What’s the SEIU up to now?; Another Democrat calls Obamacare protesters “political terrorists”

What’s the SEIU up to now?; Another Democrat calls Obamacare protesters “political terrorists”

By Michelle Malkin  •  August 12, 2009 03:28 PM

The Purple Shirts are hiring new musclemen to build an “organizing department.”

Watch out (hat tip: Crabby Con):

WAVE: Apply Now

YES! I want to help lead the strongest movement of working families in America.

Individuals interested in employment with SEIU’s organizing department should complete this application form. Please fill out all the fields. Applications without a full resume and cover letter will not be considered for this program.

***

Meantime, another Democrat lawmaker, Rep. Baron Hill of Indiana, is smearing town hall protesters as “political terrorists” — using the same language the SEIU’s Dennis Rivera used in his conference call with the purple mob last week.

The GOP wants an apology.

Don’t hold your breath. They’re just going to double down.

Leftist Hate Crimes

Leftist Hate Crimes
By: Ben Johnson
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

 


How Nancy Pelosi and her cohorts created the atmosphere of fear, loathing, and intimidation that exploded into union violence.

If the Left’s standards of justice prevailed, violence at townhall meetings in St. Louis and Tampa would be prosecuted as a Democratic hate crime. In recent weeks, left-wingers have tried to blame the murder of abortionist George Tiller on Bill O’Reilly and drafted a hate crimes bill that chills free speech. However, it was Nancy Pelosi and her cohorts who created an atmosphere of fear, loathing, and intimidation that exploded into union violence against private citizens.

 

As the Left would say, the recent violence “did not occur in a vacuum.” Congressional Democrats, faced with hemorrhaging support for nationalizing health care insurance, systematically dismissed their constituents as pawns of pernicious drug companies, branded them “un-American” troublemakers employing “Brown Shirt tactics,” and asserted their activism is killing thousands or millions of innocent Americans.

 

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi got the hyperbole rolling, insisting, “Insurance companies are out there in full force carpet bombing, Shock and Awe, against a public option.” Attacking the industry titans poll-tested well, and soon the entire Democratic caucus claimed the citizen uprising was little more than an “Astroturf” sham financed by insurance and pharmaceutical barons. The fact that they provided no proof of this assertion slowed them down not one bit.

 

Even after the violence, Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer published an op-ed in Monday’s USA Today calling townhall protesters “un-American.” Not content questioning the patriotism of such opponents, their colleague Brian Baird, D-WA, skipped a townhall meeting in his district, telling local media, “What we’re seeing right now is close to Brown Shirt tactics. I mean that very seriously.”

 

According to Congressional Democrats, the great townhall putsch has extracted a bitter harvest. The Democratic Policy Committee, chaired by Sen. Byron Dorgan, maintained in its tract Why We Must Act: Eight Years of Inaction Contributed to High Costs and a Rising Number of Uninsured, “In 2006, 22,000 people died because they did not have health insurance.” Sen. Dick Durbin (who has been known to make invidious Nazi comparisons himself), blamed the tactics on avaricious insurance companies, who “are making a fortune off the current healthcare system and they want to keep their profit margins protected, and they want to stop change.” By this reasoning, the middle American protesters are not constituents who disagree with Madam Speaker but unpatriotic Nazis doing the work of shadowy corporate overlords, whose actions kill 22,000 Americans annually. Can anyone be surprised by violence against murderous, greedy crypto-Nazis? MSNBC’s David Shuster proved ironically prescient when he asked Rep. Jim Moran, D-VA, if anti-nationalization protesters were “putting our president in some sort of danger because of some wacko that will see this stuff and say, ‘Oh, yes, it’s fascism and the way we dealt with Adolf Hitler was to try to kill him, so therefore, let’s do this with our president’?” 

 

One of the uniformed SEIU members arrested for assaulting Kenneth Gladney in St. Louis last Thursday used precisely this defense. (As I outlined in “Soros Care,” the SEIU is an integral component of the Soros-funded coterie pushing for the government health care takeover.) When a conservative fingered him in Gladney’s attack, the union man justified himself, saying, “He attacked America!” (Here’s the video; it happens at one minute in.) Media reports indicate a black SEIU member arrested in the assault called Gladney, who is also black, a racial slur, indicating he does not see his opponent as an authentic member of his own race.

 

The presence of union thugs at these meetings was no accident but was facilitated by leftists and Democratic members of Congress. The Soros-funded lobbying group Health Care for America Now! (HCAN) strategy bulletin Fight Back against the Right has made the rounds on leftist websites. Its underlying principle – turn out left-wing activists to drown out conservative citizens – has been accepted by members of Congress. “If they wanna organize, we’ll out-organize them,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-IL, a member of the House Progressive Caucus and a former Chicago community organizer. “If they turn out 100, we can turn out 200.” Eyewitnesses have noted SEIU and other union activists are being sneaked into reserved seating at the meetings, presumably with the knowledge of the Democratic Congressmen.

 

Thus, left-wing Democrats incited the crowds with allegations of Nazism and unnecessary deaths, delegitimized their majority position on the issue, and then placed union members in close physical proximity to the enemy. Eric Holder’s Department of Justice signaled that properly directed violence would be overlooked when it dropped all charges against the three members of the New Black Panther Party who brandished weapons and intimidated white voters at a Philadelphia polling place last November.

 

At least one leftist Congresswoman has seen the value of launching such high-profile, raucous protests before. Jan Schakowsky has experience turning violent mobs into legislative victories. Schakowsky, who sounded similarly negative themes about this spring’s tea parties, organized a senior citizens’ protest against then-Congressman Dan Rostenkowski over the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988. As Rostenkowski exited a meeting with the leadership of local seniors groups, an angry mob demanded to speak to him. Rostenkowski, who made no such promise, ran to his car. Senior citizen then pelted his vehicle with protest signs, and shouted “Killer! Killer!” as he tried to drive off. Although Rostenkowski never changed his mind on the issue, 240 other Congressmen changed theirs and repealed the bill. Schakowsky later called this “a pivotal event.”

 

Yet when left-wing MSNBC interviewer Lawrence O’Donnell asked Schakowsky if she “organized this very organized protest,” Schakowsky dissembled: “No, no, no, no, actually not. I was there that day as head of the [Illinois] State Council of Senior Citizens, very different. The Congressman would not come in and talk to that group of seniors, who were upset about the catastrophic health care bill that didn’t provide long-term care to seniors…The motivation was different. The action was very different.”

 

Schakowsky sang a different tune in front of the 2003 “Take Back America” conference, boasting, “When I was director of the Illinois State Council of Senior Citizens, our group was chasing Dan Rostenkowski down the street.”

 

Nor is it true the seniors objected to the act’s not providing “long-term care to seniors.” The act provided such coverage to all Medicare recipients – by levying a new tax on 40 percent of seniors, when 45 percent of the elderly already had “more comprehensive” supplemental insurance through their employers. Some of the signs protesters rammed into Rostenkowski’s car read, “Don’t Tax the Seniors” and “Read My Lips: Catastrophic Act is a Seniors Tax.” Theirs was an anti-tax, smaller government rally.

 

Then as now, the people rose up to oppose an expanded government health care benefit favored by the Washington intelligentsia, because it raised their taxes to provide a service inferior to the one many already enjoyed through the free market. That history should be instructive as Obama seeks to nationalize the health insurance industry by squeezing a much larger group, the 85 percent of American residents (N.B.: not Americans citizens) who already have private health insurance, with incalculably higher taxes and pending service denials.

 

Unfortunately, making the argument can now get one “flagged” by the feds – and possibly brutalized by their union allies. 


Ben Johnson is Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine and co-author, with David Horowitz, of the book Party of Defeat. He is also the author of the books Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Radical Gifts (2009) and 57 Varieties of Radical Causes: Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Charitable Giving (2004).

It’s the Plan, Stupid

It’s the Plan, Stupid

Joseph Smith
Obama and his band of liberals have gone to great lengths to avoid the mistakes made by the Clintons on their failed health care plan.  The Clinton’s wrote the entire plan from Hillary’s command post.  Obama is leaving the bill-writing entirely to congress, with barely a nudge here and there.  Clinton took the better part of a year to get the plan out.  Obama has done nothing but hurry, lest his charisma lose its glow.  Insurance industry ads helped bring down ClintonCare, so Obama has bought off  the insurance industry, big Pharma, the AMA, the AARP, the unions, and anyone else he can think of.  

However, just as the stimulus bill contained every tired liberal idea filed in the bottom drawer of David Obey’s desk, so too ObamaCare is built on the same flawed ideas that made up ClintonCare.  A column by Ramesh Ponnuru at Time.com, titled “ObamaCare’s Fatal Flaw,” describes some of the many contradictions inherent in the Obama/Democrat health bills: the status quo is unsustainable, but you can keep your doctor, the plan will add 50 million [sic] uninsured but cut costs at the same time, fixing health care is critical but it needs to be done in three weeks.  Ponnuru then cuts to the heart of the matter:

 

Everything is different this time–everything, that is, except the plan. The Democrats are seeking mostly the same policies they sought 15 years ago: mandates, regulations on insurance companies, new government-managed markets. The major difference is that this time they also want a “public option,” an insurance program open to everyone and run by the government. Obamacare is Clintoncare with a little more liberalism.

The Democrats have apparently concluded that it was tactical blunders that sank Clinton. It wasn’t. It was his plan. Like today’s plans, it had too many conflicting goals. [italic added]

No amount of clever strategizing is going to make the sales job easier this time. Instead, the President is in a series of double binds. The more he emphasizes how much has to change, for example, the more people are going to doubt his pledge that they can keep their doctor.
It is health-care reform’s own contradictions that are causing it to sink.

 

Like a seventeen year locust, the Democrats resurrect their health care utopia every time the political pendulum swings far enough their way, and it will no doubt return again if it does not pass this time.  The fate of the current incarnation remains to be seen, but there is sure to be a bruising and bitter battle ahead, as public resistance grows while Obama, Emanuel and Axelrod strategize, with the media in their corner.  The Democrats have the numbers if they can heal their rifts, and they have threatened to use reconciliation if they can not.  With Americans learning more each day about the ObamaCare plan, the growing public resistance to all the unpleasant and chilling aspects of a government takeover is the wild card.  For all of the months of Democrat strategy and tactics, the public is now focusing squarely on the plan, and they do not like what they see.

 

“It’s the economy, stupid” was Bill Clinton’s signature phrase during his 1992 Presidential campaign.  In the 2009 health care campaign it might be rephrased as “It’s the plan, stupid.”

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/08/its_the_plan_stupid.html at August 12, 2009 – 03:58:26 PM EDT

Illegals Will be Counted in the U.S. Census

Illegals Will be Counted in the U.S. Census

August 11th, 2009 Posted By Greywolfe.

From Newsmax.

Merry Christmas California, you get ANOTHER 9 seats in congress. Just what the nation needs. The Cereal State getting yet more chances to put someone like Nancy Pelosi in Office.

racist_whites

California could get nine House seats it doesn’t constitutionally rate because illegal aliens will be counted in 2010, concluded an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal.

The forthcoming census, which determines the apportionment of House members and Electoral College votes for each state, will be counting all persons physically present in the country — without regard to the legality of their status.

Set for big gains thanks to illegal populations is not only California but Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Texas, according to the Census Bureau’s 2007 American Community Survey data.

California has 5,622,422 noncitizens in its population of 36,264,467. Based on a round-number projection by the WSJ authors of a decade-end population in the Golden State of 37,000,000 (including 5,750,000 noncitizens), California would have 57 members in the newly-reapportioned U.S. House of Representatives.

“However, with noncitizens not included for purposes of reapportionment, California would have 48 House seats (based on an estimated 308 million total population in 2010 with 283 million citizens, or 650,000 citizens per House seat),” noted the report authors.

Read the rest here.

Obama’s healthcare horror Heads should roll — beginning with Nancy Pelosi’s!

Obama’s healthcare horror

Heads should roll — beginning with Nancy Pelosi’s!

By Camille Paglia

Aug. 12, 2009 |

Buyer’s remorse? Not me. At the North American summit in Guadalajara this week, President Obama resumed the role he is best at — representing the U.S. with dignity and authority abroad. This is why I, for one, voted for Obama and continue to support him. The damage done to U.S. prestige by the feckless, buffoonish George W. Bush will take years to repair. Obama has barely begun the crucial mission that he was elected to do.

 

 

Having said that, I must confess my dismay bordering on horror at the amateurism of the White House apparatus for domestic policy. When will heads start to roll? I was glad to see the White House counsel booted, as well as Michelle Obama’s chief of staff, and hope it’s a harbinger of things to come. Except for that wily fox, David Axelrod, who could charm gold threads out of moonbeams, Obama seems to be surrounded by juvenile tinhorns, bumbling mediocrities and crass bully boys.

 

 

Case in point: the administration’s grotesque mishandling of healthcare reform, one of the most vital issues facing the nation. Ever since Hillary Clinton’s megalomaniacal annihilation of our last best chance at reform in 1993 (all of which was suppressed by the mainstream media when she was running for president), Democrats have been longing for that happy day when this issue would once again be front and center.

 

 

But who would have thought that the sober, deliberative Barack Obama would have nothing to propose but vague and slippery promises — or that he would so easily cede the leadership clout of the executive branch to a chaotic, rapacious, solipsistic Congress? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom I used to admire for her smooth aplomb under pressure, has clearly gone off the deep end with her bizarre rants about legitimate town-hall protests by American citizens. She is doing grievous damage to the party and should immediately step down.

 

 

There is plenty of blame to go around. Obama’s aggressive endorsement of a healthcare plan that does not even exist yet, except in five competing, fluctuating drafts, makes Washington seem like Cloud Cuckoo Land. The president is promoting the most colossal, brazen bait-and-switch operation since the Bush administration snookered the country into invading Iraq with apocalyptic visions of mushroom clouds over American cities.

 

 

You can keep your doctor; you can keep your insurance, if you’re happy with it, Obama keeps assuring us in soothing, lullaby tones. Oh, really? And what if my doctor is not the one appointed by the new government medical boards for ruling on my access to tests and specialists? And what if my insurance company goes belly up because of undercutting by its government-bankrolled competitor? Face it: Virtually all nationalized health systems, neither nourished nor updated by profit-driven private investment, eventually lead to rationing.

 

 

I just don’t get it. Why the insane rush to pass a bill, any bill, in three weeks? And why such an abject failure by the Obama administration to present the issues to the public in a rational, detailed, informational way? The U.S. is gigantic; many of our states are bigger than whole European nations. The bureaucracy required to institute and manage a nationalized health system here would be Byzantine beyond belief and would vampirically absorb whatever savings Obama thinks could be made. And the transition period would be a nightmare of red tape and mammoth screw-ups, which we can ill afford with a faltering economy.

 

 

As with the massive boondoggle of the stimulus package, which Obama foolishly let Congress turn into a pork rut, too much has been attempted all at once; focused, targeted initiatives would, instead, have won wide public support. How is it possible that Democrats, through their own clumsiness and arrogance, have sabotaged healthcare reform yet again? Blaming obstructionist Republicans is nonsensical because Democrats control all three branches of government. It isn’t conservative rumors or lies that are stopping healthcare legislation; it’s the justifiable alarm of an electorate that has been cut out of the loop and is watching its representatives construct a tangled labyrinth for others but not for themselves. No, the airheads of Congress will keep their own plush healthcare plan — it’s the rest of us guinea pigs who will be thrown to the wolves.

 

 

With the Republican party leaderless and in backbiting disarray following its destruction by the ideologically incoherent George W. Bush, Democrats are apparently eager to join the hara-kiri brigade. What looked like smooth coasting to the 2010 election has now become a nail-biter. Both major parties have become a rats’ nest of hypocrisy and incompetence. That, combined with our stratospheric, near-criminal indebtedness to China (which could destroy the dollar overnight), should raise signal flags. Are we like late Rome, infatuated with past glories, ruled by a complacent, greedy elite, and hopelessly powerless to respond to changing conditions?

 

 

What does either party stand for these days? Republican politicians, with their endless scandals, are hardly exemplars of traditional moral values. Nor have they generated new ideas for healthcare, except for medical savings accounts, which would be pathetically inadequate in a major crisis for anyone earning at or below a median income.

 

 

And what do Democrats stand for, if they are so ready to defame concerned citizens as the “mob” — a word betraying a Marie Antoinette delusion of superiority to ordinary mortals. I thought my party was populist, attentive to the needs and wishes of those outside the power structure. And as a product of the 1960s, I thought the Democratic party was passionately committed to freedom of thought and speech.

 

 

But somehow liberals have drifted into a strange servility toward big government, which they revere as a godlike foster father-mother who can dispense all bounty and magically heal all ills. The ethical collapse of the left was nowhere more evident than in the near total silence of liberal media and Web sites at the Obama administration’s outrageous solicitation to private citizens to report unacceptable “casual conversations” to the White House. If Republicans had done this, there would have been an angry explosion by Democrats from coast to coast. I was stunned at the failure of liberals to see the blatant totalitarianism in this incident, which the president should have immediately denounced. His failure to do so implicates him in it.

 

 

As a libertarian and refugee from the authoritarian Roman Catholic church of my youth, I simply do not understand the drift of my party toward a soulless collectivism. This is in fact what Sarah Palin hit on in her shocking image of a “death panel” under Obamacare that would make irrevocable decisions about the disabled and elderly. When I first saw that phrase, headlined on the Drudge Report, I burst out laughing. It seemed so over the top! But on reflection, I realized that Palin’s shrewdly timed metaphor spoke directly to the electorate’s unease with the prospect of shadowy, unelected government figures controlling our lives. A death panel not only has the power of life and death but is itself a symptom of a Kafkaesque brave new world where authority has become remote, arbitrary and spectral. And as in the Spanish Inquisition, dissidence is heresy, persecuted and punished.

 

 

Surely, the basic rule in comprehensive legislation should be: First, do no harm. The present proposals are full of noble aims, but the biggest danger always comes from unforeseen and unintended consequences. Example: the American incursion into Iraq, which destabilized the region by neutralizing Iran’s rival and thus enormously enhancing Iran’s power and nuclear ambitions.

 

 

What was needed for reform was an in-depth analysis, buttressed by documentary evidence, of waste, fraud and profiteering in the healthcare, pharmaceutical and insurance industries. Instead what we’ve gotten is a series of facile, vulgar innuendos about how doctors conduct their practice, as if their primary motive is money. Quite frankly, the president gives little sense of direct knowledge of medical protocols; it’s as if his views are a tissue of hearsay and scattershot worst-case scenarios.

 

 

Of course, it didn’t help matters that, just when he needed maximum momentum on healthcare, Obama made the terrible gaffe of declaring that, even without his knowing the full facts, Cambridge, Mass., police had acted “stupidly” in arresting a friend of his, Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. Obama’s automatic identification with the pampered Harvard elite (wildly unpopular with most sensible people), as well as his insulting condescension toward an officer doing his often dangerous duty, did serious and perhaps irreparable damage to the president’s standing. The strained, prissy beer summit in the White House garden afterward didn’t help. Is that the Obama notion of hospitality? Another staff breakdown.

 

 

Both Gates and Obama mistakenly assumed that the original incident at Gates’ house was about race, when it was about class. It was the wealthy, lordly Gates who committed the first offense by instantly and evidently hysterically defaming the character of the officer who arrived at his door to investigate the report of a break-in. There was no excuse for Gates’ loud and cheap charges of racism, which he should have immediately apologized for the next day, instead of threatening lawsuits and self-aggrandizing television exposés. On the other hand, given that Cambridge is virtually a company town, perhaps police headquarters should have dispatched a moderator to the tumultuous scene before a small, disabled Harvard professor was clapped in handcuffs and marched off to jail. But why should an Ivy League panjandrum be treated any differently from the rest of us hoi polloi?

 

 

Class rarely receives honest attention in the American media, as demonstrated by the reporting on a June incident at a swimming pool in the Philadelphia suburbs. When the director of the Valley Swim Club in Montgomery County cancelled its agreement with several urban day camps to use its private pool, the controversy was portrayed entirely in racial terms. There were uninvestigated allegations of remarks about “black kids” made by white mothers who ordered their children out of the pool, and the racial theme was intensified by the director’s inept description of the “complexion” of the pool having been changed — which may simply have been a whopper of a Freudian slip.

 

 

Having followed the coverage in the Philadelphia media, I have lingering questions about how much of that incident was race and how much was social class. Urban working-class and suburban middle-class children often have quite different styles of play — as I know from present observation as well as from my Syracuse youth, when I regularly biked to the public pool in Thornden Park. Kids of all races from downtown Syracuse neighborhoods were much rougher and tougher, and for self-preservation you had to stay out of their way! Otherwise, you’d get knocked to the concrete or dunked when they heedlessly jumped off the diving board onto our heads in the crowded pool.

 

 

In general, middle-class children today are more closely supervised at pools because the family can afford to have a non-working parent at home — a luxury that working-class kids rarely have. What happened at the Valley Swim Club, whose safety infrastructure was evidently also overwhelmed by too many visiting kids who were non-swimmers, may have been a clash of classes rather than races. Were the mothers who pulled their kids out of the pool that day really reacting to skin color or what they, accurately or not, perceived to be an overcrowded, dangerous disorder? The incontrovertible offense in all this, which went unmentioned in the national media, was the closure for budgetary reasons by the city of Philadelphia this summer of 27 of its 73 public pools. There is no excuse for that kind of draconian curtailment of basic recreational facilities for working-class families, sweltering in the urban summer heat.

 

 

Now on to art and pop. Highlight of the month for me was definitely a recent performance by Alo Brasil, a local Brazilian music and dance ensemble, at Philadelphia’s World Cafe Live. I positioned myself smack in front of the stage to bathe in the magnificent, hypnotic drumming, a Bahian style with West African roots that takes one into another reality — sublime and trans-historical. Of course, then there was the sensory overload of the beautiful, nimble, long-legged samba dancers in their jeweled bikinis and high heels! But all the dancers of Alo Brasil, male and female, are absolutely brilliant — it was mind-blowing. Anyone born and raised in Bahia (such as Daniela Mercury) has obviously been immersed in these rhythms from earliest childhood. They are surely profoundly transformative, reshaping the neural synapses and opening the mind toward ecstatic group communication. To be continued!

 

 

Our pop medley for this column begins with the Algeria-born Etienne Daho, whose three-disc set, “Dans la Peau de Daho” (2002), I have been working my way through. Last year, I posted two other videos featuring Daho — his quietly compelling duet with Charlotte Gainsbourg and his moving tribute to Warhol superstar Edie Sedgwick. This song, “Paris le Flore,” is a hauntingly atmospheric ode to random encounters in the streets and cafés of Paris. In the narrative superimposed by the video, two notable French performers do their thing — Virginie Ledoyen (who appeared with Catherine Deneuve in “8 Women” and with Leonardo DiCaprio in “The Beach”) and singer/actor Benjamin Biolay, ex-husband of Chiara Mastroianni, the daughter of Deneuve and Marcello Mastroianni. I love the way Daho’s shimmery song re-creates the meditative mystique of French eroticism, shown in a thousand films. And that liquid, stuttering bass line — divine! (Hey, Salon readers, if you don’t have good speakers on your computer, you’re missing the cultural riches of the Web.)

 

 

Next on the docket is Sharon Stone, exploding in all her topless glory on the cover of Paris Match. Now there’s a gal who knows how to work the gym while still keeping the sacred flame of sexiness alive! Yes, you know who the Big Bad Example is of obsessive gym culture gone to seed — that increasingly artificial construction of paraffin and chicken wire, our Madonna of the Shallows. Jesus Luz must be blessedly myopic. (Cue the Contours’ 1965 R&B hit, “First I Look at the Purse.”)

 

 

Caught HBO’s 1998 movie “Gia” for the umpteenth time on cable the other day. My admiration remains boundless for the 22-year-old Angelina Jolie’s bravura performance as the Philadelphia-born fashion model Gia Carangi, a heroin addict who died of AIDS in 1986. I’ve often recommended Stephen Fried’s excellent 1993 biography, “Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia,” but this time I hit the Web to see what else I could dig up.

 

 

Mother lode! I found Gia’s original nude fence photos, shown in the movie being shot by the perverse fashionista Chris von Wangenheim. I was startled to learn that Wangenheim was killed in a car accident in 1981, another blow for Gia. In trying to find his obit, I discovered that New York Times files of the World War One era are filled with references to his noble German ancestors, many of whom were barons killed in battle. Another German decadent artiste, like the incomparable Helmut Newton.

 

 

Here are some wonderful photos of Wilhelmina (stylishly played in the movie by Faye Dunaway), the Dutch fashion model veteran of 300 covers who founded an agency that hired the scrappy Gia but who then tragically died of cancer at age 40 in 1980, leaving Gia bereft. And here’s Gia’s ever-patient, real-life girlfriend, Sandy Linter, who turns out to be a more in-your-face urban type of the Deborah Harry school than she was portrayed in the movie.

 

 

Interested parties should check out this pastiche of clips, with a great song, which ingeniously conflate Gia with Patricia Charbonneau in that lesbo classic “Desert Hearts” (1985). This is a good chance to appreciate anew the charming eroticism of the car-in-the-rain first kiss between Charbonneau and Helen Shaver, which proves the point I made in my last column about the best lesbian scenes on film having ironically been performed by straight women. Finally, here is Gia herself — a late clip showing her in surly, rambling butch mode, with druggy speech and tics, and then a dazzling collection of her peak high fashion images, which whiz by too fast but still reveal what an astonishing, almost supernormal presence she was.

 

 

Oh, one last note. Gay trivia: The 17-year-old hustler who in 1975 murdered the gay film director Pier Paolo Pasolini by repeatedly running him over with his own car on an Italian beach was named Giuseppe Pelosi. Hmm … Hustling must run in the family.

 

 

Camille Paglia’s column appears on the second Wednesday of each month. Every third column is devoted to reader letters. Please send questions for her next letters column to this mailbox. Your name and town will be published unless you request anonymity.

 

 

– By Camille Paglia

Morning Bell: Dissent Is Not Un-American

Morning Bell: Dissent Is Not Un-American

Whether the source is Gallup, Pew, Quinnipiac, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, the Washington Post, or even the New York Times; every recent poll on the issue shows that either pluralities or majorities of Americans have serious doubts about President Barack Obama’s health care plan. Reviewing the month’s polling data, Gallup’s Frank Newport sums it up: “The bottom line is a sense that, while Americans apparently favor some type of healthcare reform in the long term, they are in no hurry to see healthcare reform legislation passed in the short-term on a rushed schedule. … A Pew Research poll released this week shows that those who are worried about new health care legislation are most likely to say it is because it involves too much spending and would increase the deficit.”

Wrapped in their liberal Washington cocoon, however, the leadership in Congress simply do not want to hear this message. Instead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) have chosen to pen an op-ed in today’s USA Today calling those who want Congress to hear their concerns about health care “simply un-American.”

Pelosi and Hoyer claim that opponents of Obamacare are disrupting townhalls across the country by “drowning out the facts” about health reform. However, it is not the townhall-attending Americans that don’t have their facts straight. It is Pelosi, Hoyer, and Obama’s allies that are doing violence to the truth.

The Threat to Your Current Medical Care: Pelosi and Hoyer claim: “The first fact is that health insurance reform will mean more patient choice.” This is simply not true. According to the non-partisan Lewin Group, under the House legislation about 83.4 million people would lose their current private insurance. This would represent a 48.4 percent reduction in the number of people with private coverage. Pelosi and Hoyer also claim: “Reform will mean affordable coverage for all Americans.” But thanks to new price controls set in the legislation, yearly premiums for the typical American with private coverage could go up by as much as $460 per privately insured person.

The Cost Explosion: Pelosi and Hoyer also claim their plan will “lower costs.” But this has been thoroughly refuted by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). In fact, the House plan significantly expands health care costs and it is Pelosi and Hoyer who have gamed the system to try and conceal this truth from the American people. The House plan delays any real spending increases until 2013 so that Obama allies like the Washington Post’s Steven Pearlstein can claim the bill only increases government health care spending “by about $140 billion” In reality, once all of the House bill’s spending takes effect, Obamacare will be spending $245 billion a year. And in the out years? CBO director Doug Elmendorf said this: “In sum, relative to current law, the proposal would probably generate substantial increases in federal budget deficits during the decade beyond the current 10-year budget window.”

A Government Takeover of Health Care: In his weekly radio address, President Obama again claimed his health plan would not: “bring about a government takeover of health care.” Obama needs to check his facts with Pelosi’s and Hoyer’s colleagues in the Democratic Caucus, because Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) is on record saying that Obama’s public “is the best way to reach single-payer.” And Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) is also on record saying: “A public option will put the private insurance industry out of business and lead to single-payer.” Do Pelosi and Hoyer consider Frank and Schakowsky un-American for contradicting the President?

The raucous nature of some of the townhalls may sometimes be regrettable. But it should be noted that none of the confrontations turned violent until the White House instructed their big labor allies to “punch back twice as hard.” Dissent and public debate are part of the First Amendment. People who seek to stifle public debate are the one’s acting in contradiction to our core American values. Which is why it was so troubling to hear the President of the United States utter these sentences last week: “I don’t want the folks who created the mess doing a lot of talking. I want them to just get out of the way so we can clean up the mess.”

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Little girl at Obama town hall has not-so-random political connections

Little girl at Obama town hall has not-so-random political connections

By Michelle Malkin  •  August 11, 2009 10:17 PM

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As we always like to point out: There are no coincidences in Obama world.

Via the Boston Globe: Surprise!

A girl from Malden asked President Obama a question at Tuesday’s town hall meeting in New Hampshire about the signs outside “saying mean things” about his health care proposal.

Eleven-year-old Julia Hall asked: “How do kids know what is true, and why do people want a new system that can — that help more of us?”

The question opened the door for the president to respond to what he called an “underlying fear” among the public “that people somehow won’t get the care they need.”

The girl later told the Globe that picking the president’s brain was “incredible.”

“It was like a once in a lifetime experience,” she said.

Julia’s mother was an early Obama supporter in Massachusetts during the presidential election, so she had previously met First Lady Michelle Obama, the Obama daughters Sasha and Malia, and Vice President Joe Biden.

“This was my first time meeting Barack Obama, and he’s a very nice man,” Julia said. “I’m glad I voted for him.”

She said Obama won a mock presidential election at the Cheverus School in 2008. And on Tuesday, he approached her after the town meeting.

“He said ‘great question,’” Julia said. “I shook his hand and got his picture.”

Kathleen Manning Hall, Julia’s mother, was shocked when her daughter said she wanted to ask a question. They wrote it down beforehand, and Julia didn’t miss a beat when Obama called on her.

“It was surreal,” said Manning Hall, a coordinator of Massachusetts Women for Obama during the election.

Tons of readers point to this AR15.com post tracking Hall’s political footprint, including this Facebook page and photo:

Manning Hall has donated thousands of dollars to Obama, as has her law firm.

But, you know, um, like Obama said: “I don’t want people saying I just have a bunch of plants in here.”

Oh, goodness. Of course not.

KABUKI!

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Now, look for Dems to play the kiddie human shield card to the hilt. Anyone who mentions Hall’s political pedigree will be attacked as a vicious meanie stalker. Graeme Frost redux!

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More from Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit.

And via BlueMassGroup:

” I have been honored to work with Kathleen Manning Hall on the New England Finance and Steering Committee for Barack Obama for over a year. She has raised money, slogged through the snow in New Hampshire and has devoted every minute of her time toward electing Barack Obama President of the United States. She has not only talked the talk, but walked the walk. Please elect her as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention to vote for Barack Obama.”

Rep. David Linsky (D-Natick)

PLEASE CAUCUS
for
KATHLEEN MANNING HALL
to be a
PLEDGED DELEGATE FOR BARACK OBAMA
at the
DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION IN DENVER

WHAT: Massachusetts 7th Congressional
District Caucus

WHEN: April 5, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. (Doors
open at 12:00)

WHERE:MINUTEMAN REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL
758 Marrett Road, Lexington

WHO: Registered Democrats from Arlington,
Belmont, Everett, Framingham,
Lexington, Lincoln, Malden, Medford,
Melrose, Natick, Stoneham, Waltham,
Watertown, Wayland, Weston,
Winchester, Woburn, Revere, Winthrop.

I am very excited and honored at the prospect of serving as a Massachusetts delegate for Obama in Denver. Many of you know that I’ve been campaigning tirelessly for Senator Obama since last summer. I’ve spent much time on the ground in New Hampshire, traveled to Iowa, organized in Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, and Maine, and I have made phone calls to voters in many other states. I’m part of the New England Steering Committee as well as a Coordinator for Massachusetts Women for Obama; in fact I am helping to organize a large group of MA WFO who will be traveling to Pennsylvania April 11-14.

I realized Barack Obama was a unique politician the first time I heard him speak, at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, where I was a volunteer. I was simply blown away by his inspirational message, and I continued to follow his career. In October, 2006 I attended a Kennedy Library event, where he indicated he was considering a run for the presidency. As soon as he announced his candidacy in February 2007, I was on board. I truly believe he has the necessary judgment and experience to be president, and that he is the only candidate who can inspire and bring real change to our country and restore America’s credibility and leadership around the world. I’m committed to doing everything I can to help him get elected president…

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This is fishy! Alert the Internet Snitch Brigade.

Email: flag@whitehouse.gov

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From reader Ricky: “I think everyone is missing the biggest point. We are in the middle of a most serious debate, why the hell is the President wasting everyone’s time fielding questions from an 11 year old? I am getting tired of this in our modern culture, the all wise and knowing child.”

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Be sure to check the illustrated field guide to Obamacare human props.

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