Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Climate was HOTTER in Roman, medieval times than now

The Register ^ | 10th July 2012 11:44 GMT | Lewis Page

Americans sweltering in the recent record-breaking heatwave may not believe it - but it seems that our ancestors suffered through much hotter summers in times gone by, several of them within the last 2,000 years.

Reconstruction of past climate. Credit: Insititute of Geography, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Phew, what a scorcher, Marcus. Let's get in the frigidarium

A new study measuring temperatures over the past two millennia has concluded that in fact the temperatures seen in the last decade are far from being the hottest in history.

A large team of scientists making a comprehensive study of data from tree rings say that in fact global temperatures have been on a falling trend for the past 2,000 years and they have often been noticeably higher than they are today - despite the absence of any significant amounts of human-released carbon dioxide in the atmosphere back then.

"We found that previous estimates of historical temperatures during the Roman era and the Middle Ages were too low," says Professor-Doktor Jan Esper of the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, one of the scientists leading the study. "Such findings are also significant with regard to climate policy."

They certainly are, as it is a central plank of climate policy worldwide that the current temperatures are the highest ever seen for many millennia, and that this results from rising levels of atmospheric CO2 emitted by human activities such as industry, transport etc.
(Excerpt) Read more at theregister.co.uk ...

House votes 240-182 to approve rule covering healthcare repeal

The Hill ^ | 07/10/12 | Pete Kasperowicz

The House approved a rule governing debate for the Republicans' Repeal of Obamacare Act on Tuesday.

Members voted 240-182 in favor of the rule, which sets up five hours of debate that will take place Tuesday and Wednesday.

Democrats strongly oppose the bill, a sentiment reflected in the rule vote. Only four Democrats supported the rule, and every voting Republicans favored it. Democrats voting for the rule were Reps. Dan Boren (Okla.), Larry Kissell (N.C.), Mike McIntyre (N.C.) and Mike Ross (Ark.).

The vote came after a debate that seemed to raise the question of why five hours of debate is needed at all.
Democrats reiterated their arguments that the repeal bill, H.R. 6079, will go nowhere after the House, and that the House is therefore wasting its time. They also noted the repeated attempts Republicans have previously made to repeal all or part of the bill.
"Never in the history of this Congress ... has anybody voted this many times on a single issue," Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) said on the House floor. "And why? Because we don't have anything else to do."
"We're not trying to make law here, we're making political points."
But Republicans insisted that repeal is needed because people are losing access to their company-sponsored health plans as companies react to the 2010 healthcare reform law, and that the cost of that law is double what Democrats advertised two years ago. Reacting to the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of the law also seemed foremost in the minds of Republicans.
"I respect their decision, and there's nothing we can do to change that," Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said. "ObamaCare is now the official law of the land.
"However, there is something this body can do to reverse the course and to prevent the job-destroying aspects of this bill from taking effect: a complete repeal of the bill."

Either Romney pulls out the knife or he loses!

WTTK-FM | 7/10/12

Jay Severin -- one of Romney's biggest supporters and a professional campaign manager -- spoke about the state of the presidential campaign.

After first acknowledging that Independents do not like negative ads, he stated that unless Romney starts fighting as hard against Obama as Obama is against him, Romney loses.

It's that clear to so many people on the right. Why Romney is being Mr. Rogers is open to debate. 

Romney is of the 50s and 60s generation, when the idea of an Obama in public office would have been regarded as either a stupid joke or alternate universe science fiction. Romney diesmbowled his Republican opponents but now apparently is being told by his team that he has to stay Mr. Nice "so as not to alienate voters."

I think Severin is correct. This election will mean either the death of the United States or its comeback.

Democrats: White House and Senate 'Out of Reach' If Fundraising Doesn't Increase!

Weekly Standard ^ | July 10, 2012 | by Daniel Halper

Democrats are continuing to sound the alarm about this upcoming election. And the latest alarm bell is being rung by Senator Patty Murray, chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Using a reverse psychology ploy to gin up support from Democratic donors, Murray writes, in an email to supporters, that "If we don’t close this gap now, the White House and Senate will be out of reach before Labor Day."

Murray makes clear that the impetus for her sounding alarm is the fundraising gap between Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Barack Obama. "The good news: Democrats set fundraising records in June. The bad news: Mitt Romney did too—and outraised President Obama by more than 30%," writes Murray.
In the month of June, Romney and the Republican National Committee outraised President Obama and the Democratic National Committee by a cool $35 million. Last month, Romney raised $106 million to Obama's $71 million.
Murray's plea is for supporters to act now. "Please give $5 right now. We must raise $100,000 TODAY to close this gap," she writes.
Earlier today, President Obama, also in an email to supporters, suggested that this election will test the democratic model.
"This election will be a test of the model that got us here," Obama wrote. "We'll learn whether it's still true that a grassroots campaign can elect a president -- whether ordinary Americans are in control of our democracy in the face of massive spending."

One reason to vote for Romney: SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ERIC HOLDER!

by conservativesister

There's more than voting for Romney at stake. If Mitt wins the nomination, as seems very likely, I will support his candidacy. For those who may have hesitation on that score, I’d just ask you to keep four things in mind:

1. Justice Scalia just turned 78
2. Justice Kennedy will turn 78 later this year
3. Justice Breyer will be 76 in August
4. Justice Ginsburg turned 81 about a week ago.

Whoever we elect as president in November is almost certainly going to choose at least one and maybe more new members of the Supreme Court, in addition to hundreds of other life-tenured federal judges, all of whom will be making momentous decisions about our lives for decades to come.

If you don’t think it matters who wins this election, think again!

So for anybody who is thinking of not voting because your favorite didn’t get nominated, or writing in a candidate who can't win, just imagine this possibility:

Did that get your attention? I sure hope so!!!

So what will the liberals say when\if ObamaCare is a reality?

by MNDude

I can honestly understand why some family of illegal immigrants would be estatic about ObamaCare being being now being covered.

I can understand how an pregnant uninsured woman would think it is a good deal to get covered without question.

What I am curious about is how the millions of American liberals who will have absolutely nothing to gain from ObamaCare will ultimately respond to it's effects.

Most Americans are getting their insurance provided from their place of work. So, there would be no instant gratification of saving an extra $500 to $2000 a month. Rather, one day you'll arrive at work, and and get informed that you're company is no longer providing health care for you, but don't worry, you can jump on the public plan and not get turned down.
There are a lot of liberals that at my place of work who are the biggest fanatics about the passage of Univeral HealthCare. I've heard all kinds of their health issues over the years...broken legs, eating disorders, anti-depressant medications, stomach blockages, kids with a high fever taken in to the emergency room, blood clots, cancer, skin infections, Vertigo, Lupus, infant child's kidney surgery. And those are just a handful that I know of and remember right off hand. From my recollection, everyone would just show up to the doctor's office and get treated very shortly.
It's very obvious that if Universal Care is implemented, that won't be the case at all. If the health care is anything like Canada's, it will mean weeks if not months of waiting until being seen by a doctor. Since, Canada has had years to perfect their system, and the US Universal Healthcare system would be new, ours would probably even worse.
These liberals obviously have parents they love, so what'll be their reaction when their 72 year old mother has a treatable form of cancer, but they are told the system will not pay for her treatment.
Libeals are very obtuse, and tend to blame all problems on the evil conservatives, but I'm wondering who they'll blame when they finally have their Universal HealthCare, that they have Universal HealthCare.

Dem. Chair Invested in Swiss Banks, Foreign Drug Companies, and the State Bank of India

weeklystandard.com ^ | DANIEL HALPER | JUL 10, 2012

Disclosure forms reveal that Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a member of Congress from Florida, previously held funds with investments in Swiss banks, foreign drug companies, and the state bank of India. This revelation comes mere days after the Democratic chair attacked presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for holding money in Swiss bank accounts in the past.

"Americans need to ask themselves, why does an American businessman need a Swiss bank account and secretive investments like that?" the DNC chair, a chief surrogate for President Obama's reelection team, said on Fox News Sunday two days ago. "Just something, a thought, that I'd like to leave folks with."

(Excerpt) Read more at weeklystandard.com ...

Former Obama auto czar, Treasury officials break in eleventh hour...

The Daily Caller ^ | 07/10/2012 | Matthew Boyle

President Barack Obama’s former auto industry adviser and two former Treasury Department officials cracked at the last minute before a House oversight committee subcommittee hearing and agreed to stop stonewalling an investigation into alleged union favoritism during the administration’s General Motors bailout.

Ron Bloom, Obama’s former auto czar, and former Treasury officials Matt Feldman and Harry Wilson have refused to give interviews to the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) about their roles in topping up pensions for union workers while non-union workers lost nearly their entire pensions.

The Treasury Department’s actions during the auto bailout caused 20,000 non-union workers from Delphi to lose most of their pensions. Delphi, a GM company, is one of the largest automotive parts manufacturers in the world. Its workers lost their pensions when the government bailed out GM.
While those non-union Delphi workers lost nearly their entire pensions, United Auto Workers union members’ pensions were topped off and made whole.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailycaller.com ...

What Makes America Different?

Towm Hall ^ | July 10, 2012 | Richard Larsen

At the NATO Summit in Strasbourg, France, in 2009 our president said, "I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism."

Contrary to what some among us erroneously assume, American exceptionalism is not some obtuse reference to Americans being any better than anyone else in the world. It doesn’t mean that our products are somehow superior, or that we’re any more erudite than the inhabitants of any other country. It simply means that, as a nation, America was exceptional in how it was founded and the precepts upon which it was established are unique and unparalleled in all of human history.

There has never been anything so unique and exceptional in the rising up of a new nation than one being established according to declared inalienable individual and collective rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In an era when monarchs, rulers, autocrats and aristocrats governed according to their whims and disposition based primarily on caste or bloodline, a motley collection of men steeped in classical-liberal principles led a revolution and established a nation dedicated to individual freedom.
Those precepts were the foundation to the Declaration of Independence, which states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” There is nothing more exceptional in human history than those two sentences and the nation that resulted from their utterance: a nation that derived its “just” powers from the “consent of the governed.”
A decade later, a structural document creating the governmental framework by which the tenets articulated in the Declaration of Independence were codified, was ratified by the colonies. That document, our Constitution, stated specifically what our national government would do in no uncertain terms, and whatever powers were not specified or enumerated, were “reserved to the states respectively or to the people.”
That concept of limited governmental power and maximum individual freedom is the embodiment of American exceptionalism and is the reason for our holiday this past week. It is a time for us to reflect on the historical significant of a nation being so founded, intentionally constructed in such a way as to prevent tyrants, despots, and bureaucrats from usurping the authority and power of the people. While we may seem so far removed from those ideals today, the poignant reflection on the historicity of the day should stir something deep within our souls for a return to such principles.
We can also reflect upon, and celebrate the lives and contributions of those who fought and died for those principles. Not just in our revolutionary era, but with each successive generation from that time. None have given more, and sacrificed more, than our men and women in uniform, who have carried high the banner of freedom onto foreign lands to defend life and liberty, and vanquish tyranny.
Those who don the nation’s uniform take an oath of fealty to the Constitution, and that they will defend it against all foes, foreign and domestic. I often reflect how all of us, as citizens, should take a similar oath. For if we did, the abuses of power, usurped and purloined from the citizens, would be so much less likely to occur than we observe on a nearly daily basis in news emanating from our seats of government.
In our reflection of the historical significance of the day, may we catch a glimpse of the fervor that filled the hearts and souls of those earliest of patriots. They were so willing to give all that they had, including their very lives, for the freedom for which they yearned. Yet collectively, we allow that very liberty to be frittered away on a daily basis by ostensibly well-intentioned politicians who, through new legislation, laws, and Acts, limit individual freedom and liberty, and engorge government with ever increasing power to harass, subjugate, and rule over us. With each such law, we become less citizens of a republic based on freedom, and increasingly subjects to an omnipotent and omniscient government.
If we are to truly celebrate Independence Day, let us recommit to those principles for which our forebears struggled that we might enjoy the fruits thereof. Let’s not allow their sacrifices to have been in vain, but let us take up the torch of Lady Liberty, with the fire of freedom burning within our souls, and recommit to those founding doctrines that made America unique and exceptional in all of human history.

AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at rlarsenen@cableone.net.

CBO: The rich pay an outsized share of taxes!

The Washington Times ^ | July 10, 2012 | Stephen Dinan

Wealthy Americans earn about 50 percent of all income but pay nearly 70 percent of the federal tax burden, according to the latest analysis Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office — though the agency said the very richest have seen their share of taxes fall the past few years.

CBO looked at 2007 through 2009 — the latest years data are available, but enough to include the early effects of the last recession — and found the bottom 20 percent of American earners paid just three-tenths of a percent of the total federal tax burden, while the richest 20 percent paid 67.9 percent of taxes.

The top 1 percent, whom President Obama has made a target during the presidential campaign, earned 13.4 percent of all pre-tax income but paid 22.3 percent of taxes in 2009, CBO said. When tax burden is figured in, the top 1 percent took in only 11.5 percent of income.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...

The Invincible Lie

Creators Syndicate ^ | Julu 10, 2012 | Thomas Sowell

Anyone who wants to study the tricks of propaganda rhetoric has a rich source of examples in the statements of President Barack Obama. On Monday, July 9th, for example, he said that Republicans "believe that prosperity comes from the top down, so that if we spend trillions more on tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, that that will somehow unleash jobs and economic growth."

Let us begin with the word "spend." Is the government "spending" money on people whenever it does not tax them as much as it can? Such convoluted reasoning would never pass muster if the mainstream media were not so determined to see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil when it comes to Barack Obama.

Ironically, actual spending by the Obama administration for the benefit of its political allies, such as the teachers' unions, is not called spending but "investment." You can say anything if you have your own private language.

But let's go back to the notion of "spending" money on "the wealthiest Americans." The people he is talking about are not the wealthiest Americans. Income is not wealth — and the whole tax controversy is about income taxes. Wealth is what you have accumulated, and wealth is not taxed, except when you die and the government collects an inheritance tax from your heirs.
People over 65 years of age have far more wealth than people in their thirties and forties — but lower incomes. If Obama wants to talk about raising income taxes, let him talk about it, but claiming that he wants to tax "the wealthiest Americans" is a lie and an emotional distraction for propaganda purposes.
(Excerpt) Read more at creators.com ...

Report: 83 percent of doctors have considered quitting over Obamacare!

The Daily Caller ^ | 07/10/12 | Sally Nelson

Eighty-three percent of American physicians have considered leaving their practices over President Barack Obama’s health care reform law, according to a survey released by the Doctor Patient Medical Association.

The DPMA, a non-partisan association of doctors and patients, surveyed a random selection of 699 doctors nationwide. The survey found that the majority have thought about bailing out of their careers over the legislation, which was upheld last month by the Supreme Court.
Even if doctors do not quit their jobs over the ruling, America will face a shortage of at least 90,000 doctors by 2020. The new health care law increases demand for physicians by expanding insurance coverage. This change will exacerbate the current shortage as more Americans live past 65.
By 2025 the shortage will balloon to over 130,000, Len Marquez, the director of government relations at the American Association of Medical Colleges, told The Daily Caller.
“One of our primary concerns is that you’ve got an aging physician workforce and you have these new beneficiaries — these newly insured people — coming through the system,” he said. “There will be strains and there will be physician shortages.”
The DPMA found that many doctors do not believe the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will lead to better access to medical care for the majority of Americans, co-founder of the DPMA Kathryn Serkes told TheDC.
“Doctors clearly understand what Washington does not — that a piece of paper that says you are ‘covered’ by insurance or ‘enrolled’ in Medicare or Medicaid does not translate to actual medical care when doctors can’t afford to see patients at the lowball payments, and patients have to jump through government and insurance company bureaucratic hoops,” she said. (SEE ALSO: Jeremiah Wright: ‘White racist alien DNA’ running through synapses of Obama’s brain )
The American Medical Association, which endorsed Obama’s health care overhaul, was not able to immediately offer comment on the survey. Spokesperson Heather Lasher Todd said it would take time to review the information in the survey.
Janelle Davis of the American Academy of Family Physicians said the AAFP could not provide thoughtful commentary without studying the survey’s findings and methodology

Texas Is America's Top State for Business 2012

Texas does it again!

CNBC American Top States for Business 2012 ^ | 10 JUL 12 | CNBC

Texas has done it again.

The Lone Star State makes a triumphant return as America’s Top State for Business—its third time at the top of our rankings.

“Listen, there is a reason that Caterpillar [CAT 80.27 -2.87 (-3.45%) ] moved their hydraulics manufacturing and their engine manufacturing to the state of Texas,” said Gov. Rick Perry in November during the CNBC Republican presidential debate.

We can attest to that.

In our sixth annual study, Texas racked up an impressive 1,604 points out of a possible 2,500, with top-10 finishes in six of our 10 categories of competitiveness. Texas has never finished below second place since we began the study in 2007.

Texas does it again!

Nurses' assistant pleads guilty to selling wedding bands stolen from ailing veterans!

roanoke.com ^ | 7-10-12 | Neil Harvey

One of two nurses' assistants charged in the thefts of wedding bands from ailing, elderly veterans pleaded guilty today in Roanoke Circuit Court to eight felonies.
Ashley Michelle Sweeney, 23, of Ferrum admitted that in January she accepted rings taken from four patients at the Virginia Veterans Care Center on Shenandoah Avenue in northwest Roanoke. She also admitted selling them at two pawn shops along Williamson Road.
Judge Clifford Weckstein found Sweeney guilty of four counts each of receiving and selling stolen property, offenses that carry a combined maximum penalty of 120 years in prison. She will be sentenced at a hearing in September.
Through Sweeney’s plea agreement, prosecutors dropped two counts of obtaining money by false pretenses. Sweeney had also been charged with four counts of grand larceny, but those were downgraded to the less serious charge of receiving stolen goods.
Sweeney and another suspect in the case, Brittney Heather Cook, were working as contract nurses' assistants when they were arrested in February during an investigation of ring thefts at the veterans care center, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Joshua Dietz said in court.
Dietz said detectives connected Sweeney and Cook to the victims by their work schedules and said the two women rode to work together and were inseparable on the job.
“Other nurses described them as being always together, even when they were not assigned to the same room,” he said.
Sweeney used her identification on Jan. 14 and 15 to pawn four rings, and she and Cook were recorded on security cameras exchanging the jewelry for a total of $405, Dietz said, adding that personal appraisals placed the value of the yellow gold wedding bands at approximately $4,650. He said the women had ended their work shifts at 3 p.m. those days, and both sales were made less than an hour later.
Dietz said Cook has admitted taking only two of the four rings and said she denied taking them off the fingers of their owners, a claim he said is contradicted by evidence of bruising on the wrist and hand of one of the victims.
Cook, who faces multiple charges of grand larceny and obtaining money by false pretenses, is due in court July 30.
Both women, who are not registered nurses, are restricted by the court from working as nurses' assistants and from making contact with each other.
Prosecutors said all of the victims in the case were elderly and suffering from afflictions that ranged from dementia and Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s disease, and one of them has since died. Aged 77 to 89, most served in either World War II or Korea, and one of them fought at the battle of Okinawa.
Four rings taken and pawned were returned to their owners. A fifth ring, belonging to a female patient at the veterans center, is still unaccounted for, Dietz said.

Is President Obama Intentionally 'Destroying' America?

Townhall ^ | Jul 10, 2012 | David Limbaugh

During my book "tour," radio hosts are forever asking me whether I believe that Obama is intentionally attempting to destroy America.

It's a fair question, especially given the title of my book and because so many people legitimately believe he is.

I have never been too receptive to conspiracy theories, and I'm not particularly enamored of ones circulating about Obama.
But unlike many other such theories, this one is about a truly unprecedented assault on the American idea and on those first principles that have made America the unique experiment in constitutional governance that it has been.
Ordinary people -- not just a small fringe group of zealots -- are really afraid today.
They see the country they adore being attacked at all levels; they see their freedoms under assault, their life savings genuinely in jeopardy, an endlessly anemic economy, a longer period of sustained unemployment than we've experienced in a half-century and a national financial crisis, born of world-historic national debt, that this president will not help avert
(Excerpt) Read more at townhall.com ...

Reporter NORAH O’DONNELL Crushes Jay Carney Over Obama Tax Trick

Yesterday’s WH Press briefing…

NORAH O’DONNELL: On that very point that it’s been the president’s position all along, in Dec. 2010, when he advocated an extension of all of the Bush tax cuts including those for the wealthiest Americans, he argued that raising taxes would be a “blow to our economy.” So what’s different now from then?

CARNEY: The president’s position has always been that we should permanently extend the tax cuts for middle-class Americans and that we should no longer extend the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. At the time, from the question, there was a package of proposals that passed that helped the economy at a time it was very vulnerable that the president signed into law. What he made clear at the time was that he would not in the future support a measure that would extend tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. And it was a point made by independent economists and others at the time—and they’re making it again now—that when we’re talking about positive effects on the economy, it is tax cuts to middle-class Americans that produce that positive effect. It is not tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, who tend not to spend that money as quickly or as readily as hard-working, middle-class Americans, and the cost of extending those tax cuts is $65 million—I’m talking about the high-end–$65 billion for one year, close to a trillion over ten, is prohibitive, we can’t afford it, and it does not work as a matter of macroeconomic policy. We’ve seen what happened in the period from 2001 to 2008. We saw the impact of those policy decisions—

O’DONNELL: The president said that raising taxes on entrepreneurs—he said then, that when entrepreneurs have money it frees up other money to hire workers. So why was the argument then that raising taxes on entrepreneurs would be bad and now it’s okay.

CARNEY: Well, first of all, you’re comparing apples and oranges. As I just made clear—

O’DONNELL: In Dec. 2010, he said it would be a blow to the economy to raise taxes on individuals. Now he says it’s not.

CARNEY: As I just said, 98 percent of the tax cuts—98 percent, for 98 percent of the American people—he has always supported extending. He supported it then; he supported it now.

O’DONNELL: But in 2010, he was worried about entrepreneurs. He’s not now worried about entrepreneurs?

CARNEY: Of course he is. That’s why he has passed small-business tax cuts and signed into law small-business tax cuts 17, or 18, or 19 times, that’s why he’s put forward a proposal that Republicans can join Democrats in supporting this very week that would extend another tax break to small businesses if they make new hires or expand the wages of their employees. He’s very concerned about that. You’re buying into the red herring argument that just isn’t true—because they can’t back it up—that somehow the top 2 percent of America’s earners are all a bunch of small businesses, when in fact the people who would be affected by this are—that would identify themselves as small businesses under that definition—are largely hedge-fund managers and lawfirm partners and others who file that way who tend to be doing much better than average, hard-working Americans.

The Numbers Game

Townhall.com ^ | July 10, 2012 | Cal Thomas

President Obama's attempt to spin the latest discouraging unemployment numbers as "a step in the right direction" is like telling passengers aboard the Titanic to ignore the sinking vessel and listen to the live music.

A Wall Street Journal analysis of the June unemployment figures offers little comfort, nor does it produce confidence that the economy will improve before the election.

"The U.S. unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.2 percent in June," the Journal reports, "but a broader measure rose to 14.9 percent as the ranks of the underemployed grew. ... The reason the rate didn't decline was that while the number of employed increased, so did the labor force by a larger 189,000 people." The broader unemployment rate includes temporary and part-time workers who would prefer a full-time job, as well as people who want to work but have given up looking for jobs. The president's policies, which appear to have stifled economic growth, continue to contribute to the dismal jobs outcome.
Figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics should cause headaches for the Obama re-election team and an opportunity for Mitt Romney to offer a better path. Hispanic and Latino unemployment remained essentially unchanged at 11.0 percent. African-American unemployment rose by 184,000 to 14.4 percent, making one wonder why so many black voters continue to support a president who is doing them little good. The number of unemployed women has increased by 780,000 since President Obama took office. The unemployment rate among white men and women remained at 7.4 percent, but whites don't seem to figure much into Obama's re-election strategy.
June marked the 41st consecutive month in which the unemployment rate has been above 8 percent, the longest streak at such a high level since the Great Depression. President Obama promised that if Congress passed his stimulus plan, unemployment would be around 5.6 percent by now. In 1992, when Bill Clinton became president, the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent. In October 2008, under George Bush, the unemployment rate was 6.5 percent.
Here's more from an analysis by James Pethokoukis of The American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank: "The average duration of unemployment ticked up to 39.9 weeks. ... Job growth during the three-year Obama recovery has averaged just 75,000 a month for a total of 2.7 million." He contrasts this with the first three years of the Reagan recovery when "job growth averaged 273,000 a month for a total of 9.8 million."
Pethokoukis adds, "If you adjust for the larger U.S. population today, the Reagan recovery averaged 360,000 jobs a month for a three-year total of 13 million jobs."
President Obama has said we "can't afford to go back to the failed policies of the past," implying they didn't work. Those past numbers look a lot better than the ones he's posting. We're waist-deep in a financial "Big Muddy," to paraphrase Pete Seeger, "and the big fool says to push on."
If Obamacare is not repealed and replaced by a Republican Congress and a President Romney, its sharp tax and spending increases will lead, among other things, to employers hiring even fewer people and laying off the workers they have. There is no healthy economic future if we continue along this line.
But more than a change of administrations is needed. We also must change the way many of us think about the proper role of government, which functions best when it's limited. When people are not limited by government, they do better for themselves and the nation. Why then do so many turn to government when it consistently fails to perform better than the private sector in most categories?
Mitt Romney should be hammering on this theme and not let the Obama campaign pound him as an out of touch, jet-skiing, rich guy. This election is, or ought to be, about whether the country can stand another four years of incompetent, overspending, overtaxing government, or whether it should return to the safe harbor of living within our means and doing more for ourselves.
Spinning numbers won't cure an ailing economy anymore than wishful thinking will improve the condition of a dying man. This administration has put America on a path to socialism. It's for Romney to make the case that the administration's "medicine" is actually killing us.

The Nature of the Disease

Sultan Knish | Monday, July 09, 2012 | Daniel Greenfield

Cuba, a lovely Communist paradise, which millionaire leftists like Michael Moore and Steven Spielberg have told us has health care vastly superior to our own, is experiencing an outbreak of cholera. There are at least 15 dead and a thousand sick, but the advanced Cuban health care system is on the case. The authorities have banned any mention of "cholera" and doctors are putting down “acute respiratory insufficiency” as the cause of death for the epidemic.

But there's no need to sneer at Cuba for handling the problem the way that all governments handle problems-- by denying that it exists. According to the Cuban government, there is no serious cholera outbreak. According to the European Union, there's no Eurozone meltdown. According to Obama, the private sector is doing just fine.

Accountability and government bureaucracies don't go together. When the latter are put in charge of health care, then cholera patients end up doing just as fine as the private sector while the bosses smile and offer themselves another pay raise. That is how euthanasia happens in the UK's NHS, the envy of six-figure bureaucrats and seven-figure activists on this side of the ocean. Difficult patients are just set aside, denied food and water, and allowed to be just "fine" until they die.
The problem with putting the government in charge of things is that the government is very bad at "things". Put the same people responsible for a 15 trillion dollar deficit, a pandemic of debt, in charge of health care and, before you know it, we'll have a cholera outbreak to call our own.
Cholera was one of two virulent pathogens to emerge out of Indonesia is the sixties. The seventh pandemic came out of Indonesia in 1961 just as Barack Hussein Obama came squalling out of his mother's womb. By 1971, as Obama moved to Hawaii, cholera came to Africa. In 2008 it swept the kleptocracy of Zimbabwe, even as Obama was preparing to turn the United States into another Zimbabwe. Now it has taken root in the Republic of Cuba, whose advanced health care botched the treatment of Hugo Chavez, who might seriously be reconsidering the whole socialism thing, and is equally inept at fighting cholera.
The last major cholera outbreak in the United States took place almost exactly one-hundred years ago. Today the vast majority of cholera cases in the country are brought in from outside by foreign travelers. And these days we have a lot of those poor huddled masses yearning to cough up some TB, steal some copper, apply for food stamps and vote the Democratic Party ticket. While we probably won't face a pandemic for some time, the collectivization of health care under government authority will leave us equally ill-equipped to face it when it does come.
The government collectivization of health care shifts us from a system where medical professionals diagnose and treat individual diseases to a national system that focuses on prevention and education gimmicks as cost-cutting measures. The collectivist health care system is interested in healthy workers, not in patient care. Its bosses have their own profit-and-loss ratios and count on keeping people from getting sick. If they do get sick, it is assumed that it is their own fault because they ate too much or ate the wrong things or didn't exercise enough or just got too old.
Government health care is a lot like the health insurance industry. Most of the money is spent on offices where bureaucrats measure the cost of care, pinch pennies, deny treatments and study the arcane knowledge, not of medicine, but of the bureaucracy that manages medicine.
The difference between the two is that the financials on government health care are much more unsustainable, the accountability is utterly lacking and the cruelty and apathy are much greater. Few private businessmen still believe that they 'own' other people and that their lives can be disposed of, but that attitude is second nature to government officials who not only believe it, but who are obligated to function that way, They are not mere businessmen, but the custodians of the lives of hundreds of millions of people.
That is the nightmarish essence of government health care. That is the nature of the disease.
Agriculture in the Soviet Union broke down because the means of production were under the control of a vast army of bureaucrats who understood nothing about farming and whose jobs and survival depended on constantly generating new ideas to improve agriculture and covering up their failures. Toward the end of the Soviet Union, the USSR had gone deep into debt buying American wheat even while the overseers at the former "Breadbasket of Europe" were reporting record harvests.
Political projects, unlike business projects, can never fail. The shovel-ready projects are always digging, the stimulus plans are always stimulating, and we are always on the way up-- no matter how low we go. Businesses measure success and failure in money. Governments don't have that metric. A project doesn't fail on the financials and it doesn't fail when it does not achieve its goals or any goals. It only fails when its failure, actual or imagined, is used by the opposition to successfully embarrass those associated with the project.
In a one-party state or a one-party media, there can be no failure. Actual horrific failures can and do occur, but they are not acknowledged except as a mechanism for replacing one generation of politicians with the new generation of incompetents, thieves and buffoons. Nothing ever gets better because improving things is not a function of the system, nor does the system have any capacity for improving things except by short-circuiting it through temporary bouts of micromanagement or a crisis that invests the people in the system with a temporary sense of urgency to get things done.
Why is Cuba's health care system superior? Because it's socialist. The reasoning is a closed loop and it is the same closed loop that is used to defend ObamaCare. It's not just the label, it's the reasoning behind it that says that the way to improve the delivery of a product or service is by building a vast delivery infrastructure around it to measure and dispense it in the best way possible. Such a system must be superior in its performance because it is modern and scientific. Therefore, it works even when the cholera cases are piling up.
We all know that bigger is better. The more people you put behind the lines to work out the logistics and decide who lives and dies and the exact schedule for Item D of Subsection 728 of Function Y, the better the system will work and the happier the people will be. It is a fallacy that never goes away because turning every human affair into a factory where no one does anything useful seems so reasonable. It's how so much of our society works. And that is the nature of the disease.
The bigger a system gets, the less capable of performing a function it becomes. The more detached a system is from its direct function, the more it exists not for the sake of the function, but for its own sake. Such a system can be called a disease or a cancer, but it's also like cholera, an infection of the system that leads to massive waste and eventually the death of the system.
During the ObamaCare debate, Keith Olbermann insisted that the debate was a matter of life and death. And it is. Universalizing the delivery of a service through a central government system drastically worsens the quality and value of the service.
If you doubt that, consider the decreasing quality of the educational system as it became more centralized and universalized. Now imagine an average quality of health care as bad as the average quality of education. Imagine a system based on fraud and cover-ups, rife with resource shortfalls, where the staff is unhappy, the doctors and nurses barely know what they're doing and most of their efforts are dedicated to trying to keep up with the latest government quality initiatives which can never be met.
We have bits and pieces of that system in place already, but there are countries that have the whole awful shebang. World powers where patients die pleading for a drink of water and modern socialist utopias battling a disease whose name they dare not speak. There is no escaping those results with a commission or two. There is no use putting the best and brightest experts in a room and getting them to author some thousand- page monstrosity that will fix the problem. You can't cure a disease with more of the same disease.
Free things are nice to have, but they are also very expensive. Not only do they cost three times as much as a comparable service, but they are so bad that it is hard to find a service to compare them to.
Walmart is cheap and the products are worth what you pay for them, because even the same brand names sell cheaper and poorer-quality versions of the same products to the giant retailer. That is how it works. Walmart squeezes the manufacturer and the supplier and, under the iron law of human affairs, they struggle to maintain consistent profits by providing a cheaper and worse product.
Now imagine the government as a giant Walmart with offices full of useless employees, armies of unnecessary executives, stores that spend hundreds of millions on advertising without once ever turning a profit. Imagine the quality of products and services that such an infrastructure will provide. Imagine what comes out the other end after the manufacturers and suppliers have been squeezed to cut costs as much as possible.
Those are your government services. That will be your health care if the Cuban cholera follows the Indonesian cholera to America. That is the nature of the disease.

Why Conservatives Are Happier Than Liberals (Why NYT's Readers Feel More BARFED at Than Others)

New York Times ^ | ARTHUR C. BROOKS

WHO is happier about life — liberals or conservatives? The answer might seem straightforward. After all, there is an entire academic literature in the social sciences dedicated to showing conservatives as naturally authoritarian, dogmatic, intolerant of ambiguity, fearful of threat and loss, low in self-esteem and uncomfortable with complex modes of thinking. And it was the candidate Barack Obama in 2008 who infamously labeled blue-collar voters “bitter,” as they “cling to guns or religion.”

Obviously, liberals must be happier, right?

Wrong. Scholars on both the left and right have studied this question extensively, and have reached a consensus that it is conservatives who possess the happiness edge.

 Many data sets show this. For example, the Pew Research Center in 2006 reported that conservative Republicans were 68 percent more likely than liberal Democrats to say they were “very happy” about their lives. This pattern has persisted for decades. The question isn’t whether this is true, but why.
Many conservatives favor an explanation focusing on lifestyle differences, such as marriage and faith. They note that most conservatives are married; most liberals are not. (The percentages are 53 percent to 33 percent, according to my calculations using data from the 2004 General Social Survey, and almost none of the gap is due to the fact that liberals tend to be younger than conservatives.) Marriage and happiness go together. If two people are demographically the same but one is married and the other is not, the married person will be 18 percentage points more likely to say he or she is very happy than the unmarried person.
The story on religion is much the same. According to the Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey, conservatives who practice a faith outnumber religious liberals in America nearly four to one. And the link to happiness?
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...