Baehr essentials

- David Brooks has spent too much time at the New York Times, and at times, he has gone a little soft . The same thing happens to some conservative Supreme Court justices  after they are appointed and move to DC.  Brooks holds down one of the two spots for conservative writers on the Times op ed page. You don't see Frank Rich, Paul Krugman, Maureen Dowd,  Nick Kristof, Charles Blow , Roger Cohen, Gail Collins or Bob Herbert, moving right to make friends with Brooks. But Brooks seems to try to charm his colleagues with his reasonableness. Any more columns on Barack Obama and Reinhold Niebuhr, and I promise never to read him again. Today Brooks takes on health care reform, and manages to conclude that it should be voted down. But just barely.  

- Many of the states are broke, and in need of another federal handout to help them avoid laying off unionized workers whose contracts have bankrupted them.  So now comes the killer of all unfunded mandates -- the health care bill will expand Medicaid coverage to 133% of the poverty level, expanding the ranks by 15 million people. The federal government will pay for the expansion for 3 years,   and after that, the states will have to pay their share. Of course the cost of the states' share is not considered in the "scoring' of the bill.

The failed state that has become the model for the federal government ($3 trillion in deficits in Obama's first two years) is California.

- Bookworm says the Communism cat is out of the climate change bag. Who brought the house down at Copenhagen- Hugo Chavez, with a call to end capitalism. And you thought this conference was about saving the planet? No -- the thugs want our money, and capitalism destroyed.

- Barack Obama is well on his way, by doing nothing,  to making sure that Iran gets a nuclear bomb. In essence, his approach this year can be described in these words:  there is no urgency.  Obama seems  to be following the model of Mohammed el Baradei of the IAEA -- a fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner. If Iran gets the bomb, then the US will deal with it.  

Obama's engagement approach failed. Obama stalled action in Congress on sanctions while he tried to make nice to the Iranians, even avoiding criticizing their suppression of the demonstrators rioting after the stolen election.  He does not seem to be working very hard to get broader international sanctions passed. The conclusion is obvious. Iran will get the bomb, unless Israel prevents it. Elections have consequences.  With regard to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, and the Iran nuclear program, we have a President who thinks like the Board of J-Street.   Any wonder why J-Street is now a regular attendee at White House meetings?

- Chuck Schumer is one of the champions of women's rights in the Senate. He just can't be bothered with treating women  like human beings. But hey, why shouldn't everyone on a plane wait for Schumer to finish his cell phone call with Harry Reid  before the plane can take off?  Doesn't the flight attendant understand that he is Chuck Schumer, and a very important man?  If not, "she's a bitch" according to Schumer. Enabler Kirsten Gillenbrand then lies to protect Schumer.   Quite a pair from the Empire State.