in Congress truly about reforming our system into one that’s more efficient, or do some of you admit that you want this to pass because it accomplishes liberal goals unrelated to anyone’s health?

This is not about Limbaugh saying this, these are libs and Dems openly admitting that the bill  is more about things like this:

Mr. Cassidy is more honest than the politicians whose dishonesty he supports. “The U.S. government is making a costly and open-ended commitment,” he writes. “Let’s not pretend that it isn’t a big deal, or that it will be self-financing, or that it will work out exactly as planned. It won’t. What is really unfolding, I suspect, is the scenario that many conservatives feared. The Obama Administration . . . is creating a new entitlement program, which, once established, will be virtually impossible to rescind.”

Is Obama/Pelosi/Reid Care more about Dems than actual reform?

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Unscientific Pols Poll

(We’re not aware of having ever held a ‘scientific’ poll – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Where would you classify yourself in the political spectrum?

Please self-identify...

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Denver Terror Suspect admits ties to Al Qaeda

Scary Larry…

DENVER — The Aurora man under FBI investigation for alleged ties to a New York bomb plot has admitted he has ties to al-Qaida and is in negotiations to plead guilty to a terror charge, a senior law enforcement official told ABC News.

The official said Zazi had received explosives training and his possible guilty plea would be part of a deal to cooperate with the government.


The CIA reportedly first learned of his al-Qaida ties when Zazi visited Pakistan and officials said they later learned of “deeply troubling” conversations that were picked up on government intercepts.

Wiretaps?  What?!?!?!

Health diary.

Ok.  Here’s the outline of a diary I’ve been thinking about for a while.  

Health reform:

1. Tort reform.  Nationally.

2. Portability.

3. Re-regulation of insurance, but a dropping of most coverage mandates.  Allow ’boutique’ insurance for those with pre-existing or chronic problems, possibly subsidized by a surtax on everyone else’s insurance.  Yes, a tax increase on health benefits.  Part of re-regulation involves stringent rules on dropping from coverage, deterring it under almost all circumstances.

A dropping of mandates and the ability to choose appropriate coverage for your situation would vastly drop prices for most of the insured.  For instance, I’m not getting pregnant, so I don’t need that type of insurance.  However, I’m pretty active, so a high-deductible, high limit general coverage would be good for me, and inexpensive.

4. Integrated immigration reform, with a guest worker card that guarantees wage rates, where the employer pays the government directly, and the government takes out sufficient taxes to cover the guest workers’ medical (and education, roads, other civil services).

5. An additional income tax increase to fund a general program to insure the uninsurable, although forming large groups with diabetes and other chronic conditions can bargain for better rates than they’re probably getting now, particularly with portability.

6. Allow all out of pocket medical costs to be written off on income tax.

7. Require high deductible ($25k?) catastrophic coverage.

It’s not cost neutral, but it’s honest, at least.

There. It’s a start.  Fire away.

A rational look at ‘birtherism’.

Andrew McCarthy over at NRO had a fantastic essay that might shed a little light on the single, kos-sponsored poll that seems to empower the left into proclaiming that a majority of Republicans are out in left conspiracy-land (never mind the 9/11 conspiracy beliefs of Dems that had similar numbers believing that Bush knew or weren’t sure about the attack).

He starts off about where our discussions here have settled over the last week (JeffcoBlue’s random bits of bile excluded):

[Emphasis thoughout mine]

The editorial desire to put to rest the “Obama was born in Kenya” canard is justifiable. The overwhelming evidence is that Obama was born an American citizen on Aug. 4, 1961, which almost certainly makes him constitutionally eligible to hold his office. I say “almost certainly” because Obama, as we shall see, presents complex dual-citizenship issues. For now, let’s just stick with what’s indisputable: He was also born a Kenyan citizen. In theory, that could raise a question about whether he qualifies as a “natural born” American – an uncharted constitutional concept.

The mission of National Review has always included keeping the Right honest, which includes debunking crackpot conspiracy theories. The theory that Obama was born in Kenya, that he was smuggled into the U.S., and that his parents somehow hoodwinked Hawaiian authorities into falsely certifying his birth in Oahu, is crazy stuff. Even Obama’s dual Kenyan citizenship is of dubious materiality: It is a function of foreign law, involving no action on his part (to think otherwise, you’d have to conclude that if Yemen passed a law tomorrow saying, “All Americans – except, of course, Jews – are hereby awarded Yemeni citizenship,” only Jewish Americans could henceforth run for president). In any event, even if you were of a mind to indulge the Kenyan-birth fantasy, stop, count to ten, and think: Hillary Clinton. Is there any chance on God’s green earth that, if Obama were not qualified to be president, the Clinton machine would have failed to get that information out?

Here’s the issue that’s enabling the ‘birthers’:

To summarize: What Obama has made available is a Hawaiian “certification of live birth” (emphasis added), not a birth certificate (or what the state calls a “certificate of live birth”). The certification form provides a short, very general attestation of a few facts about the person’s birth: name and sex of the newborn; date and time of birth; city or town of birth, along with the name of the Hawaiian island and the county; the mother’s maiden name and race; the father’s name and race; and the date the certification was filed. This certification is not the same thing as the certificate, which is what I believe we were referring to in the editorial as “the state records that are used to generate birth certificates [sic] when they are requested.”

To the contrary, “the state records” are the certificate. They are used to generate the more limited birth certifications on request. As the Jeffers post shows, these state records are far more detailed. They include, for example, the name of the hospital, institution, or street address where the birth occurred; the full name, age, birthplace, race, and occupation of each parent; the mother’s residential address (and whether that address is within the city or town of birth); the signature of at least one parent (or “informant”) attesting to the accuracy of the information provided; the identity and signature of an attending physician (or other “attendant”) who certifies the occurrence of a live birth at the time and place specified; and the identity and signature of the local registrar who filed the birth record.

Plainly, this is different (additional) information from what is included in the certification. Yet, our editorial says that “several state officials have confirmed that the information in permanent state records is identical to that on the president’s birth certificate [by which we clearly meant ‘certification’],” and that the “director of Hawaii’s health department and the registrar of records each has personally verified that the information on Obama’s birth certificate [i.e., certification] is identical to that in the state’s records, the so-called vault copy.” (Italics mine.)

That misses the point. The information in the certification may be identical as far as it goes to what’s in the complete state records, but there are evidently many more details in the state records than are set forth in the certification. Contrary to the editors’ description, those who want to see the full state record – the certificate or the so-called “vault copy” – are not on a wild-goose chase for a “secondary document cloaked in darkness.” That confuses their motives (which vary) with what they’ve actually requested (which is entirely reasonable). Regardless of why people may want to see the vault copy, what’s been requested is a primary document that is materially more detailed than what Obama has thus far provided.

And some of what he’s provided is simply fiction:

Before January 20 of this year, Barack Obama had a negligible public record. He burst onto the national scene what seemed like five minutes before his election to the presidency: a first-term U.S. senator who actually served less than four years in that post – after a short time as a state legislator, some shadowy years as a “community organizer,” and scholastic terms at Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard that remain shrouded in mystery. The primary qualification supporters offered for Obama’s candidacy was his compelling life story, as packaged in 850 pages’ worth of the not one but two autobiographies this seemingly unaccomplished candidate had written by the age of 45.

Yet we now know that this life story is chock full of fiction. Typical and disturbing, to take just one example, is the entirely fabricated account in Dreams from My Father of Obama’s first job after college:

   Eventually a consulting house to multinational corporations agreed to hire me as a research assistant. Like a spy behind enemy lines, I arrived every day at my mid-Manhattan office and sat at my computer terminal, checking the Reuters machine that blinked bright emerald messages from across the globe. As far as I could tell I was the only black man in the company, a source of shame for me but a source of considerable pride for the company’s secretarial pool. They treated me like a son, those black ladies; they told me how they expected me to run the company one day. . . . The company promoted me to the position of financial writer. I had my own office, my own secretary, money in the bank. Sometimes, coming out of an interview with Japanese financiers or German bond traders, I would catch my reflection in the elevator doors – see myself in a suit and tie, a briefcase in my hand – and for a split second I would imagine myself as a captain of industry, barking out orders, closing the deal, before I remembered who it was that I had told myself I wanted to be and felt pangs of guilt for my lack of resolve. . . .

As the website Sweetness & Light details, this is bunk. Obama did not work at “a consulting house to multinational corporations”; it was, a then-colleague of his has related, “a small company that published newsletters on international business.” He wasn’t the only black man in the company, and he didn’t have an office, have a secretary, wear a suit and tie on the job, or conduct “interviews” with “Japanese financiers or German bond traders” – he was a junior copyeditor.

What’s unnerving about this is that it is so gratuitous. It would have made no difference to anyone curious about Obama’s life that he, like most of us, took a ho-hum entry-level job to establish himself. But Obama lies about the small things, the inconsequential things, just as he does about the important ones – depending on what he is trying to accomplish at any given time.

But then he gets to the crux of the matter.

But we should know. The point has little to do with whether Obama was born in Hawaii. I’m quite confident that he was. The issue is: What is the true personal history of the man who has been sold to us based on nothing but his personal history? On that issue, Obama has demonstrated himself to be an unreliable source and, sadly, we can’t trust the media to get to the bottom of it. What’s wrong with saying, to a president who promised unprecedented “transparency”: Give us all the raw data and we’ll figure it out for ourselves?

Again, I agree fully with McCarthy – I’m sure Obama was born in Hawaii and is an American citizen.  I don’t have any desire to litigate the ‘natural born’ aspect of the Constitutional requirement for President.

But I think some inconsistencies already demonstrated are enough to make many want to get more details about his past – details that shouldn’t be this difficult to coax out of someone who ran for office pledging the most transparent administration ‘evah’.