viernes, 31 de julio de 2009

Krautahammer on ObamaCare

Obamacare in Retreat

To win back the vast constituency that has insurance, is happy with it, and is mightily resisting the fatal lures of Obamacare, the president will in the end simply impose heavy regulations on the insurance companies that will make what you already have secure, portable and imperishable: no policy cancellations, no pre-existing condition requirements, perhaps even a cap on out-of-pocket expenses.

Nirvana. But wouldn't this bankrupt the insurance companies? Of course it would. There will be only one way to make this work: Impose an individual mandate. Force the 18 million Americans between 18 and 34 who (often quite rationally) forgo health insurance to buy it. This will create a huge new pool of customers who rarely get sick but will be paying premiums every month. And those premiums will subsidize nirvana health insurance for older folks.

jueves, 30 de julio de 2009

Organic food is now officially a ripoff

I love this kind of thing. Once again, science confirms common sense. Now people have a weapon to wield against the organic food fanatics.

Organic food has no health benefits, study finds

Organic food gives no health benefits to consumers, according to research
for the Food Standards Agency
published today.

Shoppers pay more for organic fruit, vegetables, chicken, beef and milk but
the food gives no nutritional enhancement to people’s diet.

The watchdog stopped short of advising consumers that buying organic produce
was a waste of money but its message was clear: choosing to eat organic food
will make no important difference to a person’s overall health. Eating a
healthy balanced diet is the only important thing, the report concluded.

“Our review indicates that there is currently no evidence to support the
selection of organically over conventionally-produced foods on the basis of
nutritional superiority.”

European anti Semite gets Presidential Medal of Freedom

Mary was in charge of the infamous Durban I so-called anti racism conference, which turned into an anti Semitic festival.

When she was replaced as UNHRC, Richard Holbrooke (today one of Obama's most senior diplomats) commented, "I think Sergio is much better than Mary Robinson. I think she overly politicized the job."

But wait. There's more:
The trouble starts with Robinson's tenure as president of Ireland. During the last four years of Robinson's tenure, the European Union donated large sums of money to the Palestinian Authority. Ireland even held the presidency of the European Union for the second half of 1996. During this time, Arafat siphoned large amounts of European aid money away to pay for terror. Robinson can plead ignorance, but documents seized during the recent Israeli incursion into the West Bank revealed that the Palestinian Authority spent approximately $9 million of European Union aid money
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Mary Robinson and Muhammad Yunus receive presidential medals of freedom

Mary Robinson was the first female President of Ireland (1990 – 1997) and a former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997 – 2002), a post that required her to end her presidency four months early. Robinson served as a prominent member of the Irish Senate prior to her election as President. She continues to bring attention to international issues as Honorary President of Oxfam International, and Chairs the Board of Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI Alliance). Since 2002 she has been President of Realizing Rights: The Ethical Globalization Initiative, based in New York, which is an organization she founded to make human rights the compass which charts a course for globalization that is fair, just and benefits all.

The decider's foreign policy

According to Matthew Crowley, Obama is his own national security adviser and secretary of state. Clifford May shows what we got out of the deal.
Friends and Foes
Treating the former worse than the latter is not smart policy.
Historian Bernard Lewis has observed that a nation can make few mistakes worse than this: to be “harmless as an enemy and treacherous as a friend.” Is that a fair characterization of American foreign policy under the Obama administration?
Mackubin Thomas Owens, editor of Orbis, the quarterly journal of the Foreign Policy Research Institute, calls Obama’s “disturbing propensity to curry favor with our adversaries at the expense of our friends
The Czechs and Poles are now “are rightly concerned that they will be sacrificed on the altar of better U.S. relations with Russia,” Owens wrote. “And the Israelis fear that the Obama administration’s desired opening to the Muslim world will be achieved at their expense.”
In particular, Obama has been pressing Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make unilateral concessions to Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority.
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miércoles, 29 de julio de 2009

The Role of the Mexican Military in the Cartel War

The subtext here is simple: the Mexican military is just one more cartel in the cartel war. Another subtext is that U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske wants the US and Mexico to focus on so-called prevention and treatment, etc etc. This is quite politically correct but it means even more interference in Mexican society than before: people will be sent to reeducation camps instead of to jail, etc etc. Therefore, the bait and switch is still on: the war on drugs is destroying Mexican society far more than the drugs ever could or would. The next step, if U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske has his way, is for it to begin destroying individual autonomy...
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The Role of the Mexican Military in the Cartel War

U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske is in the middle of a four-day visit this week to Mexico, where he is meeting with Mexican government officials to discuss the two countries’ joint approach to Mexico’s ongoing cartel war. In prepared remarks at a July 27 press conference with Mexican Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora, Kerlikowske said Washington is focused on reducing drug use in the United States, supporting domestic law enforcement efforts against drug traffickers and working with other countries that serve as production areas or transshipment points for U.S.-bound drugs.
However, the renewed debate, combined with recent changes in the Mexican legislature, have set the stage for a general re-examination of the Mexican military’s role in the cartel war. And while it is still unclear exactly where the re-examination will end up, the eventual outcome could drastically change the way the Mexican government fights the cartels.

lunes, 27 de julio de 2009

Larry Summers unmasked?

I really don't have an opinion about this stuff"it's too complicated for one without basic economics knowledge. Therefore anyone can convince me... On the other hand, this looks pretty damning...
In a speech last week, Larry Summers said:
Without comprehensive healthcare reform, there is little prospect of convincing markets that the long-term growth in Federal debt is under control or of convincing businesses that the United States is the most competitive place for them to invest.
This statement, while seemingly sensible to some laymen, is actually inconsistent with standard economic analysis, such as that offered by the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO tells us that the healthcare bills being considered in Congress will increase rather than decrease health spending and so will hardly assure markets the Federal debt is under control. The CBO also tells us that health spending does not raise problems of international competitiveness. My understanding is that the CBO analysis of these subjects is not at all controversial among professional economists.
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Is Obama the political fox?

Is Obama the political fox and not the sad sack conservative commentators say he is? That's what Madigan says"and he's "presidential writer in residence at Roosevelt College."

Unraveling ObamaCare

July 26, 2009
People really want to make a change of some kind, but they aren't sure quite how or what, and Obama remains a brilliant campaigner.
The president has watched from the sidelines as Congress wrestled with the question of what kind of health reform America actually needs. He's not doing that to be passive. The answers range from "none" to "complete" and touch on most points in between.
Remember President Bill Clinton's health-care debacle? He handed it to his wife and she emerged with a proposal crammed full of meticulous detail and dropped it on Congress like a cow pie in a hot pasture. People shifted away from it very quickly. Obama is not having any of that.
Obama is pulling on the levers of public opinion to create pressure to force Congress to make some difficult decisions.
He is letting Congress do the very messy part, which includes all those predictions of failure.

sábado, 18 de julio de 2009

Ultimatum watch: Mexican standoff?

La Jornada: Zelaya regresará a Honduras este fin de semana si fracasan negociaciones
El mandatario constitucional recordó que el fin de semana dio de plazo hasta este sábado a los golpistas para que se retiren del poder o de lo contrario hará valer su derecho a volver al país.

Ultimatum watch:
Me estoy preparando para regresar y hacerles sentir vergüenza a estos militares, precisó Zelaya en entrevista difundida por una radioemisora de Nicaragua, sin dar detalles dónde y en que momento llegará a Honduras.—Zelaya, Managua, Nicaragua, 17 de julio

Keeping in mind the following:
Horas más tarde, un portavoz del Departamento de Estado, Robert Wood, afirmó que Washington se opone a cualquier intento de Zelaya de volver a su país porque “no sería de gran ayuda“ a la mediación de Arias. El mandatario hondureño está totalmente al corriente de nuestra posición sobre este tema, precisó.
Will Obama dare to cross Hugo Chávez? Did he learn nothing from reading The Open Veins of Latin America?

jueves, 9 de julio de 2009

Al-Qaeda in Retreat

I imagine that anti-war types will say that Al-Qaeda was never the strategic threat that Bush said it was…it was always about expanding his own power.
Obama’s Inheritance: Al-Qaeda in Retreat

Marc A. Thiessen

In a widely noted speech at the National Archives in May, President Barack Obama said of George W. Bush’s national security policies: “We are cleaning up something that is quite simply a mess.” The president is wrong. Far from a mess, when it comes to national security, President Obama actually inherited a very strong hand from his predecessor. When Bush left office in January, America had marked 2,688 days without suffering another terrorist attack on its soil, an outcome that seemed all but impossible when the smoke cleared on September 12, 2001. Despite repeated attempts, al-Qaeda failed in its efforts to strike the U.S. again—because Bush kept its leaders on their heels and left them increasingly defeated and discredited on battlefronts across the globe.

miércoles, 1 de julio de 2009

Why is this sort of common sense so polemical?

Learn from France -- and consider banning the burka
It is quite plainly designed by men for the subjugation of women. One cannot be absolutely sure that no woman has ever donned it voluntarily, but one can certainly say that, in countries where women can choose not to wear it, then not wearing it is the choice they generally make.
This disposes right away of the phony argument that religious attire is worn as a matter of "right." It is almost exactly the other way around: The imposition of burkas or even head scarfs on women - just like the compulsory growing of beards for men - is the symbol of a denial of rights and the inflicting of a tyrannical code that obliterates personal liberty.
It is depressing that our President, in addressing the Muslim world, takes the most reactionary religious practice as the symbol of rights and identity.
[Moreover, freedom in America is indivisible from the freedom to practice one's religion. That is why there is a mosque in every state of our union, and over 1,200 mosques within our borders. That is why the U.S. government has gone to court to protect the right of women and girls to wear the hijab, and to punish those who would deny it.]
The klansman's hood, remember, is also the symbol of a white Protestant religious "identity" movement. We may be too constitutionally squeamish to ban the klan regalia outright, but we are entitled to our prejudice against those who choose to assert themselves in this way, and I would shudder for the country if this prejudice ever showed any sign of weakening.

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