Saturday, March 31, 2012

Not-So-Smooth Operator

Obama increasingly comes across as devious and dishonest.

Something's happening to President Obama's relationship with those who are inclined not to like his policies. They are now inclined not to like him. His supporters would say, "Nothing new there," but actually I think there is. I'm referring to the broad, stable, nonradical, non-birther right. Among them the level of dislike for the president has ratcheted up sharply the past few months.

It's not due to the election, and it's not because the Republican candidates are so compelling and making such brilliant cases against him. That, actually, isn't happening.

What is happening is that the president is coming across more and more as a trimmer, as an operator who's not operating in good faith. This is hardening positions and leading to increased political bitterness. And it's his fault, too. As an increase in polarization is a bad thing, it's a big fault.
The shift started on Jan. 20, with the mandate that agencies of the Catholic Church would have to provide birth-control services the church finds morally repugnant. The public reaction? "You're kidding me. That's not just bad judgment and a lack of civic tact, it's not even constitutional!" Faced with the blowback, the president offered a so-called accommodation that even its supporters recognized as devious. Not ill-advised, devious. Then his operatives flooded the airwaves with dishonest—not wrongheaded, dishonest—charges that those who defend the church's religious liberties are trying to take away your contraceptives.

What a sour taste this all left. How shocking it was, including for those in the church who'd been in touch with the administration and were murmuring about having been misled.

Events of just the past 10 days have contributed to the shift. There was the open-mic conversation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in which Mr. Obama pleaded for "space" and said he will have "more flexibility" in his negotiations once the election is over and those pesky voters have done their thing. On tape it looked so bush-league, so faux-sophisticated. When he knew he'd been caught, the president tried to laugh it off by comically covering a mic in a following meeting. It was all so . . . creepy.

Next, a boy of 17 is shot and killed under disputed and unclear circumstances. The whole issue is racially charged, emotions are high, and the only memorable words from the president's response were, "If I had a son he'd look like Trayvon." At first it seemed OK—not great, but all right—but as the story continued and suddenly there were death threats and tweeted addresses and congressmen in hoodies, it seemed insufficient to the moment. At the end of the day, the public reaction seemed to be: "Hey buddy, we don't need you to personalize what is already too dramatic, it's not about you."

Now this week the Supreme Court arguments on ObamaCare, which have made that law look so hollow, so careless, that it amounts to a characterological indictment of the administration. The constitutional law professor from the University of Chicago didn't notice the centerpiece of his agenda was not constitutional? How did that happen?

Maybe a stinging decision is coming, maybe not, but in a purely political sense this is how it looks: We were in crisis in 2009—we still are—and instead of doing something strong and pertinent about our economic woes, the president wasted history's time. He wasted time that was precious—the debt clock is still ticking!—by following an imaginary bunny that disappeared down a rabbit hole.

The high court's hearings gave off an overall air not of political misfeasance but malfeasance.
All these things have hardened lines of opposition, and left opponents with an aversion that will not go away.
I am not saying that the president has a terrible relationship with the American people. I'm only saying he's made his relationship with those who oppose him worse.

In terms of the broad electorate, I'm not sure he really has a relationship. A president only gets a year or two to forge real bonds with the American people. In that time a crucial thing he must establish is that what is on his mind is what is on their mind. This is especially true during a crisis.

From the day Mr. Obama was sworn in, what was on the mind of the American people was financial calamity—unemployment, declining home values, foreclosures. These issues came within a context of some overarching questions: Can America survive its spending, its taxing, its regulating, is America over, can we turn it around?

That's what the American people were thinking about.

But the new president wasn't thinking about that. All the books written about the creation of economic policy within his administration make clear the president and his aides didn't know it was so bad, didn't understand the depth of the crisis, didn't have a sense of how long it would last. They didn't have their mind on what the American people had their mind on.

The president had his mind on health care. And, to be fair-minded, health care was part of the economic story. But only a part! And not the most urgent part. Not the most frightening, distressing, immediate part. Not the "Is America over?" part.

And so the relationship the president wanted never really knitted together. Health care was like the birth-control mandate: It came from his hermetically sealed inner circle, which operates with what seems an almost entirely abstract sense of America. They know Chicago, the machine, the ethnic realities. They know Democratic Party politics. They know the books they've read, largely written by people like them—bright, credentialed, intellectually cloistered. But there always seems a lack of lived experience among them, which is why they were so surprised by the town hall uprisings of August 2009 and the 2010 midterm elections.

If you jumped into a time machine to the day after the election, in November, 2012, and saw a headline saying "Obama Loses," do you imagine that would be followed by widespread sadness, pain and a rending of garments? You do not. Even his own supporters will not be that sad. It's hard to imagine people running around in 2014 saying, "If only Obama were president!" Including Mr. Obama, who is said by all who know him to be deeply competitive, but who doesn't seem to like his job that much. As a former president he'd be quiet, detached, aloof. He'd make speeches and write a memoir laced with a certain high-toned bitterness. It was the Republicans' fault. They didn't want to work with him.

He will likely not see even then that an American president has to make the other side work with him. You think Tip O'Neill liked Ronald Reagan? You think he wanted to give him the gift of compromise? He was a mean, tough partisan who went to work every day to defeat Ronald Reagan. But forced by facts and numbers to deal, he dealt. So did Reagan.

An American president has to make cooperation happen.

But we've strayed from the point. Mr. Obama has a largely nonexistent relationship with many, and a worsening relationship with some.

Really, he cannot win the coming election. But the Republicans, still, can lose it. At this point in the column we usually sigh.

What Makes BC Hockey So Good - From ESPN

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

CNN's Take On The Individual Mandate

Job Opportunity

A real estate investment company is looking for a Controller / CFO with 5-10 years of experience.  This company has been in business for 4 years and is growing rapidly.  It is a great opportunity.

Please email me if you know of somebody who is interested.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Roberts and Kennedy

The constitutionality of Obamacare will come down to Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy.   It is apparent to me that the four liberal judges (Ginsburg, Kagan, Sotomayor and Breyer) will vote for the government.  It is also clear to me that Thomas, Scalia and Alito will vote against Obamacare. 

What will Roberts and Kennedy do? 

If I were the government, I would be a bit nervous right now. 

All Bets Are Off If Obamacare Is Ruled Constitutional - See Justice Roberts' Comment

As it did in the lower courts, the federal government on Tuesday has again struggled to articulate a workable principle that would limit the ability of Congress to require citizens to make other types of purchases in the future.  That concern was raised over and over again by conservative justices during their questioning of the government's Mr. Verrilli.  Chief Justice Roberts said that if the court approved of the mandate, it may be hard to set limitations on what Congress can do.  “All bets are off,” he said.

More Supreme Court

Chief Justice John Roberts has also been seeking plenty of answers from the government lawyer on the rationale for the individual mandate. He has compared health insurance to fire and police services, which people don't know they're going to need until they're in an emergency. He's asked whether that means people can be required to carry cellphones to dial 911 faster. He's also pushed Mr. Verrilli on whether food and cars are also actually just means to an end, and so no different from insurance.

Supreme Court Today - Perhaps A Hopeful Sign

News Alert
from The Wall Street Journal

Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said the U.S. government has a "very heavy burden of justification" to show where the Constitution authorizes the Congress to change the relation of individuals to the government. His comments came as the high court tackled the central issue in the challenge to the Obama administration’s health-care law -- whether Congress could require individuals to carry health insurance or pay a penalty. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Nancy Pelosi Is An Idiot

Passing the Buck - That's Our President

Here are 13 problems that Obama has faced during his 3+ years in office in which he passed the  buck and did not accept any responsibility.    Unreal.

Oil Prices
“The key thing that is driving higher gas prices is actually the world’s oil markets and uncertainty about what’s going on in Iran and the Middle East, and that’s adding a $20 or $30 premium to oil prices.”
- March 23, 2012

“Obviously, we wish Solyndra hadn’t gone bankrupt. Part of the reason they did was because the Chinese were subsidizing their solar industry and flooding the market in ways that Solyndra couldn’t compete. But understand, this was not our program per se. Congress–Democrats and Republicans–put together a loan guarantee program.”
- March 22, 2012

“When I came into office there has been drift in the Afghanistan strategy, in part because we had spent a lot of time focusing on Iraq instead.  Over the last three years we have refocused attention on getting Afghanistan right.  Would my preference had been that we started some of that earlier?  Absolutely.  But that’s not the cards that were dealt.  We’re now in a position where, given our starting point, we’re making progress.”
- March 14, 2012

“When I took office, the efforts to apply pressure on Iran were in tatters.  Iran had gone from zero centrifuges spinning to thousands, without facing broad pushback from the world.  In the region, Iran was ascendant.”
- March 4, 2012

The Economy
“We’ve made sure to do everything we can to dig ourselves out of this incredible hole that I inherited.”
- February 23, 2012

The Deficit: 
“We thought that it was entirely appropriate for our governments and our agencies to try to root out waste, large and small, in a systematic way. Obviously, this is even more important given the deficits that we’ve inherited and that have grown as a consequence of this recession.”
- November 9, 2011

“When I first walked through the door, the deficit stood at $1.3 trillion, with projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade. If we had taken office during ordinary times, we would have started bringing down these deficits immediately.”
- February 1, 2010

The Debt:
“Look, we do have a serious problem in terms of debt and deficit, and much of it I inherited when I showed up.”
- August 8, 2011

“I inherited a big debt.”
- March 29, 2011

“We inherited the worst recession since the Great Depression, a banking system on the verge of meltdown.  We had lost 4 million jobs by the time I was sworn in and would then lose another 4 million in the few months right after I was sworn in before our economic policies had a chance to take root.”
- May 10, 2011

The BP Gulf Oil Spill 
“In this instance, the oil industry’s cozy and sometimes corrupt relationship with government regulators meant little or no regulation at all. When Secretary Salazar took office, he found a Minerals and Management Service that had been plagued by corruption for years –- this was the agency charged with not only providing permits, but also enforcing laws governing oil drilling.”
- May 27, 2010

Decline of the nuclear stockpile
“Among the many challenges our administration inherited was the slow but steady decline in support for our nuclear stockpile and infrastructure, and for our highly trained nuclear work force.” (This one was offered up on Obama’s behalf by Vice President Biden).
- January 29, 2010

The Election of Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.)
“The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office. People are angry, and they’re frustrated. Not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years, but what’s happened over the last eight years.”
- January 20, 2010

“I took office at a time when many around the world had come to view America with skepticism and distrust.  Part of this was due to misperceptions and misinformation about my country.  Part of this was due to opposition to specific policies, and a belief that on certain critical issues, America has acted unilaterally, without regard for the interests of others.  And this has fed an almost reflexive anti-Americanism, which too often has served as an excuse for collective inaction.”
- September 23, 2009

The Financial Crisis
“We inherited a financial crisis unlike any that we’ve seen in our time.  This crisis crippled private capital markets and forced us to take steps in our financial system — and with our auto companies — that we would not have otherwise even considered.”
- June 1, 2009

I'm Confused By the President's Statement Here

Obama: 'If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon' 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Three Stooges Movie

Romney's Only Chance to Defeat Obama - Pick Marco Rubio For VP

Marco Rubio for VP

8:23 AM, Mar 22, 2012 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
Via Hot Air, Salena Zito reports:

Jeb Bush, 59, the son of a president and brother of another, pushed aside any interest in running with Romney. But he has strong feelings on whom he wants Romney to pick as a running mate.

“Marco Rubio,” he said of the freshman Florida GOP senator, who served as a volunteer on Bush’s governor’s campaign. Bush described Rubio, 40, as “dynamic, joyful, disciplined and principled.”
 “He is the best orator of American politics today, a good family man. He is not only a consistent conservative, but he has managed to find a way to communicate a conservative message full of hope and optimism,” Bush said.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Love This Quote From Eagleaction - Thanks to maverick65

29 wins.Reply

Not bad for a "down year" after we saw departures from Hayes and Atkinson early and Gibbons/Whitney/Muse to graduation. Unreal what this program accomplishes year after year.

Last year BC had 30 going into the NCAAs.

Four more wins would get to 33 and match the 33 wins from 2000-2001, a year after losing a tremendous class including Mottau, Farkas, and Bellefeuille. That year they also won Beanpot, HE RS, and tourney title (and of course the whole damn thing).

HIghlights from Last Night's Hockey East Championship Game

Dictator Obama

Obama Admin. Pushes Forward with Abortion Pill & Contraception Mandate

10:35 AM, Mar 18, 2012 • By JOHN MCCORMACK

On Friday afternoon, the Obama administration released an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to announce it was proceeding as planned with its new federal mandate that abortion pills, sterilization procedures, and contraception must be provided without co-pays under virtually all health care plans.

The mandate will force almost all employer-provided health care plans, including those purchased by employers and employees who object on moral or religious grounds to paying for these services, to pay for abortifacients, contraception, and sterilizations by August 2012.

The mandate will force religious institutions--such as charities, universities, and hospitals--to provide these services by August 2013. As Cardinal Timothy Dolan said when the Obama administration announced the rule in January, "In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences."
The so-called "accommodation" announced by President Obama in February--that insurers of religious institutions, not the institutions themselves, would foot the bill--was a gimmick that changed nothing of moral substance. As Grace-Marie Turner writes, Friday's announcement shows that the "administration clearly is not backing down from its original plan":

Another Brian Gionta Tweet

Congrats to on a Hockey East Championship win tonight. One step closer to another National Championship!

Photo Gallery by Melissa Wade

Predicted Brackets

West Regional (St. Paul, Minn.):
14 Western Michigan vs. 4 North Dakota
9 Boston University vs. 8 Minnesota

Midwest Regional (Green Bay, Wis.):
13 Cornell vs. 2 Michigan
11 Denver vs. 6 Ferris State

East Regional (Bridgeport, Conn.):
15 Michigan State vs. 3 Union
12 Massachusetts-Lowell vs. 5 Miami

Northeast Regional (Worcester, Mass.):
16 Air Force vs. 1 Boston College
10 Maine vs. 7 Minnesota-Duluth


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tweet From Brian Gionta

Good luck to  tonight in the Hockey East Finals!! Earn some more Hardware tonight!! 

Typical Jack Parker

I can’t describe how disappointed I was in my team’s effort tonight or lack of such,” Parker said. “We had a lot of key guys just disappear, I thought. We left Kieran out to dry a number of times. We gave up four power-play goals – one was an empty-netter – and they didn’t have to work for any of them. We turned it over and gave up opportunity after opportunity.

“We looked jumpy as heck. We looked like we were afraid to lose from the get-go. When you go out and try to not lose, you usually do.”

Friday, March 16, 2012

Crawley Resigns As Women’s Baksetball Coach

By Greg Joyce, Sports Editor
Two weeks after the Boston College women’s basketball team ended the season 7-23, Sylvia Crawley resigned from her position as head coach. Crawley cited health reasons in her decision to leave her post.

“I am putting my coaching career on hold to deal with a non-life-threatening, treatable condition,” Crawley said in a statement.  “I am grateful to Boston College for the opportunity to coach here. I wish the very best for the current and future student-athletes in the program.”

Throughout her four years at BC, Crawley’s teams went just 67-63, including a 20-38 record in the ACC.
“Sylvia is one of the best people I’ve had the opportunity to work with,” Athletic Director Gene DeFilippo said. “I would like to thank her for her hard work and contributions to Boston College basketball.”

In the four years that Crawley served as head coach, the Eagles never qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Instead, BC was selected to play in the women’s NIT three times, though Crawley declined the bid in 2010.
According to BC, assistant coach Tim Eatman will serve as the interim head coach until a new head coach is hired.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Boston College Tuition

Tuition Up 3.6 Percent

The Boston College Board of Trustees has approved the budget for the 2012-2013 academic year, including a 3.6 percent increase in tuition, fees, and room and board. The increase brings the tuition total to $43,140.

This Is Why Nancy Pelosi Said : "We have to pass the bill so we can find out what is in the bill."

President Obama's national health care law will cost $1.76 trillion over a decade, according to a new projection released today by the Congressional Budget Office, rather than the $940 billion forecast when it was signed into law.

Democrats employed many accounting tricks when they were pushing through the national health care legislation, the most egregious of which was to delay full implementation of the law until 2014, so it would appear cheaper under the CBO's standard ten-year budget window and, at least on paper, meet Obama's pledge that the legislation would cost "around $900 billion over 10 years." When the final CBO score came out before passage, critics noted that the true 10 year cost would be far higher than advertised once projections accounted for full implementation.

Today, the CBO released new projections from 2013 extending through 2022, and the results are as critics expected: the ten-year cost of the law's core provisions to expand health insurance coverage has now ballooned to $1.76 trillion. That's because we now have estimates for Obamacare's first nine years of full implementation, rather than the mere six when it was signed into law. Only next year will we get a true ten-year cost estimate, if the law isn't overturned by the Supreme Court or repealed by then. Given that in 2022, the last year available, the gross cost of the coverage expansions are $265 billion, we're likely looking at about $2 trillion over the first decade, or more than double what Obama advertised.

Poor Sandra Fluke - She Can't Afford Birth Control But

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Who's Out of Touch Mr. Biden?

March 13, 2012 6:31am 238 Comments
byCharlie Spiering Commentary Staff Writer
Follow on Twitter:
Vice President Joe Biden addressed 87 wealthy Democrats last night attending a fundraiser at the home of Sen. John Kerry in Georgetown. As they dined on grass-fed New York strip steaks and white truffle mashed potatos underneath a outdoor tent, Biden criticized Republicans for being out of touch.

“These guys don’t have a sense of the average folks out there,” Biden said according to the pool report, “They don’t know what it means to be middle class.”

87 guests paid a minimum of $10,000-per-couple to attend the dinner.

State of BC Athletics - This Hurts

So Now Free Contraception Is A Natural Human Right? It's An Obama World.

We've got to get this rogue President out of the White House.  Read this nonsense:

From Sandra Fluke:

Last month, students from several Catholic universities gathered to send a message to the nation that contraception is basic health care. I was among them, and I was proud to share the stories of my friends at Georgetown Law who have suffered dire medical consequences because our student insurance does not cover contraception for the purpose of preventing pregnancy.

Thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, preventive care services, including contraception, will be covered by private insurance plans without co-pays or deductibles. If appropriately implemented, this important law will finally guarantee women access to contraception, regardless of the religious affiliation of their workplace or school.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rangers' Future Is Waiting...and Waiting

New York Patiently Waits for Top Prospect Chris Kreider, Who Has Repeatedly Eschewed the NHL to Play for Boston College

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass.—Glen Sather had already spent more than two and a half years waiting for Chris Kreider, and as Sather pressed a phone to his ear and prepared to speak to a national television audience, Kreider made him wait a few minutes more.

The Rangers' president and general manager was poised for an interview during the CBS Sports Network broadcast of a recent men's ice hockey game between Boston College and Vermont. But the interview couldn't begin at its scheduled moment—six minutes into the second period—because Kreider had just put the puck into the Vermont net for his 20th goal of the season.

Once play resumed, Sather again failed to answer a familiar question: Will Kreider, the Rangers' first-round draft pick in 2009, join the team in time for this year's playoffs? "Whether he's going to play immediately," Sather said, "is going to be up to him."

A 6-feet-3-inch, 225-pound junior forward, Kreider has become the J.D. Salinger of college hockey since enrolling at Boston College, eschewing the opportunity to enter the NHL immediately to instead sequester himself on this campus a few miles west of downtown Boston. After each of Kreider's previous seasons with the Eagles, the Rangers recommended that he turn pro. He declined. Now, with the Rangers atop the Eastern Conference, Kreider has an entire NHL organization and its fan base wondering whether he'll begin his career with the Rangers this spring or return to BC for his senior season.

"It's not something I enjoy at all," he said. "Imagine if you're on my team in college. I'm telling the New York media, 'Yeah, I'm gone. I can't wait to join them.' How does that look? I'm supposed to be a leader in one facet or another, and I'm almost writing off the season?"

Though Kreider would not reveal whether he has made a decision, let alone what that decision is, it is difficult to find anyone who has spent any significant time around him or the Boston College program who believes he won't leave school once BC's season ends—which, if the Eagles reach the Frozen Four, would be in early April, just in time for the NHL playoffs. "The car's warming up in the driveway," said Eric Frede, who called the BV-Vermont game for CBS. Given that the Eagles won a national championship in Kreider's freshman year and their second consecutive Hockey East regular-season championship this year, that he is just four classes away from graduating with a degree in communication, and that even Eagles head coach Jerry York said, "He's ready," there seems little reason for Kreider to return. What worlds are left for him to conquer in college?

"He's at the stage where what he has to learn is from the pros," said Gordie Clark, the Rangers' director of player personnel. "That's the way I put it to Chris, and that's the way I put it to his parents."

David and Kathy Kreider, Chris's parents, declined to comment for this story, but Chris said that the emphasis that they placed on education as he was growing up made the choice to stay at BC for his freshman and sophomore years really no choice at all. He has immersed himself in two pursuits—hockey and schoolwork—since arriving here. He carries a 3.0 grade-point average, has taken summer courses in an attempt to complete his degree as quickly as possible, and rarely attends the sorts of bacchanalian social gatherings so common to the college experience. "It's been more of a job," said Kreider, who turns 21 on April 30, and because ice hockey is not necessarily the keynote men's sport at Boston College, "it's been very easy to stay off the radar."

Part of the reason Kreider has been so patient to begin his professional career is that he emerged as an NHL prospect rather suddenly. During his sophomore year at Masconomet High School in Topsfield, Mass., he underwent a terrific growth spurt, sprouting four inches in height and putting on 20 pounds. He subsequently transferred to Phillips Academy Andover, a secondary school with a more highly regarded hockey program. The first time a Division I coach told Kreider he wanted to recruit him, Kreider was so excited he began to cry.

"He just blossomed into what you see now," said Bill Blackwell, the head coach at Masconomet. "He was dominant, just freakishly fast, great hands and strength."

Clark puts Kreider's speed on par with that of Rangers rookie Carl Hagelin, the fastest skater in this year's NHL All-Star Skills Competition, and to watch Kreider against Vermont was to understand the comparison. Twice, Kreider surged down the right wing and backhanded the puck into the slot, and on neither occasion was a teammate there to accept the pass—because none were fast enough to keep up with him. "And down low," Clark said, "he's so bloody strong holding the puck."

That combination of speed and power made Kreider the focus of trade rumors last month as the Rangers pursued Rick Nash, a star forward for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Throughout February, Kreider's friends teased him about the speculation, interrupting his meals and morning skates with reports of phony transactions. "He wouldn't talk to me on trade-deadline day," said Samson Lee, one of Kreider's roommates.
It would not be unheard of for a player in Kreider's position to return for his senior year. Of the 20 former Boston College players on NHL rosters this season, 11 used all four years of their college eligibility. But if Kreider does elect to come back, he runs the risk of alienating the very people most eager to see him in a Rangers uniform.

"It's another part of the process," he said. "When the time comes, that's something I'll deal with."
In his mind, that time has not come yet. After Boston College beat Vermont, 4-0, to clinch the Hockey East title, Kreider sat slumped in a corner of the locker room. He had removed his jersey and his shoulder and torso pads, leaving himself bare-chested, and as his teammates spoke one by one at York's prompting, commending each other for solid defensive plays and timely goals scored, Kreider kept his eyes straight ahead, his face a blank slate, as if he were allowing his mind to wander. He was not. "It was a special moment," he said later, "as is any moment you are able to win a trophy." So he made sure to take everything in, to listen to his teammates' every word, to think only of the here and now, nothing else.