Obama tells governors they can submit their own health care plans

President Obama had a group of Republicans and Democratic governors over to the White House today where he told them not drink tequila for breakfast so they don’t slur their words and deeds.
Then he told him they can fold, spindle and mutilate his federal health care plan as soon as 2014 (three years earlier than planned) — so long as they meet the new requirements for covering the uninsured.

Evidently the state plans could include alternatives to the Obama law’s requirement that all Americans have to buy health insurance, a provision under challenge in federal court.

States with Republican governors — some of whom were in the White House audience today — are involved in lawsuits to overturn the law in its entirety. These governors are hardly fond of Obamacare — a dry definition for something so wet with emotion.
Perhaps Obama’s offer is motivated by the fact Obamacare seems to have less leverage than a decade-old facelift now the courts have it under a stethoscope.
By the way, Obama also cleverly threw Mitt Romney under a bus of Republicans.

“In fact, I agree with Mitt Romney, who recently said he’s proud of what he accomplished on health care in Massachusetts and supports giving states the power to determine their own health care solutions,” Obama said.
The president, of course, realizes that the Massachusetts health care plan Romney signed into law when he was governor there is considered a worse liability than an outbreak of boils and carbuncles among Republican voters.

Cries to burn Anne Hathaway and James Franco at the stake are a bit over the top

While the rest of the world chews its fingernails over what’s happening in Libya and Wisconsin and at the NFL Combine while wondering whether the Phillies’ Four Aces will actually go undefeated and unscored upon this season, Hollywood indulged itself once again last night with the Academy Awards.

And now that last night has morphed into today, everybody is picking on co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco for being young and cutesy and for not being Bob Hope and Billy Crystal. And for not volunteering to fight in Afghanistan.

How cruel the world is.

As for me, I was surprised that Colin Firth didn’t stammer his way through his thank you’s after winning best actor for The King’s Speech. And delighted that Melissa Leo dropped the F-bomb after winning best supporting actress for The Fighter. At least Leo didn’t drop 94-year-old stroke victim Kirk Douglas with a left hook. Was it just me, but does it look as if Kirk has aged a day or two since he starred in Spartacus and The Vikings?

Other big winners were The King’s Speech for best picture, Natalie Portman for best actress for Black Swan and Christian Bale for best supporting actor for The Fighter.

The King’s Speech is an excellent movie, but not in the same league as Animal House or Caddyshack or Christmas Vacation. Portman looks superhot even when pregnant and not on her toes. Bale won the hearts of husbands everywhere for apparently forgetting his wife’s name.

Speaking of names, you would think Hollywood could have come up with a sexier name than Oscar. Even plumbers and mechanics aren’t named Oscar anymore.

Now back to Libya and Wisconsin, sports fans.

Mickey Mouse instead of Mighty Mouse: Obama needed to be a tire-squealing, rubber-burning, nitro-fueled strategist in dealing with the seismic Arabic earthquake

President Obama hardly has been John Wayne — or even George W. Bush — in dealing with the Arabic political upheaval.

While Obama has spoken with a number of world leaders recently on the tumult engulfing Libya and finally has said our options include the imposition of a no-fly zone over Gaddafi’s former playground or military action, he has come across as a naive pipsqueak.

Ever since the Mideast started coming apart at the seams, Obama and his aides have been clueless and unprepared. No wonder they soon dissolved into powerlessness like a lump of sugar in tea.

Presidents go through more crises than toilet paper. So deal with them. Global events never will be smoother than the top of a Formica table. Just read a history book.

Anything would have been better than the precious little he has done. Hell, a good start would have been to hire David Copperfield to make the whole Middle East disappear. Except for the oil, mind you.

Relying on the equally impotent U.N. Security Council and its puny talk about an arms embargo and financial sanctions? C’mon, man.

Perhaps Obama has had a timid tongue because of his fear of reprisal against Americans in Libya. A ferry carrying hundreds of Americans and other evacuees finally sailed from Libya today.

Obama had said our highest priority was the safety of Americans in Libya. Granted, that is an important priority. But our highest priority is to defend and advance the core foreign policy interests of the United States. The passivity of the Obama administration regarding Libya has damaged America’s interests and standing around the world.

What happened to the Uncle Sam who wasn’t afraid to stick sharp things in the eyes of the bad guys?

The mere presence of Americans in a foreign country in turmoil has become an excuse for inaction. Our diplomats and our citizens traveling abroad have become de facto hostages to the government of any state in which they work or visit.

Hopefully there are no Americans in the Amazon, just in case the Tupi tribesmen get out of line.

Obama needed to be robust and take a discernible position in the crucial and formative days in which revolutions are decided. Instead, he has been more feeble than a 96-year-old in a walker climbing the Matterhorn.

When the spit hit the fan in the Mideast and especially in Libya, a more proactive U.S. president would have tried to influence the situation with a vocal defense of liberty, support for governments that enjoy the consent of the governed, a forceful condemnation of the crimes Gaddafi is perpetrating against his people, a dispatch of more naval assets to the Mediterranean, and an order to the Treasury to freeze the assets of the Libyan government and the Gaddafi family.

Of course, such actions would not have been without risk or cost. But they would have put the United States squarely on the side of an oppressed people against a terrorist-friendly dictator. And would have applied a tourniquet to the hemorrhage.

George W. Bush eyed as target in alleged plot by Saudi student

I don’t know a whole lot about Islam, except that some of its disciples like to play with explosives like some Americans like to play with matches.

Oh, yeah … I also recall that famous phrase: If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain.

That phrase resonated in my memory like lemons in a slot machine today when I learned that the FBI has arrested a Saudi national studying in Texas for allegedly plotting to use a weapon of mass destruction and for possibly targeting former President George W. Bush.

Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, a 20-year-old college student in Lubbock, is accused of amassing chemicals and materials to make an improvised explosive device. He may have been targeting the Dallas home of Bush, the Justice Department said, and had also researched nuclear power plants and hydroelectric dams.

I guess in his college studies Aldawsari learned that Bush couldn’t find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq after swearing on a stack of Bibles (not Korans) that they were there.
Of course, we Americans are as dumb as ashtrays. Aldawsari was one of 10,000 Saudi students granted student visas in 2008. The number of Saudi students approved for entry into the United States has jumped more than fourfold since 15 young Saudis helped carry out the 9/11 attacks on the United States.Go figure.

The eccentric Gaddafi fingers bin Laden and hallucinogenic drugs for fomenting unrest and also gives an unsolicited plug for Nescafe

Muammar Gaddafi, for decades insulated as though he were a hothouse orchid, now finds himself in a septic situation. Craggy from the sun, he’s now dying in the sun as revolution breaks through like a baby chick through the shell of Libya.
Gaddafi, clinging like a spider to whatever power he has left, is gone as an expired breath. In the interim, he continues to rant on with his lunacy on state TV. At this rate, his TV appearances soon may rival Jersey Shore for insanity.
Today Gaddafi blamed the sand-churning uprising on hallucinogenic drugs and Osama bin Laden, declaring that the unrest is being carried out by “young men hopped up on hallucinogenic pills given to them in their coffee with milk, like Nescafe.”
If Gaddafi somehow escapes this mess alive, and the Vegas oddsmakers have him a huge underdog to do so, his next gig could be as a Mick Jagger impersonator.

Obama says DOMA is unconstitutional; same-sex marriages likely to multiply like locusts

A lot of gays suddenly are making wedding plans, thanks to President Obama.
Obama believes the Defense of Marriage Act, more commonly known as DOMA, is unconstitutional and will no longer defend the 15-year-old law in federal court, the Justice Department announced today.
DOMA, signed by President Clinton in 1995, allows states not to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and provides a federal definition for marriage that exempts same-sex couples.
I guess Uncle Sam now wants everybody to have the right to have white rice thrown at them and the 50-50 chance to later get divorced.
Actually, I don’t know who’s more excited today — gay rights activists, bridal planners, wedding reception venues or divorce lawyers.

Obama’s stunning decision means that the administration will withdraw its defense of ongoing suits in two federal appeals circuits and will leave it to Congress to defend the law against those challenges. It will remain a party to the lawsuits.
Of course, now for the fine print: The law itself remains in effect. Still, today’s announcement batters the law with a couple of Nunchucks.
Attorney General Eric Holder said that Obama had decided to subject classifications based on sexual orientation to a “more heightened standard of scrutiny.” That means that the federal government no longer believes that there is a “rational basis” for discriminating against gays.
Of course, now the parents of gays no longer will be systemically excluded from paying big bucks for big weddings.

Two-faced? GOP governors hate Obamacare but love its health care grants. You be the judge

Granted, politics often evolves into a dark Shakespearian drama with labyrinthine plot twists and tragedies. But nobody can accuse the Obama administration of being serpentine with its with health care grants.
The Obama administration today issued more than $45 million in new grants to various states for the implementation of the president’s health care law — some of which went to governors hostile both to the White House and the law itself.
The states that requested and were granted money include Florida ($4.2 million), whose governor, Rick Scott, has been an outspoken critique of the president’s health care package; Mississippi ($1.3 million), whose governor, Haley Barbour, is a potential 2012 candidate; and Minnesota ($13.4 million), whose former governor, potential presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty, has challenged health care’s constitutionality.
Ah, hypocrisy has a musty scent, does it not?
Of course, I guess these states would have been a bunch of lint-brains for not taking the money. After all, if you can have it both ways, why not? Sort of like getting trim and muscular while training on a diet of Haagen-Dazs.
And we all know that Scott, Barbour and Pawlenty are so cool they don’t even have belly-button lint, let alone dried saliva on the corners of their mouths.

The smartphone has become mightier than the sword. Just ask Gaddafi

Muammar Gaddafi, besides having one of the world’s dumbest names, seemingly has ruled Libya with an iron fist since the days of the Crusades.
But the Quirky Dictator is getting swept away like a beach chair in the tsunami that is drowning Middle East dictators. Tunisia, Egypt and now Libya all are changing Broadway dramatically as a skyrocketing youth population is revolting against high unemployment, anemic economic growth, corrupt political systems and sand in their iced tea.
When big guys go down, they go down in a heap. And Gaddafi is going down with guns blazing as his hired guns are firing at civilians from moving cars and shooting at the facades of homes.
Gaddafi works over his people with a tire iron and will keep swinging it until they rip it out of his blood-soaked hands.
And that time is near. Deep cracks opened in his regime today, with Libyan government officials at home and abroad resigning, air force pilots defecting and Gaddafi sending out his resume.
We used to make fun of computer geeks. But now social media and pimply faced kids on Facebook have become a synchronous, steamrollering force.

Wisconsin lawmakers laying down an eerie Barry McGuire Eve of Destruction cover

Seems as if they have a brewing civil war to stave in Wisconsin, of all places.
And just when did Wisconsin become whacko and up to its eyeballs in red-eyed hatred?
Indeed, Wisconsin has been a shambling, neurological wreck all week.

As hundreds flocked to the Wisconsin Capitol for the fifth day in a row today, a few people were noticeably absent: the state’s Democratic senators.
For the second day in a row, Democrats did not show up to work to delay a vote on Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to cut the pay and benefits of public employees and strip unions’ ability to bargain with the government.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) said he asked Walker to send two state troopers to Democratic leader Mark Miller’s home. However, it wasn’t certain that Miller was home.
State Sen. Robert Jauch, speaking via cell phone today to a Washington Post reporter, declined to say where he and his fellow Democrats were hiding out.
“We’re in the Land of Lincoln,” he said.
Jauch said the group “stopped by” the Best Western in Rockford, Ill., Thursday but spent the night at a different hotel. A woman at the hotel’s front desk said today that the group had not been there since Thursday.
With Democrats saying they won’t return before Saturday, it was unclear when the Senate would be able to begin debating Walker’s measure meant to ease the state’s budget woes.
Whatever the outcome, politics and economics have swiveled Wisconsin’s head and rendered it supine.

When it comes to granting your wishes, I'm all ears!

Some of you thought I was harsher than Genghis Khan with a hangover when I poked fun at Chris Christie’s girth yesterday after I discovered he’s a tad plumper than a supermodel.

And some of you requested equal time for Barack Obama’s ears.

So, my friends, here’s an earful just for you: The president’s ear are big enough to dance a Bulgarian polka on. In fact, almost Reaganesque.