Archive for March, 2009

Where Are the Leaders?

March 29, 2009

You wake up in the morning and once again the financial weather report calls for the Apocalypse followed by brief showers of despair. Seeking a ray of hope, you turn on the television and settle in to watch a Capitol Hill hearing. There in the hot seat is the man who holds the entire U.S. economy in his hands. And he looks like Harry Potter.

By David Rothkopf
The Washington Post

You wake up in the morning and once again the financial weather report calls for the Apocalypse followed by brief showers of despair. Seeking a ray of hope, you turn on the television and settle in to watch a Capitol Hill hearing. There in the hot seat is the man who holds the entire U.S. economy in his hands. And he looks like Harry Potter.
US bank chiefs to meet with President Obama

Go online, meanwhile, and you find the HTML version of the French Revolution, with left and right calling for poor Tim to be strung from a lamppost. You actually start feeling sorry for the guy. Arianna Huffington snipes that “the issue isn’t his delivery, it’s what he’s delivering.” Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz concludes that Geithner’s plan “amounts to robbery of the American people.” Next you find Connie Mack, Republican senator from Florida, fulminating that “quite simply, the Timothy Geithner experience has been a disaster. . . . America needs and deserves a Treasury secretary who can truly lead us forward.”

On that point, at least, he’s right. We do need strong leadership. The world is in chaos. There are riots from Greece to China. Iceland has collapsed, and Mexico teeters on the edge. Pakistan is broke, melting down and awash in nukes. Yes, the stock market soared with Geithner’s toxic asset plan, but didn’t he and Obama dismiss Wall Street’s response when the first version of the bank bailout landed with a thud last month? Don’t we hate Wall Street? Obama and Geithner subsidize hedge funds on Monday and come back with heavy regulations on Thursday. What gives?

In this March 12, 2009, file photo Treasury Secretary Timothy ...

Gradually it becomes clear. This is not just a global economic crisis. It’s a global leadership crisis. Obama is still finding his footing, Gordon Brown is on his way out, Hugo Chávez is nuts and Wall Street management is larcenous. Isn’t there someone somewhere with decent values, a firm hand on the tiller and at least one big new idea? Where have all the leaders gone?

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/cont
ent/article/2009/03/26/AR20090326034
22.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Coke a Dope: Biden’s Daughter Doing Drugs?

March 29, 2009

Biden resisted Barack’s plan to shut down the drug trade in Afghanistan.  Now we know why…

*********************

A “friend” of Vice President Joseph Biden’s daughter, Ashley, is attempting to hawk a videotape that he claims shows her snorting cocaine at a house party this month in Delaware.

The anonymous male acquaintance of Ashley took the video, said Thomas Dunlap, a lawyer representing the seller.

By Brad Hamilton
New York Post

Dunlap and a man claiming to be a lawyer showed The Post about 90 seconds of 43-minute tape, saying it was legally obtained and that Ashley was aware she was being filmed. The Post refused to pay for the video.

Read the rest:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/03282009/new
s/nationalnews/friend_of_bidens_daughter_
shopping_tape__161772.htm

Gregg Goes From Bipartisan Symbol to Top Obama Critic

March 28, 2009

Sen. Judd Gregg, who was President Obama’s commerce secretary nominee until withdrawing his name from consideration, has emerged as the toughest critic of the president’s handling of the economy and has helped galvanize Republican opposition to Obama’s policies.

Fox News
At first, the relationship between President Obama and Sen. Judd Gregg looked like love at first sight, proof that opposites do attract.

Obama is a 47-year-old left-leaning Democrat who believes in the power of government to solve people’s problems. Gregg is a 61-year-old New Hampshire Republican who advocated limited government and made millions through business investments.

Their unlikely partnership seemed destined to transcend partisan lines and symbolize the change that Obama promised to bring to Washington.

But Gregg, who was Obama’s commerce secretary nominee until withdrawing his name from consideration, has emerged as the toughest critic of the president’s handling of the economy and has helped galvanize Republican opposition to Obama’s policies.

He warned on Monday that Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget proposal will lead to unsustainable debt levels and send the country on a fiscal path resembling that of a “banana republic.”

Gregg kept up his attacks on Obama’s budget request Saturday in the weekly Republican radio address, saying the path to prosperity is not the excessive spending proposed by the president but limited spending that holds down the growth of government, taxes and debt.

The senator said Obama’s proposals “represent an extraordinary move of our government to the left.”

He said Obama “is not trying to hide this; in fact, he is very forthright in stating that he believes that by greatly expanding the spending, the taxing and the borrowing of our government, this will lead us to prosperity.”

Like most relationships, this one began with mutual admiration, respect and trust, with flowery compliments flowing between each other.

At their first public appearance together a week-and-a-half before Valentine’s Day, Obama called Gregg “a master of reaching across the aisle to get things done. He will be an astounding addition, a trusted voice in my Cabinet and an able and competent ambassador … I can think of no finer steward for our nation’s commerce.”

In turn, Gregg praised Obama’s economic stimulus proposal to stabilize the economic slide and pull the country out of recession as an “extraordinarily bold, aggressive, effective and comprehensive plan.”

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100d
ays/2009/03/28/gregg-goes-bipartisan-sy
mbol-obama-critic/

In his radio address Saturday, Gregg countered each of Obama’s policy principles:

— “It is the individual American who creates prosperity and good jobs, not the government.”

— “We believe that you create energy independence not by sticking Americans with a brand new national sales tax on everyone’s electric bill, but by expanding the production of American energy … while also conserving more.”

–“We also believe you improve everyone’s health care not by nationalizing the health care system and putting the government between you and your doctor, but by assuring that every American has access to quality health insurance and choices in health care.”

China Hosts Vast Spy Network, Computer Invasion Force

March 28, 2009

A vast electronic spying operation has infiltrated computers and has stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices around the world, including those of the Dalai Lama, Canadian researchers have concluded.

By JOHN MARKOFF
The New York Times

In a report to be issued this weekend, the researchers said that the system was being controlled from computers based almost exclusively in China, but that they could not say conclusively that the Chinese government was involved.

The researchers, who are based at the Munk Center for International Studies at the University of Toronto, had been asked by the office of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader whom China regularly denounces, to examine its computers for signs of malicious software, or malware.

Their sleuthing opened a window into a broader operation that, in less than two years, has infiltrated at least 1,295 computers in 103 countries, including many belonging to embassies, foreign ministries and other government offices, as well as the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan exile centers in India, Brussels, London and New York.

art.hacker1.cnn.jpg 
The leader of these Chinese hackers says there “is always a weakness” on networks that allows cyber break-ins. 

The researchers, who have a record of detecting computer espionage, said they believed that in addition to the spying on the Dalai Lama, the system, which they called GhostNet, was focused on the governments of South Asian and Southeast Asian countries.

Intelligence analysts say many governments, including those of China, Russia and the United States, and other parties use sophisticated computer programs to covertly gather information.

The newly reported spying operation is by far the largest to come to light in terms of countries affected.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/
03/29/technology/29spy.html

Related:
China boosts military, cyberwarfare capabilities

Chinese Hackers Routinely Attack U.S. Computers

Leave The Lights On: There’s Work To Do That Is Worth Doing, Even If We’re Tired

March 28, 2009

I am tired of meaningless, symbolic acts and endless political promises and blather and lack of taking responsibility in the year of the Oh-Bombastic.

I am tired of Barney Frank and Tim Geithner…..

And I am tired of just refusing to do the hard work to figure out how we could make America better.

This presidency has become “The Obama Show.”  When does he work and stop talking?

We’ll leave the lights on for THAT, Barack…..

If we work, and leave the lights on, and read and think we mights have some better ideas.

I fear Barack is talking to people with no lights on….

Here are a few more reasons to leave the lights on:

–To figure out how to handle global warming without ending productivity and growth in the USA….or anywhere else…
 U.N. ‘Climate Change’ Plan Would Likely Shift Trillions to Form New World Economy

This is a developing essay and not yet finished…..

–To figure out how to have health care reform without having health care rationing….
How Health Care Reform Can Kill Good Medicine

Natasha Richardson’s Story Saves Girl’s Life

–To figure out how to focus upon students and learning and not just teachers and money….

–To figure out, as we just passed the 30th anniversary of Three Mile Island, how to get past our fears of nuclear power (as the French have) and light up our world forever….We are not in the Jane Fonda world of the China Syndrome: just ask the U.S. Navy or any nation with nuclear power….

–To figure out when we’ll drill in the Arctic Reserve….safely… I mean we went to the moon and I am expected to believe Obama’s “Big Oil” lie that we can’t get money and oil out of Alaska without killing the planet?

–To figure out how to get the Republicans in America to wake the f &*^%$# up…….

–To teach the Congress why a 90% tax on anyone is a bad idea…..

Do we want to revive our economy, or do we want to punish the bankers?

As Joe Biden says, “Are you f ^%$#*& ing kidding me?”

I am tired of capers like the stimulus: my money gone and congress didn’t have time to read the bill and the president said it was a really super-duper crisis like all his others…. so we have NO HOPE of getting it right…. like Afgahanistan and now we have adopted Pakistan too?  I thought this was the anti-war president?

Obama Stimulus Job Numbers for Massachusetts “Manufactured in Washington DC”

I’m tired of class warfare….

Class Warfare? Obama Tears Down Rich Instead of Inspiring Others To Get Rich

I am tired of looking at my children and grandchildren while I know I am living a lie because they will have to pay off the debt someday….and my house is paid for…I’m talking about the Obamadebt….
The Democratic Congress’s Cover-Up; Our Biggest Danger

I’m tired of fakes who lip synch and are praised as entertainers…. and for giving a complete show….

Britney Spears delivers a complete show

Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/28/leave-the-lights-on-celebrat
e-human-achievement-hour/


At the top of the U.S. government we have this guy, Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden.  Really?

How Health Care Reform Can Kill Good Medicine

March 28, 2009

Here is what I know about managed health care in places like communiss Vietnam and China and also in Canada.

In Vietnam and China health care is uiversally bad and universally available.  The elite of the society pay their way, get the best medical care, and often end up in places like the Cleveland Clinic or the Mayo Clinic for big surgical procedures.

Big shot Arab oil people show the same pattern….

In China, I investigated the SARS outbreak in China more than four years ago.

SARS is a deadly viral infection know by its full name as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

We learned that China lacks sufficient medications, medical staff and hospital facilities to properly service their own population.

The World Health Organization estimated that only about 4% of China’s medical professions were prepared for a disease like SARS.

The most interesting and surprising thing we learned was this.  Although China trains enough high quality doctors and competition is keen for medical school educations, many of the best doctors find ways to get out of China to a place where they can earn more money.  The Chinese government system is actually holding back good medicine; while it thinks it has a system far superior to that in the U.S.

The situation in Vietnam is much the same.

The recent tracic death of Natasha Richardson and the timely treatment given subsequently to little Morgan McCracken brought this all back to me.

Natasha Richardson’s Story Saves Girl’s Life

Michelle Malkin asked the question, “Could Canada’s Medical Sysytem Have Killed Natasha Richardson?”

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/27/did-canadacare-kill-natasha-
richardson/

That’s a question every American should ponder some before we launch pell mell into a wildly expensife effort of health care reform.

We also noted someone who commented on that article in Michelle’s blog.

“My wife who’s a doctor and Canadian citizen graduated from McGill University went to school with a friend who became a neurosurgeon and just like the article states, he left Canada upon graduation and now practices in Texas. He is well renown and has published many articles in medical journals and such.”

“Why did he leave his country? The same reason my wife did, why go to school for 7 years do a residency, be taxed heavily and in the end only to make as much as someone with much less education, responsibility and commitment.”

“By the way my wife left Canada right after graduation also and did her residency in New York. It’s called the “brain drain” in Canada and is very common.”

The brain drain is a real problem for Vietnam, China and Canada…..

Of course, whean all of President Obama’s fixes are put into American life, nobody will want to leave….

Related:
China’s Effort to Resolve Food, Product Safety is Questionable
(Medical system and SARS)

Natasha Richardson’s Story Saves Girl’s Life

March 28, 2009

Natasha Richardson’s tragic death after a skiing accident has spawned at least one happy ending: It inadvertently saved the life of a little girl.

After 7-year-old Morgan McCracken of Mentor, Ohio, had been accidentally hit in the head by a baseball last week, she seemed fine for the following two days. “She had no symptoms,” her father Donald tells CNN. “She went to school both days and got an A on her spelling test as usual. There were no issues whatsoever.”

An injured Morgan McCracken has benefited from awareness after Natasha Richardson's death.

An injured Morgan McCracken has benefited from awareness after Natasha Richardson’s death.

But after he and wife Connie heard about Natasha Richardson’s tragedy on the news, they realized their daughter could be in grave danger. “Because of Natasha, we called the pediatrician immediately,” Donald said. “And by the time I got off the phone with him, Morgan was sobbing, her head hurt so much.”

After Morgan was helicoptered to a children’s hospital in Cleveland, the chief of pediatric neurosurgery, Dr. Alan Cohen, informed the McCrackens their daughter had the same injury that killed Richardson: an epidural hematoma.

“My heart sank. It just sank,” Donald says.

But now, after undergoing surgery and remaining hospitalized for five days, little Morgan is back home and doing just fine. “Dr. Cohen told us that if we hadn’t brought her in Thursday night, she never would have woken up,” says Donald.

People Magazine and CNN:
http://www.people.com/people/ar
ticle/0,,20268497,00.html?xid
=rss-topheadlines

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEA
LTH/03/26/head.injury.emerge
ncy/index.html

Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009
/03/27/did-canadacare-kill-natas
ha-richardson/

Related:
 Lack of helmet, immediate medical care, helicopter cost Natasha Richardson her life

The Democratic Congress’s Cover-Up; Our Biggest Danger

March 28, 2009

With a bit of bookkeeping legerdemain borrowed from the Bush administration, the Democratic Congress is about to perform a cover-up on the most serious threat to America’s economic future.

David S. Broder
The Washington Post

That threat is not the severe recession, tough as that is for the families and businesses struggling to make ends meet. In time, the recession will end, and last week’s stock market performance hinted that we may not have to wait years for the recovery to begin.

The real threat is the monstrous debt resulting from the slump in revenue and the staggering sums being committed by Washington to rescuing embattled banks and homeowners — and the absence of any serious strategy for paying it all back.

The Congressional Budget Office sketched the dimensions of the problem on March 20, and Congress reacted with shock. The CBO said that over the next 10 years, current policies would add a staggering $9.3 trillion to the national debt — one-third more than President Obama had estimated by using much more optimistic assumptions about future economic growth.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/c
ontent/article/2009/03/27/AR2009032
702507.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Republicans Respond To Obama Budget

March 28, 2009

Attacking President Barack Obama‘s grand spending plans, a GOP lawmaker who almost joined the Democrat’s Cabinet said Saturday the U.S. must live within its means or risk its tradition of passing a more prosperous country from one generation to the next.

“We believe you create prosperity by having an affordable government that pursues its responsibilities without excessive costs, taxes or debt,” Sen. Judd Gregg said in the Republican radio and Internet address.

By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer

Gregg, who accepted the job as commerce secretary but then withdrew his nomination because of “irresolvable conflicts” with Obama’s policies, has become one of the toughest critics of Obama’s handling of the economy.

“In the next five years, President Obama’s budget will double the national debt. In the next 10 years, it will triple the national debt,” said Gregg, R-N.H.

“His budget assumes the deficit will average $1 trillion every year for the next 10 years and will add well over $9 trillion in new debts to our children’s backs,” said Gregg, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee. “He also is proposing the largest tax increase in history, much of it aimed at taxing small business people who have been, over the years, the best job creators in our economy.”

Gregg said Obama’s proposals “represent an extraordinary move of our government to the left.”

He acknowledged that Obama “is very forthright in stating that he believes that by greatly expanding the spending, the taxing and the borrowing of our government, this will lead us to prosperity.”

In seeking to make the GOP case, Gregg said:

–“It is the individual American who creates prosperity and good jobs, not the government.”

–“We believe that you create energy independence not by sticking Americans with a brand new national sales tax on everyone’s electric bill, but by expanding the production of American energy … while also conserving more.”

–“We also believe you improve everyone’s health care not by nationalizing the health care system and putting the government between you and your doctor, but by assuring that every American has access to quality health insurance and choices in health care.”

He said the U.S. “has an exceptional history of one generation passing on to the next generation a more prosperous and stronger country, but that tradition is being put at risk.”

Britney Spears delivers a complete show

March 28, 2009

All those crazy things Britney Spears has done in the past three years … they’ve only made her fans love her more, judging by the deafening chants of “Brit-ney! Brit-ney!” before and after she took center ring last night at the Mellon Arena.

Since she was a teen, we’ve watched Britney rise and fall, and repeat, and now her star is burning bright again, with a No. 1 single and what might be the biggest spectacle any pop artist has put on a touring stage.

By Scott Mervis, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The money saved on silly little things like live musicians has been put to grand use in a Cirque-style production with dozens of dazzling acrobats, dancers, ninjas, clowns and strong men, and circus train full of props to lock up and unleash the star.

There were no malfunctions, wardrobe or otherwise, in the Pittsburgh show. And Britney, with a head full of hair, or a fantastic wig, looked radiant and in charge as ringmaster and seductress. Each song was choreographed like a video, ranging from the S&M scene of “Circus” to the lush Bollywood of “Me Against the Music” to the Phantom of the Opera look of “Freakshow.”

Britney wore a headset mike, but there was little need to. It was all clearly piped in. The only time when the vocals seemed even remotely live was on the one ballad, “Everytime.” Unlike old pal Christina Aguilera, who had her own circus, Ms. Spears sings these songs once in the studio — with much help from auto-tune — and the rest is smoke and mirrors.

Still, the demands on her were impressive in this circus: Along with the dancing and running in heels, she spun from ropes, disappeared in trap doors and executed lightning-quick costume changes, starting with the ringmaster suit and peaking with a sheer, tattooed body suit on “Breathe on Me/Touch of My Hand.”

When she played here earlier in the decade, people would complain if it got too suggestive. Now the only boundaries are legal ones, as the girls who were screaming back then for “… Baby One More Time” are grown up and back with their boyfriends and girlfriends rather than their moms.

Last night, they got more of an interpretation of the songs than a performance of them. But they still got their money’s worth. If there were an awards ceremony for tours, the “Circus” tour would be a leading contender for choreography, costumes, stunts, props and visual effects.

The Pussycat Dolls opened with a no-frills, 45-minute set pumped with piped-in music, aerobic dancing and the stunning presence of lead Doll Nicole Scherzinger.