Friday, June 11, 2010

Political Digest June 11, 2010

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree with every—or any—opinion in the posted article. It also doesn’t mean that I don’t agree with them. I have to say all this to give some of my critics the benefit of the doubt, assuming they are thick, rather than deliberately taking things the wrong way.

Important: U.S. and BP slow to accept Dutch expertise

Okay, I’ve felt that BO was getting more blame than he deserved for the oil spill, though it was a kind of rough justice for him piling on Bush for Katerina. But this—this is the incompetence of arrogance! Excerpt: Three days after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico, the Dutch government offered to help. It was willing to provide ships outfitted with oil-skimming booms, and it proposed a plan for building sand barriers to protect sensitive marshlands. The response from the Obama administration and BP, which are coordinating the cleanup: “The embassy got a nice letter from the administration that said, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,'” said Geert Visser, consul general for the Netherlands in Houston. Now, almost seven weeks later, as the oil spewing from the battered well spreads across the Gulf and soils pristine beaches and coastline, BP and our government have reconsidered. U.S. ships are being outfitted this week with four pairs of the skimming booms airlifted from the Netherlands and should be deployed within days. Each pair can process 5 million gallons of water a day, removing 20,000 tons of oil and sludge. At that rate, how much more oil could have been removed from the Gulf during the past month?

How the White House is Making Oil Recovery Harder

Excerpt: Five weeks ago Escambia County officials requested permission from the Mobile Unified Command Center to use a sand skimmer, a device pulled behind a tractor that removes oil and tar from the top three feet of sand, to help clean up Pensacola’s beaches. County officials still haven’t heard anything back. Santa Rosa Island Authority Buck Lee told The Daily Caller why: “Escambia County sends a request to the Mobile, Ala., Unified Command Center. Then, it’s reviewed by BP, the federal government, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard. If they don’t like it, they don’t tell us anything.” Keeping local governments in the dark is just one reason why the frustration of residents in the Gulf is so palpable. State and local governments know their geography, people, economic impacts and needs far better than the federal government does. Contrary to popular belief, the federal government has actually been playing a bigger and bigger role in running natural disaster responses. And as Heritage fellow Matt Mayer has documented, the results have gotten worse, not better

I’m Tired

Had an e-mail today from a friend saying this had been read on Dennis Miller’s show. Hope he didn’t attribute it to the guy on CSI!

The Limits of Liberalism: The dangers of ideological confusion

Excerpt: How is it possible that the most liberal president in the history of the United States could join in the blood-letting against the only secular democracy in the Mideast? Indeed, as far back as last September, former Commentary editor Norman Podhoretz articulated the ample reasons for questioning Barack Obama's moral compass. But now, after the president's rush to judgment against Israel with the rest of the left-leaning world, common sense demands an evaluation not only of his morality but of the ideology that compels him to rationalize his indefensible conclusions. In my recent article; The real reason why Jews are liberals, I argued that the values of social justice taught by Torah Judaism have been distorted in pursuit of an unattainable utopian ideal. In its passion for protecting the weak, the poor, and the oppressed, modern liberalism has exchanged moral clarity for kneejerk reactionism. Zero-tolerance has become a value in itself, eliminating all efforts to distinguish aggressors from defenders and perpetrators from victims. All violence is motivated by desperation, never by evil (which is only a relative value anyway). Free will is an illusion, as all behavior evolves organically from social conditions and conditioning. In the end, moral confusion has begotten moral blindness.

Good article: A Primer on Situational Awareness

Excerpt: The world is a wonderful place, but it can also be a dangerous one. In almost every corner of the globe militants of some political persuasion are plotting terror attacks — and these attacks can happen in London or New York, not just in Peshawar or Baghdad. Meanwhile, criminals operate wherever there are people, seeking to steal, rape, kidnap or kill. Regardless of the threat, it is very important to recognize that criminal and terrorist attacks do not materialize out of thin air. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Criminals and terrorists follow a process when planning their actions, and this process has several distinct steps. This process has traditionally been referred to as the “terrorist attack cycle,” but if one looks at the issue thoughtfully, it becomes apparent that the same steps apply to nearly all crimes. Of course, there will be more time between steps in a complex crime like a kidnapping or car bombing than there will be between steps in a simple crime such as purse-snatching or shoplifting, where the steps can be completed quite rapidly. Nevertheless, the same steps are usually followed. People who practice situational awareness can often spot this planning process as it unfolds and then take appropriate steps to avoid the dangerous situation or prevent it from happening altogether. Because of this, situational awareness is one of the key building blocks of effective personal security — and when exercised by large numbers of people, it can also be an important facet of national security. Since situational awareness is so important, and because we discuss situational awareness so frequently in our analyses, we thought it would be helpful to discuss the subject in detail and provide a primer that can be used by people in all sorts of situations.

Obama and Economics: Intellectually Clueless

Paging Dr. Sowell. Excerpt: Congress is now considering yet another "stimulus" package. But did the administration's previous one work? Of the $787 billion stimulus package, President Obama said it would "save or create" 3.5 million new jobs. Has it? The National Association for Business Economics polled 68 private-sector members. Seventy-three percent said the employment at their companies was neither higher nor lower as a result of the stimulus package. What about the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office? A February 2009 Washington Times article said: "President Obama's economic recovery package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if he were to do nothing, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. "CBO, the official scorekeepers for legislation, said the House and Senate bills will help in the short term but result in so much government debt that within a few years they would crowd out private investment, actually leading to a lower Gross Domestic Product over the next 10 years than if the government had done nothing." What do normal, regular, real-world people think? In December 2009, a Rasmussen poll asked likely voters whether the "stimulus" helped, hurt or did nothing.

Old White Guy vs. GOP Woman

Excerpt: So much for the undeserved stereotype of California Republicans voting lemming-like for the most conservative, unelectable contenders. Tuesday, GOP voters rejected the most conservative candidates in favor of moderate hopefuls generally deemed to be more likely to win in November.

FBI: Mexicans chased away US agents after shooting

Controlling our side of the border! Excerpt: Pointing their rifles, Mexican security forces chased away U.S. authorities investigating the shooting of a 15-year-old Mexican by a U.S. Border Patrol agent on the banks of the Rio Grande, the FBI and witnesses told The Associated Press on Wednesday. The killing of the Mexican by U.S. authorities — the second in less than two weeks — has exposed the distrust between the two countries that lies just below the surface, and has enraged Mexicans who see the death of the boy on Mexican soil as an act of murder. Mexico's government says the number of Mexicans injured by U.S. immigration authorities has increased this year. Shortly after the boy was shot, Mexican soldiers arrived at the scene and pointed their guns at the Border Patrol agents across the riverbank while bystanders screamed insults and hurled rocks and firecrackers, FBI spokeswoman Andrea Simmons said. She said the agents were forced to withdraw. "It pretty quickly got very intense over on the Mexican side," she said, adding that FBI agents showed up later and resumed the investigation, even as Mexican authorities pointed guns at them from across the river.

Border Security Isn't Just a Border State Problem, It's a United States Problem

Can’t arrest the drug cartel thugs—that would be profiling. Better your family should be murdered. Excerpt: Just last year, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before a Senate panel that Mexican drug cartels were operating in as many as 230 American cities. During her testimony, she claimed that cartels are the greatest organized crime threat to the United States. The federal government’s refusal to secure the border has enabled Mexican cartels to operate across America. In April, a North Carolina DEA special agent reported that Mexican drug organizations have taken over most of the Charlotte heroin market. At the same time in Oregon, about a dozen armed marijuana growers were caught working for a Mexican drug family. Last December, Salvador Guzman, a member of a Mexico-based cartel, imported and concealed kilograms of cocaine in the drive shaft of vehicles. He transported the drugs to the Midwest, dismantled the drive shafts, extracted the cocaine and delivered it to customers in Ohio and Tennessee.

Definition: Stalking n.

The crime of impersonating a journalist, for whom such behavior is legal.

General: Kandahar operation will take longer

Gee, it’s a mystery to me why the locals wouldn’t support us. Of course, President Wobbly said we are going home next summer, win, lose or draw, and the locals know that if they support us, next summer the Taliban will be back and cut their throats. But that couldn’t be it, or BO wouldn’t have said that, brilliant strategist that he is. Excerpt: McChrystal said it was taking longer than anticipated to gain the blessing of local tribal leaders -- and Kandaharis in general -- for the operation. He also said commanders needed more time to ensure that Afghan government could step in after the fighting stops and provide effective public services, something that has been lacking in Kandahar for years. "When you go to protect people, the people have to want you to protect them," McChrystal told reporters. "It's a deliberate process. It takes time to convince people."

Climate change showdown

You see, it’s not about the environment, or the growing majority of Americans who think AGW is a scam, or the damage to our economy. It’s not about the increasing number of scientists willing to risk having their careers trashed by the warmists by speaking out, or about the revelations of corruption of the science and suppression of evidence. It’s all about protecting BO’s reputation and avoiding a rebuke to his wonderfulness. Excerpt: Democratic leaders are scrambling to prevent the Senate from delivering a stinging slap to President Barack Obama on climate change. They have offered a vote on a bill they dislike in the hopes of avoiding a loss on legislation Obama hates. The president is threatening to veto a resolution from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) that would ban the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating carbon emissions. But if the president were forced to use his veto to prevent legislation emerging from a Congress in which his own party enjoys substantial majorities, it would be a humiliation for him and for Democrats on Capitol Hill.

S.C. Dems ask Senate nominee to withdraw after felony charge

Shouldn’t be a problem for Democrats. Surprised they are concerned. In Chicago felony charges are expected, though here it’s money more than porn. Excerpt: Less than 24 hours after Alvin Greene’s surprise win in the South Carolina Democratic Senate primary, the state party has asked him to withdraw from the race because of a pending felony charge. “Today I spoke with Alvin Greene, the presumptive Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, and asked him to withdraw from the race,” Carol Fowler, chairwoman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, said in a statement. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Greene is facing felony charges for displaying pornographic pictures to a University of South Carolina student.

Clyburn says S.C. Dem Senate candidate a 'plant;' calls for probe

If Republicans put him in, they are as stupid as the Democrat voters who voted for this guy. In 1972, the Democrat senator put a straw candidate in the primary against me. Guy was so dumb, I don’t think he knew it, though the rest of his family, including an uncle with interesting rumored connections and the lottery claims license for his city, was backing the incumbent. I just ignored him, and when I crushed him in the primary, it gave my candidacy credibility. One of the blunders the incumbent made that got me in the senate—by nine votes. Excerpt: The man nominated as Democrats' candidate for Senate in South Carolina might have been a "plant," a high-ranking Democrat suggested Thursday. House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) called on the U.S. attorney's office in South Carolina to investigate the circumstances that led to Alvin Greene winning the Democratic Senate primary in his state earlier this week. "There were some real shenanigans going on in the South Carolina primary," Clyburn said during an appearance on the liberal Bill Press radio show. "I don't know if he was a Republican plant; he was someone's plant."

A new beginning for the administration's long faltering Sudan policy

Why unbelievable? Excerpt: BBC reported yesterday that roughly 600 people were killed in Darfur in May--a new high since peacekeepers were deployed in 2008. Additional thousands have fled their homes. Against this backdrop, an internationally indicted war criminal was inaugurated as president of Sudan. Unbelievably the Obama administration sent a U.S. government representative to the ceremony, thereby conferring a sense of legitimacy on Bashir’s genocidal rule. Leading Sudan advocacy groups expressed their dismay. Enough’s John Prendergast said: “The administration missed an opportunity to build leverage and lead by example…Getting nothing in return for this reversal of long-standing U.S. policy is baffling and ineffective diplomacy."

That’s where the money is

Excerpt: Borrowing heavily from a principle first employed by Willie Sutton, an infamous bank robber, Senate Democrats are pushing through an obscure tax provision that will accomplish pretty much the same goal: Stealing money from productive members of society because that is where the money is. The provision is called carried interest, and it is targeted at people who do their business primarily through business partnerships. I am not in any way an expert on tax law. It makes my head spin. The tax code is so intricate, so finely detailed, so built for those who can afford to hire tax attorneys, that for most normal people it is well beyond comprehension. That is why I turn to smart guys like Doug Holtz-Eakin, the former Congressional Budget Office director, to help me make sense of what politicians are trying to do take more money away from taxpayers. And Doug has put together an illuminating paper on the unintended consequences (or perhaps intended consequences; I can never tell with these Democrats) of the new carried interest tax proposal being debated as part of a tax extenders bill that is on the floor of the Senate. The impact on the economy is most likely going to be negative. Most who are in partnerships now will likely hire lawyers who will find ways to do business without being subject to this new tax. The money that investment and real estate firms should be putting back into investments in new ideas or products or by buying new real estate or building new buildings instead will be spent on lawyers who will try to find ways to avoid paying the new tax. Instead of hiring workers to build things, this new tax will inspire the hiring of lawyers to the impact of the law. (Yes, I know Slick Willie Sutton probably didn’t say that and the reporter made it up.)

Did Harry Reid get a softball opponent?

The candidate who led Reid by the largest margin in the polls finished last. Conservative who would rather have liberals in charge than be the slightest bit impure, get liberals in charge. Excerpt: Harry Reid is looking at life from a whole new Angle. Only weeks ago, the Senate majority leader was a dead man walking, facing a seemingly inevitable defeat in his reelection battle in Nevada. But then came Tuesday's primary, and Republicans selected as their candidate Sharron Angle, a woman who, among other things, favors bringing more nuclear waste to Nevada, floated the idea of outlawing alcohol, and wants to abolish the Education Department, the Energy Department, the EPA, the United Nations and most of the IRS. She's not so keen on Social Security, Medicare or unemployment insurance, either. That would explain the uncharacteristic smile on Reid's face as he opened Wednesday morning's Senate session. Instead of his usual stemwinder denouncing the obstructionist minority, he engaged his Republican counterpart, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, in a celebration of the national pastime.

The Fix on Reid

Excerpt: While Reid's initial commercials may well focus on telling his story, it's a near-certainty that he (or his allies) will turn their attention to defining Angle as outside of the mainstream in short order. What's less clear is whether Reid -- and his $9 million bank account -- will carry the negative message or whether it will be farmed out to an allied group; in the Republican primary, Patriot Majority, a Democratic-tilting independent organization, spent nearly $500,000 on ads that hammered former state party chairwoman Sue Lowden in a (successful) attempt to keep her from the GOP nod. Polling conducted just prior to Tuesday's primary showed Angle at 44 percent to Reid's 41 percent but the Reid forces are confident that Angle was the weakest of the three serious Republicans in the race.

Why Small Businesses Aren't Embracing Reform

Excerpt: As the health reform debate grew increasingly rancorous last year, both political parties sought support from the nation's millions of small businesses, an influential sector that represents 99.7% of U.S. employers and, in California, provides more than half of the state's jobs. Republicans stressed that the reform would force small businesses to grapple with new uncertainty and "job-killing employer mandates." Meanwhile, Democrats and the Obama administration touted their legislation as a salve for employers' rising health costs, with small businesses often spending more on plan administration and their employees paying health plan premiums up to 18% higher than their counterparts working for larger businesses. Since the law's passage, the White House has organized several high-profile events focusing on immediate benefits for small businesses. Yet, rather than champion reform, many small businesses have expressed skepticism or outright oppose the new law, contending that its provisions are insufficient in the face of sudden rate hikes and have created additional challenges

Barack Obama's attacks on BP hurting British pensioners

They don’t vote here, they don’t pay dues to the SEIU and their country was the colonial power in Kenya. Why should he care about them? The real lesson is that these big companies (banks, oil, Wal-Mart) the left loves to attack are owned in our retirement funds by a lot of us. Excerpt: City investors said the president was jeopardising the pensions of millions with his "excessive" criticism of the energy company following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Before the accident on April 20, BP was Britain's biggest company, with a stock market value of £122 billion. Since then, £49 billion has been wiped off its value. On Wednesday, BP's share price fell a further 17.35p to 391.55p – representing a 40 per cent drop on the 655p price of a share two months ago. Experts have said that the clean-up costs of the oil spill will run to between £10 billion and £20 billion but the biggest cost to the company is from investors dumping stock for fear of BP being further punished by the US Government. Those fears have been heightened by Mr Obama's increasingly aggressive rhetoric towards BP, which some investors see as an attempt to deflect criticism of his own handling of the crisis. Last month, a White House spokesman said the President's job was to keep his "boot on the throat" of the company. In the past week, Mr Obama, who insists on referring to BP by its former name British Petroleum, has suggested that its chief executive, Tony Hayward, would have been sacked if he worked for him. BP's position at the top of the London Stock Exchange and its previous reliability have made it a bedrock of almost every pension fund in the country, meaning its value is crucial to millions of workers. The firm's dividend payments, which amount to more than £7 billion a year, account for £1 in every £6 paid out in dividends to British pension pots.

ObamaCare Forcing Medical Device Worker Lay-Offs

The destruction goes on. Excerpt: A 2.3 percent excise tax on companies that supply medical devices like heart defibrillators and surgical tools to hospitals, health centers and ambulance services will cost medical device manufacturers an estimated $20 billion in new taxes over the next decade. And they say that will force them to lay off workers and curb the research and development of new medical tools. “Many small to midsize medical device companies will owe more to the federal government in taxes than they make in profits,” said Mark Leahy of the Medical Device Manufacturers Association. “We’re talking about a 2.3 percent tax on total sales irrespective of whether a company is making a profit.”

Where Are the Gitmo Goatherds?

They didn’t say goatherds. They said goat…never mind. Excerpt: For years the left has spun the myth that hundreds of Guantanamo detainees are really innocent goatherds and dirt farmers wrongly swept up in the war on terror. In an interview last year, Admiral A.T. Church III--the former Navy inspector general who investigated detainee treatment Guantanamo--told me this charge was "bull crap." As Church put it, "There may have been a couple of those, but most of these guys would slit your throat in a second. Most of them are very dangerous guys." Now an official investigation conducted by the Obama administration--and unanimously approved by departments of Defense, State, Justice and Homeland Security, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence--has concluded that Church was right.

The five nastiest South Carolina races ever

Excerpt: 2000 Republican presidential primary: When Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) crushed then Texas Gov. George W. Bush in the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 1, it was clear that the three weeks between that vote and the Feb. 22 South Carolina primary would almost certainly decide the race. With stakes so high, the full nastiness of Palmetto State politics was in display. The most memorable -- in a negative way -- attack of that campaign was that McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child, a message driven through a series of push phone calls made to likely primary voters in the state. (The truth? McCain and his wife, Cindy, had adopted a child from Bangladesh years before.) The level of vitriol was so high on both sides that following Bush's win -- a victory that all-but-sealed the nomination for him), McCain gave an angry speech a week later decrying the "agents of intolerance" with whom Bush had aligned himself. The rift caused by the South Carolina primary took the better part of the next four years to heal and for some senior staff the wound never has fully closed.

AZ Teens learn harsh truth: Prayer disallowed in Obama’s Washington’s-washington/

Huh. I haven’t verified, so may be a net exaggeration. But if not, they should have said they were thinking about porn, and their thoughts would have been protected. Excerpt: Wickenburg Christian Academy students had a rude awakening and a lesson they will not soon forget during a recent trip to Washington, D.C. when they, three parents and a teacher traveled to our nation’s Capitol on a Christian Discoveries study tour. The Arizona students were asked to leave the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court because they were standing in a circle, heads bowed, praying. On May 5, 2010, they participated in Capitol Hill Day. The first stop was the front steps of the Supreme Court. After taking a few pictures the group gathered off to the left at the top of the bottom level of steps to pray. Immediately the guard posted there ran down the steps and asked the group to go somewhere else to pray. He tapped teacher Maureen Rigo on the shoulder and said, “Ma’am, I’m not going to tell you that you can’t pray, but you can’t do it here. Please go somewhere else.” She asked, “Since when?” The answer, “This week.” So the group moved to the street level and prayed on the sidewalk instead. Several of the students were visibly shaken by the fact that they were asked to leave simply for praying. The group discussed the difference between “Constitutional rights” and “inalienable rights” and who the authority is for each. The guard was right in saying that he wasn’t going to say that the group couldn’t pray, that is after all, an inalienable right. No one can take away our right to pray.

What Helen Thomas missed

Excerpt: Asked at a White House event if she had any comments about Israel, Thomas said, "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. . . . Go home. Poland. Germany. And America and everywhere else." Well, I don't know about "everywhere else," but after World War II, many Jews did attempt to "go home" to Poland. This resulted in the murder of about 1,500 of them -- killed not by Nazis but by Poles, either out of sheer ethnic hatred or fear they would lose their (stolen) homes. The mini-Holocaust that followed the Holocaust itself is not well-known anymore, but it played an outsize role in the establishment of the state of Israel. It was the plight of Jews consigned to Displaced Persons camps in Europe that both moved and outraged President Harry Truman, who supported Jewish immigration to Palestine and, when the time came, the new state itself. Something had to be done for the Jews of Europe. They were still being murdered. In the Polish city of Kielce, on July 4, 1946 -- more than a year after the end of the war -- rumors of a Jewish ritual murder triggered a pogrom in which 42 Jewish Holocaust survivors were killed. The Kielce murders were not, by any means, the sole example of why Jews could not "go home." When I visited the Polish city where my mother had been born, Ostroleka, I was told of a Jew who survived Auschwitz only to be murdered when he tried to reclaim his business. In much of Eastern Europe, Jews feared for their lives.

The Alien in the White House

Excerpt: The deepening notes of disenchantment with Barack Obama now issuing from commentators across the political spectrum were predictable. So, too, were the charges from some of the president's earliest enthusiasts about his failure to reflect a powerful sense of urgency about the oil spill. There should have been nothing puzzling about his response to anyone who has paid even modest critical attention to Mr. Obama's pronouncements. For it was clear from the first that this president—single-minded, ever-visible, confident in his program for a reformed America saved from darkness by his arrival—was wanting in certain qualities citizens have until now taken for granted in their presidents. Namely, a tone and presence that said: This is the Americans' leader, a man of them, for them, the nation's voice and champion. Mr. Obama wasn't lacking in concern about the oil spill. What he lacked was that voice—and for good reason. Those qualities to be expected in a president were never about rhetoric; Mr. Obama had proved himself a dab hand at that on the campaign trail. They were a matter of identification with the nation and to all that binds its people together in pride and allegiance. These are feelings held deep in American hearts, unvoiced mostly, but unmistakably there and not only on the Fourth of July. A great part of America now understands that this president's sense of identification lies elsewhere, and is in profound ways unlike theirs. He is hard put to sound convincingly like the leader of the nation, because he is, at heart and by instinct, the voice mainly of his ideological class. He is the alien in the White House, a matter having nothing to do with delusions about his birthplace cherished by the demented fringe.

Osama bin Laden and top aides are hiding in Sabzevar, Iran

I’d rate this pretty doubtful. Excerpt: Osama bin Laden's hiding place was pinned down for the first time Monday, June 7, by the Kuwaiti Al-Siyassa Monday, June 7, as the mountainous town of Savzevar in the northeastern Iranian province of Khorasan, 220 km west of Mashhad. He is said to have lived there under Tehran's protection for the last five years, along with Ayman Al-Zawahiri and five other high-ranking al Qaeda leaders.
debkafile's intelligence sources disclosed Monday night that Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan and his intelligence chiefs are well aware that Bin Laden and Zawahiri are hiding in Iran. The leak to the Kuwait paper was intended to show the Obama administration that the Turkish leader's ties with Iran had grown intense enough for him to be fully in the picture of Iran's secret sanctuary for the authors of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

Obama Meets Toto

Excerpt: Two historic events happened in the Gulf of Mexico this spring: Unimaginable amounts of accidental oil rose from a hole one mile below the water's surface. Bigger than that, the federal government was exposed as the Wizard of Oz, unable to do anything about it. In the movie, Dorothy and her friends in Oz admit the Wizard's limits. Not here. After a century of faith in the government's omnipotence, the discipleship can't believe this is happening. As the oil gushed—with the perpetrator a flailing private corporation—the American left popped a gasket. James Carville thundered for presidential "control." Spike Lee demanded that Mr. Obama "go off." The left instead went off on Mr. Obama for not ordering his bureaucracies to make the oil recede. Then this week, like Will Ferrell in a "Saturday Night Live" sketch, the president himself said he was looking for "ass to kick." Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain. This may well be Obama's Katrina, but presidencies come and go. The more lasting lesson of the Gulf fiasco is to discover how belief in the omnipotence of government had risen to the level of mysticism for so many, and not just on the left. Some conservatives joined the do-something chorus to "stop" oil gushing with hellish force from deep inside the earth's core. (Set aside for now the interesting matter of just how vast the reserves of oil actually are down there.)

Jobs report a nightmare for Obama progressivism

Excerpt: Concerning the job numbers from May, one can almost echo Henry James's exclamation after examining letters pertaining to Lord Byron's incest: "Nauseating perhaps, but how quite inexpressibly significant." Except that the May numbers' significance can be expressed: A theory is being nibbled to death by facts. Private-sector job creation almost stopped in May. The 41,000 jobs created were dwarfed by the 411,000 temporary and low-wage government jobs needed to administer the census. Last year's stimulus having failed to hold unemployment below 8 percent as predicted, Barack Obama might advocate another stimulus -- amending Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, which mandates a census every 10 years. If it were every year, he could take credit for creating 564,000 -- the current number of census takers -- permanent jobs. May's 41,000 jobs were one-fifth of the April number and substantially fewer than half the number needed to keep pace with the normal growth of the labor force. This is evidence against the theory that a growing government can be counted on to produce prosperity because a government dollar spent has a reliable multiplier effect as it ripples through the economy from which the government took the dollar. Today's evidence suggesting sluggish job creation might give pause to a less confident person than Obama. But pauses are not in his repertoire of governance. Instead, yielding to what must be a metabolic urge toward statism, he says the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is yet another reason for yet another explosion of government's control of economic life. The spill supposedly makes it urgent to adopt a large tax increase in the form of cap-and-trade energy legislation, which also is climate legislation, the primary purpose of which is, or once was, to combat global warming, such as it is.

Army: Bodies misidentified at Arlington Cemetery

Pretty bad. Excerpt: The Army says at least 200 remains in Arlington National Cemetery may have been misidentified or misplaced, casting a shadow over what has been called America's "sacred ground."

(Democrat)Lawmakers seek to gut ethics office

Republicans should run on this, extract promises of support from Dems. Excerpt: The Office of Congressional Ethics, a powerful symbol of Democrats’ promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington, is in danger of having its power stripped after the midterm elections. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have led the charge, airing complaints about the aggressive, independent panel in a private session with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last month, and they’ve drafted a resolution that, if approved, would severely curtail the panel’s power. But there’s hot competition between the CBC and the official House ethics committee over who has less regard for the Office of Congressional Ethics, also known as the OCE. And the rest of the House doesn’t appear to be far behind in its disdain. Privately, Democratic and Republican lawmakers, and even some congressional leaders, acknowledge that there’s a strong sentiment to change rules that empower the office to publicize investigations and wreak havoc on lawmakers’ political lives. “We might have to take a fresh look, at some point, at the authority of the OCE,” said North Carolina Democratic Rep. G.K. Butterfield, who is a member of both the CBC and the ethics committee.

Afghanistan: Taliban 'hang 7-year-old boy for spying'

Excerpt: Taliban fighters have hanged a seven-year-old boy, claiming he was passing information to foreign soldiers in the volatile southern province of Helmand, the governor's spokesman, Daud Ahmadi, told Pajhwok Afghan News. The child's shocking murder took place in the Sarwan Qala area of Sangin district late on Tuesday. The boy, whose name was not immediately known, was abducted from the village of Heratyan, Ahmadi said.

Suspected Muslim polygamist charged with welfare fraud

Excerpt: A French Muslim man (pictured) has been formally charged Wednesday for taking welfare benefits to which he wasn't entitled only two months after French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux accused him of polygamy.

Election triumph puts anti-Islam Wilders in line for Dutch Cabinet role

A victory for freedom. Excerpt: The Freedom Party of the anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders emerged as the third force in Dutch politics last night, more than doubling its number of seats in Parliament in the country’s general elections. Exit polls predicted that Mr Wilders would command 23 seats, up from 9 — pushing the Christian Democrats, led by the outgoing Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, into fourth place. With the Dutch Labour Party running neck-and-neck with the cost-cutting right-wing Liberal Party (VVD), it was unclear who would form the next government.

Fires and rioting in Stockholm suburb

Bets on the ethnicity of the “youths,” not mentioned in the story? Excerpt: Rioting was reported in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby on Tuesday night as 50-60 youths pelted police with stones and set alight to a building. "It is a war zone out here, it is raining stones", said one witness who wished to remain anonymous to the Metro daily.

Marine Says He Faces Termination for Refusing to Pay Teacher's Union Fee

Excerpt: A retired U.S. Marine who runs a Massachusetts high school's ROTC program says he faces termination if he doesn't pay a $500 union fee by next week, a levy he refuses to pay because he already receives medical and dental benefits from the military.

Maj. Stephen Godin, senior naval science instructor at the Naval Junior ROTC Unit at North High School in Worcester, Mass., told he has been teaching for the Educational Association for Worcester for 15 years -- including 14 at North High School -- without having to join the union or pay an "agency fee" toward the cost of collective bargaining.

Leftist Freak Out Over New Immigration Law Fuels Exodus of Illegal Immigrants From Arizona…

Excerpt: Arizona’s tough new immigration enforcement law is fueling an exodus of Hispanics from the state seven weeks before it goes into effect, according to officials and residents in the state. Though no one has precise figures, reports from school officials, businesses and individuals indicate worried Hispanics — both legal and illegal — are leaving the state in anticipation of the law, which will go into effect July 29.

Chicago Black Hawks win Stanley Cup

In celebration, the politicians here declared today “Double Bribe Day,” and the gang-bangers were shooting their guns in the air instead of at each other and school kids.


  1. TartanMarine:
    You always to manage to find the stories I WANT to read...amazing.
    (hate to see your coffee bill from staying up to GET these stories...LOL)

    Anyway, keep on doing what you IS appreciated by many.

    Have yourself a great weekend.

    Carry On.

  2. Rregarding the debate over immigration and those who denounce the US as a racist nation.

    I'll skip the obvious question - If the US is so awful, why would anyone want to come here.

    Rather, I recall an elderly Hmong woman who was one of my citizenship students once upon a time.

    She was crippled by, and lost much of her family to the "brave, virtuous and generous" communists who overran her home land. She spent years in refugee camps and arrived here penniless. She lost a grandson in Iraq after 9/11.

    She lived in an impoverished and unsafe part of town and probably shared her quarters with rats and other vermin.

    Her motto, however, was "Today is a great day, 'cause I live 'merica."

  3. I love your ending paragraph.

  4. Linked today at Reaganite Republican-

    Have a great weekend