Oh my. France eyes possible ban of Muslim dress

PARIS – France wants to study the small but growing trend of women wearing burqas, with an eye to possibly banning the head-to-toe Islamic garment from being worn in public.

Government spokesman Luc Chatel told France-2 TV that the government would seek to set up a parliamentary commission that could propose legislation aimed at barring Muslim women from wearing the burqa and other fully covering gowns outside the home.

“If we find that use of the burqa was very clearly imposed (on women) . . . we would draw the appropriate conclusions,” Chatel said. Asked whether that could mean legislation banning the burqa in France, he responded, “Why not?”

What woman in her right mind would wear a burqa by her own volition?

KFCs may burn for this.

Could Obama’s “sweeping health care reform” go down in flames?

One can only HOPE.

President Obama’s campaign for health care reform by this fall, once considered highly likely to succeed, suddenly appears in real jeopardy.

And those business groups that Obama claimed to have squarely in his corner?  Not so much.
Business groups, which had embraced the idea of reform and have been meeting quietly with Democrats for months in an effort to shape the legislation, now talk of spending millions of dollars to oppose the latest proposals out of Capitol Hill. And Democrats themselves are not united, with leading party figures making contradictory declarations about how far they should go to overhaul the system when deficits are soaring and prospects for an economic recovery remain cloudy.
The Democrats have given up on getting any substantial Republican support.
And top Democratic officials tell POLITICO they are increasingly pessimistic about getting any more Republican votes than they did on the stimulus package, with some aides referring to the idea of a bipartisan bill as “fool’s gold” — an unattainable waste of time.
It certainly didn’t help their cause when the CBO released their report that it would cost $1 TRILLION over 10 years to cover only 16 of the 50 million uninsured.
Add the devastating poll numbers with regards to the deficit to the equation and it the situation looks even more bleak for Obama.
It is way too soon to celebrate, but this certainly is encouraging news.

Bombastic Barney was a junket junkie in 2008

Looks like Barney Frank and John Tierney created quite the carbon footprints with all of those free trips last year.

The congressional crackdown on special interest junkets hasn’t grounded Bay State Democrats who continue to rack up frequent flier miles with trips around the globe for them and their staff members.

U.S. Rep. John Tierney (D-Salem) had his passport stamped the most, taking a $16,000 trip to Jordan for a conference on Islam in February and a $9,000 jaunt to Paris in August 2008. The tabs for both were paid by the nonpartisan think tank Aspen Institute.

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Newton), meanwhile, took $6,500 in free trips in 2008, traveling to conferences in New York and Chicago and to Hollywood to appear as a guest on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” The show picked up his $1,998 tab.

But Frank defended his trips, saying, “None of them are vacations. Every one of those relates to the job I’m supposed to do. They were all things I did because they advanced the kinds of causes I’m in politics to advance.”

“Shows like Bill Maher are very useful,” he said. “It’s not just entertainment. I think it’s a very valuable public resource. Plus, there’s nothing they want from me, so there’s no quid pro quo.”

They should pay him to stay off the air if you ask me.

Kennedy health care exempts members of congress and federal employees

Shocka!

Last September Sen. Barack Obama promised that under his health-care proposal “you’ll be able to get the same kind of coverage that members of Congress give themselves.” On Monday, President Obama repeated that promise in a speech to the American Medical Association. It’s not true.

The president is barnstorming the nation, urging swift approval of legislation that is taking shape in Congress. This legislation — the Affordable Health Choices Act that’s being drafted by Sen. Edward Kennedy’s staff and the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee — will push Americans into stingy insurance plans with tight, HMO-style controls. It specifically exempts members of Congress (along with federal employees; the exemptions are in section 3116).

Members of Congress “enjoy the widest selection of health plans in the country,” according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. They “can choose from among consumer-driven and high deductible plans that offer catastrophic risk protection with higher deductibles, health saving/reimbursable accounts and lower premiums, or fee-for-service (FFS) plans, and their preferred provider organizations (PPO), or health maintenance organizations (HMO).” These choices would be nice for all of us, but they’re not in the offing. Instead, if you don’t enroll in a “qualified” health plan and submit proof of enrollment to the federal government, you’ll be tracked down and fined (sections 3101 and 6055).

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that Kennedy’s MedFlight helicopter ride from Cape Cod to Mass General, his diagnostic testing, his treatment at Duke and his continuing care would not be covered under the plan he intends to force Americans into purchasing.

Iran’s Supreme Leader calls election fair, warns protesters

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, angrily warned opposition leaders Friday to stay off the streets and denied opposition claims that last week’s disputed election was rigged, praising the ballot as an “epic moment that became a historic moment.”

In a stern and lengthy sermon at Friday prayers in Tehran, he also called directly for an end to the protests that have brought hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the streets to back demands for a new election.

“Street challenge is not acceptable,” he said. “This is challenging democracy after the elections.”

And what would a speech by the Supreme Leader be without mentioning eeeevil Zionists?

He blamed “media belonging to Zionists, evil media” for seeking to show divisions between those who supported the Iranian state and those who did not.

Although Ahmadinejad offered a lame apology for his “dust” comment in reference to the protesters, his goon squads are not letting up.

“I only addressed those who made riot, set fires and attacked people. Every single Iranian is valuable. The government is at everyone’s service. We like everyone.

And this is how we show it.

With the other hand, the government continued to arrest prominent reformers, limit Internet access and pressure reporters to stay off the streets, and security officials signaled their waning tolerance.

What does this all mean?  I fear protesters will now be seen as enemies of the government and  the police will ramp up their bloody crackdown.