Random Walk: On Apologies, Chavistas, Ethics, Michelle's Staff, Etc.

Ross Mackenzie
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Posted: Sep 03, 2009 12:01 AM

Queries on curiosities in the news....

-- In enthusiastically supporting the kooky health-care measure approved by Madame Pelosi's House Democrats, how can the gargantuan AARP - so often cited blandly as an advocate for senior citizens - be anything but a hard-left lobby?

-- Which does contemporary American culture value more - merit or celebrity?

-- Hugo Chavez' Venezuela has become a center for the transshipment of narcotics throughout the hemisphere. Is it any wonder Chavez seeks the re-installation of his disciple Manuel Zelaya, the ousted president of Honduras, to establish Honduras as Central America's leading narco-state?

Culture
of Corruption by Michelle Malkin FREE

-- So why does the Obama administration side with Fidel Castro, Chavez, and other Latin chavistas in backing Zelaya - camped out a la Cindy Sheehan in Nicaragua next to the Honduran border? And why do Obama and his Democrats refuse to approve the free trade agreement with Colombia - America's foremost friend south of the border, and an effective fighter of drug lords and chavista guerrillas?

-- DOES Michelle Obama truly need a record-setting 20 - that's twenty - taxpayer-funded staffers, facilitators, and ladies-in-waiting to serve her every social need?

-- And here's one: How is it that her husband could travel abroad apologizing for America, but - in the Gates-Crowley hoo-ha - not summon the moxie to apologize for unpresidential comments about a policeman (Obama said the Cambridge cop "acted stupidly") simply doing his job?

-- Given that higher minimum pay hurts younger and less-skilled workers most, how will the new minimum wage (raised in July to $7.25 per hour) help teenage unemployment - which in June had risen to 24 percent from 15 percent in July, 2007?

-- CHARLES Rangel, head of the House Ways and Means Committee, terms imposing a 5.4 percentage point income tax surcharge "the moral thing to do." But does Congressman Rangel fully understand what morality (let alone legality) is - given that the House Ethics Committee is investigating him on six separate instances of under-reporting his income, hence under-paying his taxes?

-- Is it possible to believe anything the Iranian government says about its nuclear ambitions, now that it has tortured anti-government protesters - some of them to death?

-- If insurance "exchanges" - government and non-profit consortiums - failed during a 1993-2006 California experiment, why is Congress now considering creating them for the nation?

-- Do leftists have such conniptions over Sarah Palin - so detest her, so see her as a threat - because she does not meet their definition of feminist? That is, because she is a woman who has achieved without sharing their ideologically skewed views?

-- And speaking of Alaska's now former governor: Why so much phony outrage and contrived dismay over Sarah Palin's early departure from office - and so little about the early departure of Florida Senator Mel Martinez?

-- ON cap-and-trade - formerly known as global warming, formerly known as climate change - how much sense is there in betting the future of America on energy renewables (wind, solar, tides) that currently account for just 5 percent of the nation's total power generation?

-- And really: As many European and Asian nations are, why not go proactive about domestically expanding nuclear power - the most environmentally friendly energy source of all?

-- Remember when the Centers for Disease Control cried wolf about SARS, avian flu, and heterosexual AIDS? Similarly, has the World Health Organization panicked in declaring a swine-flu "pandemic" on the basis of 244 deaths around the globe?

-- Two questions about health care legislation: (1) If there's a "public option" funded even partially by the taxpayers, will illegals be eligible for it? (2) Will members of Congress require themselves to participate in the final plan, or will they hold out for the elitist privilege of maintaining their current coverage under the private (and very competitive) Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan?

-- BARACK Obama said repeatedly on the campaign trail that with him in the White House, "You will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime." So what are we to make of proposals partly to finance health-care "reform" through taxes on private health insurers?

-- Further, how does Obama's campaign pledge square with (a) Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's refusal to reject higher taxes to reduce the federal deficit (estimated this fiscal year to reach nearly $2 trillion)? And (b) National Economic Council Director Larry Summers' remark regarding new taxes to finance socialized medicine: "It is never a good idea to absolutely rule (taxes) out"?

-- Is it too much to hope that ObamaCare, cap-and-trade, and card-check (authorization of (1) non-secret union organizing votes and (2) imposition of government-appointed arbitrators), the new administration's principal legislative initiatives since passage of the "stimulus," are in trouble - all three?