Today's Quote Of The Day is a testament to just how far removed from the real world a "star" can become - especially in the world of sports.
Here is Robinson Cano, former New York Yankee second baseman who just signed a 10 year, $240 million dollar deal with the Seattle Mariners, on how he feels about whether his former team really tried hard enough to keep him in pinstripes:
"Honestly, I would say no. I didn't feel respect. I didn't get any respect from them and I didn't see any effort."
FYI: The Yankees, who have been burned by long-term contracts in the recent past (most notably, that of Alex Rodriguez), offered Robinson Cano a 7 year contract for $175 million dollars: that's $25 million a year to extend the 31 year old Cano well past the prime years of most second basemen, thus well past when he would be worth a top-dollar salary.
Let's all say it together: Can someone please, please, disrespect me that way?
7% unemployment, millions and millions of people underemployed, record numbers of our citizens on food stamps....and $25 million dollars a year - plus the immense perks that go with being a New York Yankeee, including huge endorsement deals - is disrespectful?
I award Robinson Cano Quote Of The Day honors for joining so many other sports figures and entertainment celebrities in showing us how completely disconnected he, and they, are from reality.
Well, at least he didn't give us his political opinions too.....
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER ON THE OBAMACARE ENROLLMENT CLAIMS
Here, from yesterday's Greta Van Susteren "On the Record" show is Ms. Van Susteren's introducing a topic to Mr. Krauthammer - ObamaCare enrollments - and his response:
VAN SUSTEREN: They are quite pleased with this - 365,000 and change.
KRAUTHAMMER: Yeah, they are about as trustworthy as Soviet numbers on the production of steel.
Look, they have dribbled out all kinds of numbers and they sound impressive. But every one is meant to sound impressive and hide the real truth. For example, they tell us about the millions who have been on the website. In fact, the one-third of a million who have supposedly enrolled.
Well, they haven't enrolled. They have put stuff in their shopping cart. None of them have reached the cash register. They are going to show up at their doctors' offices on the first of January and then they will discover whether or not they really are enrolled.
The traditional definition, the 100-year-old definition of enrolling for health insurance, is you send a check in for your premium, your first premium, to your insurer. You are then enrolled and you are insured.
Nobody has sent a check. And we have no idea how many are enrolled.
And, because of what they like to call the "back-end problem," which makes it sound like some kind of obscure arcane problem, the back-end problem means the information about the so-called enrollment. The stuff that's supposed to happen at the cash register, has not reached the insurer.
The insurer is oblivious unless the insurer independently, on his own, contacts the person who is getting the insurance, which is being done essentially with phones and by hand. So we have no idea how many people are enrolled despite the numbers that you hear.
Terrific. And right on, Charles Krauthammer. As usual, you nailed it.
Incidentally, isn't it great when a show host introduces a topic to his/her guest, and then allows the guest to talk about the topic without continual interruption?
Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren, in my opinion, is one of the only show hosts on any cable news network, Fox very much included (that especially means you, Mr. O'Reilly) who does this. Good for her.
And even better when the guest is Charles Krauthammer, who makes more sense in one answer than a lot of other talking heads do in one month.
ObamaCare is an unworkable monstrosity - as Charles Krauthammer, himself a Doctor (psychiatrist) knows full well.
Me, I'm a marketing researcher by trade. And, as such, I am amused - albeit through gritted teeth - at the efforts of many in mainstream media to "sell" the numbers being pumped out by Obama & Co. as showing improvement in this debacle on steroids - a sales job that, according to a few (not all) recent polls, may temporarily be fooling some people.
Wait until January, when we find out (assuming the administration will even release the information) how many people really signed up, how many of them are young, healthy low-riskers who are an absolute imperative for ObamaCare to work, and how many who are being counted as signed up actually did not - or, even worse, think they did but were not recorded properly by the web site, so they are uninsured and don't even know it. See where the polls go then.
The only road I see here is downhill. Toward a cliff.
So far as I know, everyone involved in the following story is the same race - they all appear to be White. So why does it come under the heading of "Real Racism"?
Read the following excerpts from Dana Ford's article at cnn.com, and then I'll explain (note: if you click on the link, you will also see a video of this story, which is even more disturbing than the story itself):
To the families of the victims, Ethan Couch was a killer on the road, a drunken teenage driver who caused a crash that left four people dead.
To the defense, the youth is himself a victim -- of "affluenza," according to one psychologist -- the product of wealthy, privileged parents who never set limits for the boy.
To a judge, who sentenced Couch to 10 years' probation but no jail time, he's a defendant in need of treatment.
The decision disappointed prosecutors and stunned victims' family members, who say they feel that Couch got off too easy. Prosecutors had asked for the maximum of 20 years behind bars.
"There are absolutely no consequences for what occurred that day," said Boyles. "The primary message has to absolutely be that money and privilege can't buy justice in this country."
His wife, Hollie Boyles, and daughter, Shelby, left their home to help Breanna Mitchell, whose SUV had broken down. Brian Jennings, a youth pastor, was driving past and also stopped to help.
All four were killed when the teen's pickup plowed into the pedestrians on a road in Burleson, south of Fort Worth. Couch's vehicle also struck a parked car, which then slid into another vehicle headed in the opposite direction.
Two people riding in the bed of the teen's pickup were tossed in the crash and severely injured.
One is no longer able to move or talk because of a brain injury, while the other suffered internal injuries and broken bones.
Earlier on the night of the accident, June 15, Couch and some friends had stolen beer from a local Walmart. Three hours after the crash, tests showed he had a blood alcohol content of 0.24, three times the legal limit, according to the district attorney's office.
It is very rare, but not impossible, for prosecutors to challenge the sentence on the ground that it was too lenient, CNN legal analyst Sunny Hostin said.
"To give him a pass this time given the egregious nature of his conduct -- four deaths -- is just incomprehensible," she said.
Please think about what you just read.
Then please think about, say, a 16 year old (therefore underage) Black boy, who steals beer and is caught driving with an alcohol level three times the legal limit - no crash, no deaths, no injuries, just pulled over by the police.
How much leniency do you think he would be given? Do you think he would get an "I'm giving you a warning and one more chance" verdict from a judge? From the specific judge you just read about?
Well, here we have a 16 year old (therefore underage) White boy who did the same thing, Except he did crash, resulting in four innocent people dead and two severely injured. But he gets off with a joke sentence. Not because he ever did a thing to earn leniency, but because he has been so privileged, so pampered his entire life that, hey, why not give him some more privilege and pampering. I mean, it's only four people in the ground and, who knows, maybe the other two might partially recover one day.
Now picture yourself as the parent of that 16 year old Black boy. Would you see it as anything other than a crystal-clear case, of real racism?
Your answer, I would hope, is my explanation for the title of this blog.
Rep. Darrell Issa, who heads the House Oversight Committee, has sent a very blunt letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, reminding her - in what clearly are ominous terms - that obstruction of a congressional investigation is a criminal act.
It seems that the committee has requested documents regarding the implementation of ObamaCare that HHS has not forwarded....and has instructed the companies which HHS hired to do the implementation that they are not to forward them to the committee either.
In other words, a complete stonewall.
Here are the key parts of Rep. Issa's letter, which you can read in its entirety by clicking here:
"The Department subsequently instructed those companies not to comply with the Committee's request. The Department's hostility toward questions from Congress and the media about the implementation of Obamcare is well known. The Department's most recent effort to stonewall, however, has morphed from mere obstinacy into criminal obstruction of a congressional investigation"
"The Department's instruction not to cooperate with congressional investigations relies on language in the contract with CCSI which precludes contractors from sharing certain data with third parties. Moreover, the Department explicitly forbids the release of documents without authorization from CMS. That argument -- that the language in the contract between the Department and a private company supersedes Congress' constitutional prerogative to conduct oversight -- is without merit. In fact, it strains credulity to such an extent that it creates the appearance that the Department is using the threat of litigation to deter private companies from cooperating with Congress.
"The Department's attempt to threaten CCSI for the purpose of deterring the company from providing documents to Congress places the officials responsible for drafting and sending the letter on the wrong side of federal statues that prohibit obstruction of a congressional investigation. Obstructing a Congressional investigation is a crime."
"Furthermore, the Department's instruction to CCSI and other contractors not to respond to congressional document requests runs afoul of a federal statute that prohibits interfering with an employees' right to furnish information to Congress. Under that statute, any effort to enforce a contract that prevents a federal employee -- or in this case, a contractor -- from communicating with Congress is unlawful."
That's about as straightforward and blunt as it gets. The threat to Ms. Sebelius is unmistakable.
I certainly understand her reticence to provide specifics on how she managed to oversee an estimated $300 - $634 million dollars (depending on who you ask) of taxpayer money over three years - multiples upon mulitiples of what other web sites, even the largest, most complex web sites, cost - with the unbelievable disastrous results we have seen.
It is very easy to see why Ms. Sebelius does not want the public to be shown how incredibly incompetent and/or corrupt her oversight of ObamaCare was.
And it is just as easy to see why she might not want to answer questions about the possible connection between CGI Federal, which got a huge part of the project despite being a Canadian company, and the fact that first lady Michelle Obama is a close personal friend of its Senior Vice President, Toni Townes-Whitley.
What I don't understand is why our wonderful "neutral' media, the supposed watchdogs who are ever vigilant to uncover and expose this kind of cronyism - especially when the result is a wildly overpriced web site which does not work and is not even completely built - are not screaming from the rooftops for the answers Darrell Issa and the Oversight Committee are demanding.
On the other hand, this is the Obama administration, isn't it? Ok, I guess I do understand after all.
And these people have the nerve to call themselves journalists? That may well be the most unbelievable part of all.
Hey, maybe DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was right. Maybe vulnerable Democrats are going to be running on ObamaCare after all.
For example, let's consider Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA). Ms. Landrieu is in the battle of her life as she seeks a fourth term. And she has just put out an ad which features ObamaCare. Take a look and see how proudly she is defending it:
There you have it. An ad that says President Obama lied to us about ObamaCare and only because of the legislation introduced by Senator Landrieu was he forced to stop the lies and do what he promised.
Yep, that's pro-ObamaCare all right. Exactly what Debbie Wasserman Schultz was talking about, I'm sure....
Now: who is going to believe Mary Landrieu, who, with her fellow Democrats, voted ObamaCare into existence and until now has not spoken out against it? Well, if 50.1% of Louisianans do, then I suppose it means that they want her for another 6 years. Actually, it means that they deserve her for another 6 years. We'll see....
And who is going to believe Debbie Wasserman Schultz about anything at all?
After the guilty plea and felony conviction of her husband, and anticipating his deportation back to Mexico, Matilde Gayosso-Martinez, 35, on Wednesday (Dec. 11) decried the effects that such immigration enforcement has on families. She asked, while hand-in-hand with her two pastors at First Grace United Methodist Church on Canal Street, for Congress to pass immigration reform.
Her husband, Juan Pelcastre-Garrido, 40, pleaded guilty last week in federal court to a felony gun charge after his April arrest in a home in the 2800 block of Pakenham Drive in Chalmette. U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. sentenced Pelcastre to time served and, in the plea agreement signed by Pelcastre, it clearly states, in bold capital letters, that Pelcastre will be deported.
"I am here to be the voice of many other mothers who have been struggling with their kids who have been left behind," Gayosso said, according to the translation provided by her pastor, the Rev. Oscar Ramos. "I live this situation."
Let's think about this: Matilde Gayosso-Martinez's husband is an illegal alien...and a convicted felon. But she feels a great injustice has been done to her husband because the deal which is keeping him out of jail requires that he be deported to where his legal citizenship is. We're supposed to sympathize with her plaintive cry for justice.
Trust me, I'm not sympathizing. Are you?
But don't despair, Ms. Gayosso-Martinez. This is the Obama era. I would expect hubby Juan Pelecastre-Garrido back in a very short time...with immigration authorites, who, during this administration have been stripped of most authority, looking the other way -- at least until the next felony conviction, that is.
Into the "You can't make this stuff up" file it goes.
Well, it all depends. Did you have anything critical to say about President Obama, grinning from ear to ear while taking a "selfie" - a self-shot phone picture of himself, British PM David Cameron and Danish PM Helle Thorning Schmidt?
If so, those fiercely nonpartisan crusaders for truth over at MSNBC can see right through your racism and sexism.....mine too, since I have been critical about this as well.
First, let me remind you of the incident we are talking about, by reposting the picture of Mr. Obama, Mr. Cameron and Ms. Thorning Schmidt...along with a not quite as jovial Ms. Obama:
Now, let me remind you that this occurred during the memorial service for Nelson Mandela -- which some folks might think of as a solemn occasion; a time for reverence and deep reflection. If you see either in the above picture, don't bother reading the rest of this blog, because it will not be meaningful to you.
However, if you do not, you might be interested in what Thomas Roberts, a show host at (where else?) MSNBC, and his equally neutral, introspective panel, had to say about it during yesterday's show, via the following excerpt from Kelsey Osterman's article at redalertpolitics.com:
Irin Carmon, a reporter for MSNBC.com, harshly denounced the media furor.
"This is a big tempest in a teapot,"Carmon said. "And it's a confluence of racist and sexist stereotypes, as if Michelle is this angry black woman, as if President Obama is this oversexed black man..."
Roberts asked Lehigh Valley University professorJames Peterson if it was going too far to call the media hype racist. Peterson said it wasn't "too far," agreeing with Carmon.
"It's not taking it too far once you situate it within the context within which the Right Wing has attacked the first lady since even before she was the first lady," he responded. "Irin is right here, that they've tried to couch her in this stereotypical racist and sexist narrative of the angry black woman."
There you have it. If you think it was wrong for the President of the United States to engage in this kind of behavior during a memorial for Nelson Mandela, you are a racist, and a sexist; probably a right winger too (which could be even worse than the other two).
Shame on you for your disgusting intolerance.
And shame on me too, I suppose, because, if you do think this way, I most certainly agree with you.
Sometimes it is hard to decide whether MSNBC is serious about this stuff, or it is some long-term comedy prank, designed to eventually make us laugh at the thought that any cable news network would put this kind of crap on day after day after day. Maybe something cooked up by Jon Stewart, or Jay Leno, or a collaborative effort by both.
Geez Loueez, all that's missing from this clownish network is a phony charlatan like al sharpt...oh, wait.
REACTIONS TO PRESIDENT OBAMA SHAKING RAUL CASTRO'S HAND
As promised, here is a sampling of reaction to President Obama shaking the hand of raul castro, Cuba's co-dictator with his brother fidel:
Senator John McCain (R-AZ): "Why should you shake hands with somebody who is keeping Americans in prison? What's the point? Neville Chamberlain shook hands with Hitler."
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL): "If the president was going to shake his hand, he should have asked him about those basic freedoms Mandela was associated with that are denied in Cuba"
Rep. Albio Seres (D-NJ): "I was disappointed to view the handshake between President Obama and the Cuban dictator Raul Castro at what was a moving service to memorialize Nelson Mandela...(Mandela) stood for everything that the Castro regime has taken from the Cuban people over that past 50 years; freedom, equality, and human rights. Instead of making grand gestures that only validate tyrannical regimes, the United States should be working tirelessly to bring Cuban prisoners, like Alan Gross home safely, as well as support those striving for democracy in the face of oppression. Such action to bring innocent victims to freedom would truly serve Mandela's legacy."
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL): "It is nauseating...Sometimes a handshake is just a handshake, but when the leader of the free world shakes the bloody hand of a ruthless dictator like Raul Castro, it becomes a propaganda coup for the tyrant"
And there, of course, is more.
I understand that Barack Obama did not have one second's worth of experience in foreign policy when he took office. But wouldn't you think five years in that office would teach him something?
A year that began with President Barack Obama riding high after his re-election victory is ending with him in the biggest hole of his presidency.
A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that more Americans disapprove of the president's job performance than ever before; half say they're either disappointed or dissatisfied with his presidency and 54 percent believe he's facing a long-term setback.
Perhaps more significantly, Obama has seen a drop in key presidential attributes.
President Barack Obama's job approval among American voters drops to a new low, a negative 38 - 57 percent, as the outlook for Democrats running for Congress and the U.S. Senate fades also, according to a national poll released today. He even gets a negative 41 - 49 percent among voters 18 to 29 years old and a lackluster 50 - 43 percent approval among Hispanic voters.
The president's job approval compares to a negative 39 - 54 percent score in a November 12 survey by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University.
President Obama's approval ratings, which hit his all-time low last month, have returned to where they were before the rollout of the health care law's enrollment process, but Americans still lack confidence in the White House’s management of the Affordable Care Act, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. The public’s opinion of the law itself has improved after repairs to the enrollment website.
According to the poll, 42 percent of Americans now approve of Mr. Obama's overall performance, and 50 percent disapprove. That is not exactly good news for the president, but is better than his numbers in mid-November, after he admitted he had fumbled the rollout of the health care law’s website. Then, just 37 percent approved and 57 percent disapproved in a CBS News poll.
Remember that Sesame Street song? "One of these things is not like the others"? Sort of personifies what you just read, doesn't it?
However, it should be noted that the one poll which improves from last time to this time, also shows bad news - unless you consider 42% approve/50% disapprove good news, that is.
Looking at it that way, maybe all of these things are like the others.
I don't make predictions, but given that there is little doubt ObamaCare has driven the poll numbers down and, despite the rosy spin put on this unworkable monstrosity by Obama & Co., additional bad news just keeps coming, it is hard to imagine that things will improve a great deal, at least in the near term.
And in mid-2014, when companies, big and small, start dropping their employees from coverage and/or lowering employee hours because the one-year delay in mandated insurance will be ending, I don't expect them to improve either.
But Debbie Wasserman Schultz still assures us Democrats - even Democrats in competitive races - will proudly be running on ObamaCare anyway.
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At "Hopelessly Partisan" we discuss all issues, big and small. Such as:
-Will President Obama end the pretense that he cares about the constitution, and simply declare himself King?
-Do President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry actually believe Iran will keep to any nuclear deal?
-Can ObamaCare really be this complete a disaster?
-How many more part-time jobs will replace full-time jobs and how many more workers will be underemployed, before media start seriously talking about it?
-Does MSNBC actually believe it provides news and commentary, instead of a hard-left propaganda?
Right down to:
-Can the Kardashian family possibly be more boring?
-Has Chris Matthews irretrievably gone over the deep end?
-Does Kanye West seriously think doing hip-hop is as dangerous as being a police officer or soldier?
In here, nothing is sacred and nothing is out of bounds.
So settle back, preferably after laughing your way through a copy of "The Hopelessly Partisan Guide To American Politics", and let the battle begin. In this blog, your opinion counts every bit as much as anyone else's, maybe even more.
And to show that my willingness to provide all sides of the issues is sincere, here are links to a variety of web sites, from the left, the middle (more or less) and the right. Read them and either smile in agreement or gnash your teeth in anger!!