Speaker Pelosi’s Job-Killing Agenda

Morning Bell: Speaker Pelosi’s Job-Killing Agenda

Posted By Conn Carroll On January 13, 2010 @ 9:37 am In Energy and Environment, Enterprise and Free Markets, Health Care | 18 Comments

After a three-week holiday break, the House of Representatives returned to session yesterday, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) marked the occasion with an op-ed [1] detailing her “record of achievement” and outlining her agenda for the rest of the 111th Congress. Pelosi writes: “At the halfway mark in this Congress, our priorities are clear: strengthening the security of the American people and building a new economy that offers our families lasting prosperity.” But the 111th Congress is not the first Congress Speaker Pelosi has presided over. When Pelosi was first handed the gavel in January 2007 [2], the U.S. economy employed 137.3 million people and our nation’s unemployment rate stood at 4.6%. According to the Labor Department’s most recent report [3], the U.S. economy has shed 6.3 million jobs since then, and 10% of our workforce is now unemployed.

Speaker Pelosi goes on to claim that President Barack Obama’s failed stimulus has “created or saved” 1.6 million jobs so far, but even the White House has abandoned its controversial “saved or created” jobs accounting scheme [4] after more than 90,000 [5] of the 640,000 jobs [4] it claimed to create were found to be completely fraudulent. Pelosi then touts the Cash for Clunkers program as another success despite the fact the program did nothing to create auto sector jobs [6], led to a crash in auto sales [7], and did nothing to help the environment [8]. Pelosi also celebrated the expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), which only further bankrupts our states [9] and inched us ever closer to government-run health care [10]. Read the rest of this entry »

Obama’s Jobs Hole

Obama’s Jobs Hole

January 13th, 2010

By Christopher Chantrill, American Thinker

 Obama has overseen a precipitous drop in employment

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the December employment report on January 8, and the mainstream media reported that 85,000 jobs were lost. The big story, as usual, was in the Household Survey. There was no mild leakage of 85,000 jobs there, but a whopping 589,000 jobs flushed down the drain.  Here are the numbers from the Bureau:

                                    |    Total        |     Change

Civilian labor force ….| 153,059,000|    -661,000

Employment ………….| 137,792,000|    -589,000

Unemployment ………|  15,267,000|     -73,000

Not in labor force …..|  83,865,000|     843,000

These are the numbers used to calculate the unemployment rate. Note the reason why the rate didn’t skyrocket. A total of 661,000 people dropped out of the labor force in one month. Don’t think that things are going to get better any time soon.

But let’s look beyond the numbers to the trends, also available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is where things really get scary.

Employment in the U.S. is now down from the peak of 146.5 million reached back in November 2007. That’s a loss of 8.5 million jobs in two years.

Thank goodness the mainstream media has not made invidious comparisons to the Bush recession of 2001-02. Back then, only 2 million jobs were lost, a mere scratch compared to the gaping wound in jobless Obama America. You can see why knowledgeable people speak of 2009 as the year the locusts ate. What was President Obama doing flogging health care reform for a whole year when his policy should have been — from noon on January 21, 2009 — jobs, jobs, jobs?

Read More:

U.S. Chamber warns of ‘double-dip’ recession because of Obama policies

U.S. Chamber warns of ‘double-dip’ recession because of Obama policies

January 13th, 2010

By Ian Swanson, The Hill

 The recession has gotten worse thanks to Obama

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue warned the U.S. faces a double-dip recession because of the taxes and regulations under consideration by the Democratic Congress and President Barack Obama.

“Congress, the administration and states must recognize that our weak economy simply could not sustain all the new taxes, regulations and mandates now under consideration. It’s a sure-fire recipe for a double-dip recession, or worse,” Donohue said in a speech providing the Chamber’s outlook for 2010.

Donohue said the lawmakers should not let former President George W. Bush’s tax cuts expire at the end of year and lambasted Democratic efforts on healthcare and financial regulatory reform as well as climate change.

If the tax cuts are allowed to expire, “we will likely end up with even bigger deficits and greater economic misery,” Donohue said.

Read More:

Is Obama Stupid and Lazy

Is Obama Stupid and Lazy

January 13th, 2010

Western Journalism Exclusive by Steve Baldwin

 This report dives into Obama’s background and destroys the myth that he was a good student

Is Obama Stupid and Lazy? Although that’s quite a provocative question, evidence is mounting that Obama may not be as intelligent as his supporters and cheerleaders in the media constantly assure us.

The reality may be that Obama is mostly a creation of the liberal media. Indeed, the more we dig into his past, the more we find very little substance and discover how a network of liberal professors, law firms, and others, gave him a pass on performance while he pursued his political agenda.

We know very little about Obama’s academic performance. Sources state that he attended an elite K-12 school in Hawaii called Punahou School, but the school claims that his records are missing.

Obama attended the prestigious Occidental College in California.  This is puzzling, however, because he has admitted in his book and elsewhere that he was engaged in heavy drug use while in high school. This seems to show that his studies were the last thing on his mind. How he got in remains a mystery and Obama’s attorneys have blocked access to those records.

Obama finished up his undergraduate years at Columbia College, but, again, Obama won’t release those records either. We have no information to suggest he was a good student. We do know, however, that he did not graduate with honors from Columbia. As the New York Sun writes:

University Spokesman Brian Connolly confirmed that Obama graduated with a major in political science but without honors. Nevertheless, he was later admitted to Harvard Law School.

Being accepted by Harvard Law School without graduating with honors from Columbia suggests that Obama was admitted to Harvard based on race and perhaps, by that time, his growing reputation as a liberal political superstar.

Obama has also refused to release his Columbia thesis, which was about nuclear disarmament of the West. Perhaps Obama is fearful that his thesis, which likely advocates the disarming of the West at the peak of the Cold War, would be seen as incredibly stupid – which it would be.

Read More:

The Truth about ObamaCare

The Truth about ObamaCare

By John Lilly

A senior Obama Administration official almost let the cat out of the bag about the real impact of Obama-style health care “reform.” Here’s the background.
The three most important things in real estate are location, location, and location. In health care, one could argue that it’s reimbursements, reimbursements, and reimbursements. One in every six workers receives a paycheck that depends on physician and hospital reimbursement for services. Except for Medicaid, Medicare reimbursement rates are the lowest of all entities that reimburse physicians and hospitals. All private insurance and Medicare Advantage reimbursements are higher than traditional Medicare ones. Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans take a $425-billion cut in the current health care reform legislation.
In 2008, a Physician Foundation survey found that 36% of physicians said Medicare reimbursement is less than their cost of providing care, and 65% of physicians said that Medicaid reimbursement is less than their cost of providing care. Raise your hand if you work for free. Then why is the administration asking one-sixth of all U.S. workers to do just that?
Larry Summers, the Obama administration’s Director of the National Economic Council, spoke at The Economic Club of Washington at their April 2009 meeting. C-SPAN was there, and at roughly minute 41, Summers said the following:
That’s why health care reform is so important because a large fraction of the federal budget is health care and if health care spending is growing three to four percent a year faster than the rest of the economy then there is no way that the federal budget can be under control. And if you try to control federal spending without controlling overall health spending you know what’s going to happen.  The people in the federal programs aren’t going to be able to …
Then he paused before continuing:
The health care system isn’t going to want to serve the people in the federal programs. That’s why the health care agenda is crucial to the long term financial sustainability agenda.
I think it is obvious that Summers was going to say that “the people in the federal programs aren’t going to be able to find a doctor if you have Medicare,” but he rephrased it before his original thought came out of his mouth. When he talks about overall health spending, he is including all public and private entities that reimburse physicians and hospitals. Federal spending includes just Medicare and Medicaid.
When Medicare reimbursement does not cover the cost of doing business, guess who will have a tough time finding a doctor. If there is a choice, then doctors, like any rational consumer, will prefer plans like Medicare Advantage and private insurance, which have higher reimbursement rates. The administration’s idea of holding down costs is forcing all reimbursements down to Medicare levels or lower. They know that if there are alternatives, patients who are stuck with traditional Medicare won’t be able to find a doctor. Recently, one of the Mayo Clinics in Arizona stopped taking Medicare because it’s a money-loser. Mayo’s hospital and four clinics in Arizona, including the one that stopped taking Medicare, lost $120 million on Medicare patients last year. The program’s payments covered only 50% of the cost of treating elderly primary-care patients.   
If all reimbursement rates are forced down to Medicare rates or lower, then get ready for five-minute doctor visits and waiting times measured in weeks and months before appointments for major diagnostic testing like MRIs.   
Unfortunately, the Republicans do not have the answers, either. Their proposals will not control costs. Only when you introduce free-market competition and eliminate the current reimbursement system will you get lower costs. That will require a fundamental change in Medicare and all reimbursement systems.
John Lilly, MBA, D.O. is a family physician and the vice president of The YOUNG Conservatives of America (tycoa.com).

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/01/the_truth_about_obamacare.html at January 13, 2010 – 11:46:12 AM EST

Why Intelligence Keeps Failing

Why Intelligence Keeps Failing

By Herbert E. Meyer

In the wake of our country’s latest intelligence failure — allowing a Nigerian terrorist to board Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit when his own father had alerted us to the dangers posed by his son — President Obama demands to know why our intelligence service failed to “connect the dots.”
So he’s ordered investigations led by the very same officials who presided over our country’s intelligence failures. That would be John Brennan, the president’s counter-terrorism adviser whose job it was to keep Umar Abdulmutallab from boarding that flight, and John McLaughlin, the hapless, now-retired career CIA official who, as deputy director of the CIA and then as acting director, signed off on the two most screwed-up National Intelligence Estimates in our country’s history: the NIE about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and then that preposterous 2007 NIE which concluded that Iran had abandoned its quest for nuclear weapons.
There isn’t a chance that these clowns will come up with the right answer, because they’re the problem. Simply put, the reason our intelligence service keeps failing to connect the dots is because the officials in charge don’t know how. And the blame lies squarely with President Obama — and alas, with President George W. Bush before him — for appointing managers rather than dot-connectors to run our intelligence service.
To understand why the absence of dot-connectors at the top lies at the core of our intelligence failures, you must understand the relationship between management and talent.
In most organizations, failure or success depends on the quality of management. That’s why in the business world, competent chief executives are so highly compensated; they’re rare, and they’re worth every penny they’re paid. But there are some highly specialized organizations in which failure or success depends not so much on the quality of management or the structure of the organization, but on talent. For example, an opera company. You can have the best manager in the history of the performing arts, but if you’re staging La Bohème, then you’d better put two superstars like Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón on the stage, or you’ll have a flop on your hands. Likewise with a scientific research institute: It isn’t the administrator setting budgets, monitoring grants, and assigning parking spaces who will find the cure for cancer. It’s the world-class scientists working in the labs.
Talent at the Top
And if you’re running one of these specialized organizations whose success depends more on talent than on management, then you put a talented individual in charge. First, he or she can actually do the job, rather than run around looking important while managing people, who in turn manage other people, who themselves manage the people who are actually doing the job. Second, he or she will be able to recognize and recruit other talented people. This is why organizations whose success depends on talent tend to be led by people who themselves have it and have proven that they have it.  For example, the Washington National Opera’s general manager is the great tenor Placido Domingo. The president of Rockefeller University is Paul Nurse, himself a Nobel laureate in biology.
An intelligence service is one of these highly specialized organizations whose success depends more on talent than on management. And the precise talent that an intelligence service needs is the ability to connect dots — to spot a pattern with the fewest possible facts — not only to intuitively grasp what lies in the future, but to grasp it soon enough, and clearly enough, so that there’s time to change the future before it happens.
We used to understand this.  Our country’s World War II intelligence service, the Office of Strategic Services, was led by William J. Donovan. He was a brilliant Wall Street lawyer with a razor-sharp analytic mind and a talent for spotting talent. For example, when all the experts told Donovan that it was impossible to get spies into Nazi Germany, he gave the job to a young tax attorney he’d worked with who seemed to have a knack for accomplishing impossible things. His name was William J. Casey, and from his base in London as head of secret operations for the OSS, he organized 103 missions behind Nazi lines. The OSS was perhaps the greatest intelligence service in world history, and its roster of stars included Arthur J. Goldberg — later President Kennedy’s secretary of labor, Supreme Court justice, and U.N. ambassador — and even Julia Child.
After the war, we formed the CIA, and among its great directors were Allen Dulles, John McCone, and Bill Casey himself during the Reagan administration. These were men of enormous intellectual firepower. Time and again, they saw the future before anyone else could, and they spotted patterns when everyone else saw dots. I had the great privilege of serving under Bill Casey — I was among those few people he brought into the CIA to help redirect the agency’s analysis. Here’s my favorite story of Bill’s extraordinary talent for connecting dots:
On the day the Soviet Union’s long-time leader Leonid Brezhnev died, the CIA went into massive overdrive to analyze what his death might mean for U.S.-Soviet relations — and more importantly, who might emerge as the Kremlin’s next boss. Top-secret telexes were pouring in from CIA stations around the world, and throughout the building, analysts were churning out reports and sending them up to the director’s seventh-floor office. By late afternoon, there was literally no more room on Bill’s massive desk for another document, and his secretary started making piles on the floor.
Boiling It Down for Reagan
At about 6pm, when I walked into Bill’s office to ask if there was anything he wanted me to do, he was leaning back in his swivel chair, calmly writing on a yellow pad. “Just leave me alone for a few minutes,” he said, pointing with his pen at the piles of paper. “I want to boil all this down for the president.”
A few minutes later, he called me back into his office and handed me a typed copy of his note to President Reagan. It was a short, informal, but amazingly comprehensive summary of what we knew about the goings-on in Moscow — and it ended with what may be the breeziest and most brilliant prediction in the history of intelligence: “As for me, Mr. President, I bet Andropov on the nose and Gorbachev across the board.”
Now you can see why President Reagan was so fond of the man he liked to call “Director Bill.” A president wants one thing from his intelligence service, and that’s to connect the dots and get it right — to tell the president the future. And how do you get an intelligence service that can connect the dots?  You put a world-class dot-connector in charge of it.
Our country has no shortage of world-class dot-connectors. They’re in politics, in business, at think tanks, in the academic world, and at our leading research institutes. You catch glimpses of them in articles they write, speeches they give — and sometimes even as talking heads on television. Ask a dozen smart people to make lists of people they consider to be world-class dot-connectors, and you’ll get a wide range of names, some of which will appear on more than one list. Now, do you really believe that any of these lists will include, say, counter-intelligence chief John Brennan, or CIA director Leon Panetta, or Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, or Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair? Are you kidding?
No one among us is perfect, or even close to perfect. In the real world, intelligence failures will happen from time to time no matter how honorable, hardworking, or talented the men and women are on whom we rely to keep us safe. But after so many intelligence failures in such a short time, we have got to stop making the same mistake over and over again. This week’s Washington cliché is that our system failed. No. Systems don’t fail; people fail. Put the right people in charge, and the “system” will fail much, much less frequently. 
Herbert E. Meyer served during the Reagan administration as Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council. He is the author of How to Analyze Information and The Cure for Poverty.

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/01/why_intelligence_keeps_failing.html at January 13, 2010 – 11:44:26 AM EST