Friday, June 18, 2010

Political Digest June 18, 2010

I post articles because I think they are of interest. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article.

“I’m Tired” in Israeli National News

U.S. government accuses former mortgage executive of multibillion-dollar scam
The proper role of government in a free market is to prevent coercion or fraud. Preventing fraud includes ensuring necessary transparency so people are able to do due diligence in advance. Excerpt: The U.S. government accused the former chairman of one of the nation's largest mortgage firms of a multibillion-dollar scam Wednesday, unveiling what is to date the biggest criminal case related to the crisis that nearly brought down the financial system. The Justice Department accused Lee Bentley Farkas of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker of committing a $1.9 billion fraud against investors and the federal government that led to the demise of his firm and one of the nation's largest regional banks, Colonial Bank in Alabama. But beyond the indictment, federal officials described an even wider scheme, and they said the collateral damage to federal agencies has only begun to be tallied. Taylor Bean allegedly hid how sick it had become, enabling the firm to fraudulently meet government conditions and become one of the largest business partners of the Federal Housing Administration and Ginnie Mae, federal agencies that cover losses suffered by mortgage lenders and their financiers. Federal officials said the scheme caused the two agencies' largest losses ever, totaling at least $3 billion. The officials warned that the final figure could be higher. Taylor Bean's activities could also prove costly to Freddie Mac, which helps finance mortgage lending. Freddie Mac officials have said they could face losses on more than $1 billion in assets that are at risk because of the Taylor Bean and Colonial failures, but they have yet to clarify the ultimate cost. Meanwhile, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. paid out $4 billion from its insurance fund to cover the collapse of Colonial. (I’m for putting him so far away they will need to pipe in sunlight, but I’m a conservative and believe in punishment. Liberals believe the justice system exists to rehabilitate folks. Since no one would hire this guy to clerk in a 7-11, what would they do with him, given that “punishment serves no purpose”?)

A week later, and Greene's Senate nomination is still a mystery for S.C.
A couple of explanations other than dirty tricks have been offered. He had top spot on the ballot, and some blacks say that “Greene” with an “e” sounds black and there were a lot of black voters. But putting a straw candidate in is an old political technique, well practiced in places like Massachusetts, where I had a mystery primary opponent in 1972—a mistake by the incumbent, as it helped me. Excerpt: But ask people here about Alvin Greene, the unexpected Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, and the answer you often get is some variation of this: "Don't know the cat," says Glenn Johnson as he cuts Troy Boulware's hair in his shop on Broad River. His Obama "Hope" posters are still hanging. "First time I ever seen the dude was in a mug shot." "A lot of black folks didn't even know he was in the race," Boulware adds. "They know now," Johnson says. "A lot of white people done started to shine a light on him. Goes to show you, you in the dirty South now."

Arlington National Cemetery headstones found lining stream bed
(…highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain..) Excerpt: Several mud-caked headstones line the banks of a small stream at Arlington National Cemetery, the country's most venerated burial ground. Farther upstream in a wooded area, a few others lie submerged with the rocks that line the stream bed. On Wednesday, after The Washington Post alerted the cemetery to their presence, officials there said they were shocked to find the gravestones lying in the muck near a maintenance yard. Already under fire in recent days for more than 200 unmarked or misidentified graves and a chaotic and dysfunctional management system, cemetery officials vowed to investigate the headstones along the stream and take "immediate corrective action," said Kaitlin Horst, a cemetery spokeswoman. Officials said they do not know how the stones got there, whom they belong to, or how old they are. Horst could say only that "they appear to be decades old."

To fight deficits, France plans to raise minimum retirement age from 60 to 62
Sacré bleu! I’m 64. Is it too late to join the Foreign Legion and move close to Belleau Wood? Doubtless there will be riots, as the entitlement state meets fiscal reality. Coming soon to a statist government near you.

Climate change legislation teetering after setbacks from Oval Office and Congress
Warmist religion meets fiscal reality. Excerpt: Climate change legislation appears dead after two setbacks in quick succession — first from the Oval Office and then from Congress.

Black Caucus defends Rep. Watt amid House ethics controversy
Circle the wagons! Who will come to the aide of the other eight—the pale caucus? Actually, the whole mess sounds like business as usual for both parties in a system that is driven by the need to raise money day in, day out or lose your seat to someone who raises it. Excerpt: Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) on Wednesday defended a colleague who is involved in an ethics controversy. They also expressed concern about how the House Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) is operating, making their case for changes to the lower chamber’s ethics process. CBC lawmakers say Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.), one of eight lawmakers the OCE is scrutinizing information on, has been a leader on ethics-related issues. They say Watt has advised fellow members on legal and ethics matters. “Of all the members of Congress, I know who would not be one of those individuals who would be caught up in anything — it would be Mel Watt,” said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), a member of Watt’s class of 1993.

Most Americans back new Arizona law, Washington Post-ABC News poll finds
Excerpt: Most Americans support the new, controversial Arizona law that gives police there the power to check the residency status of suspected illegal immigrants. But most also still back a program giving those here illegally the right to earn legal documentation, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. (Here’s a path to citizenship I’d support. Learn to read, write and speak English. No criminal record or arrests, not counting INS violations. Serve four years honorably in the US Military. Raise your right hand….)

American Crossroads announces 11 Senate targets
Excerpt: American Crossroads, the conservative independent organization promising to spend upwards of $50 million on races this fall, has settled on 11 targeted Senate contests, according to sources briefed on the group's plans. In each of the 11 races -- in Ohio, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Florida, Illinois and Washington state -- American Crossroads plans to hire a media consultant and pollster tasked with crafting a tailored message. The group's first foray into a race came earlier this week in Nevada when it dropped about $120,000 on a week-long television buy that hits Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on his support for the $787 billion economic stimulus plan.

The Immutable Law of the Potomac
Excerpt: As we have noted before, no program has exceeded its projected costs more egregiously than Medicare. When it was created in 1965, the public was told that its hospital portion would cost a mere $9 billion by 1990. The real cost, though, was $66 billion. For all parts of the Medicare program, the cost was projected to be $12 billion by 1990. Yet it actually cost $107 billion.

Obamacare and its Impact on Doctors
Excerpt: Don’t expect doctors to give the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act a clean bill of health. The act will reinforce the worst features of existing third-party payment arrangements in both the private and public sectors — arrangements that already compromise the professional independence and integrity of the medical profession. Doctors will find themselves subject to more, not less, government regulation and oversight. Moreover, they will become increasingly dependent on unreliable government reimbursement for medical services. Medicare and Medicaid payment, including irrational government payment updates, are preserved (though shaved) and expanded to larger portions of the population. The Act creates even more bureaucracies with authority over the kinds of health benefits, medical treatments and procedures that Americans get through public and private health insurance. The new law provides no serious relief for tort liability. Not surprisingly, various surveys reveal deep dissatisfaction and demoralization among medical professionals. Under the new law, an estimated 18 million of the 34 million who would gain coverage over the next 10 years would be enrolled in Medicaid, a welfare program jointly administered and funded by the federal government and the states. Such a massive Medicaid expansion will displace private health coverage, and expand government control over health care financing and delivery. Physician payments in the major entitlement programs, Medicare and Medicaid, are well below the prevailing rates in the private sector. On average, doctors in Medicare are paid 81 percent of private payment; physicians in Medicaid are paid 56 percent of private payment. Needless to say, today there are sporadic access issues for patients in Medicare, and major access problems for patients in Medicaid.

Chinese Web Censorship
Excerpt: In February the Chinese government unveiled a new round of Internet restrictions. Under the new rules, any individual seeking to start a personal website, such as a blog or photo-sharing page, must apply in person at their local Internet service provider’s offices. Website operators would have to show identification and allow the service provider to take their photo. The materials would then be sent to the government’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The ministry claims the goal of these requirements is to track the spread of digital smut, which is in keeping with a crusade against sexually explicit material that began several years ago. In the summer of 2009, for example, the government asked Google to turn off one of its search engine functions in the hope of blocking access to porn. But critics of the Chinese regime argue that pornography is just an excuse for suppressing online dissent. “The government feels increasingly insecure with their ability to control the Internet,” Xiao Qiang, director of the University of California at Berkeley’s China Internet Project, told the Los Angeles Times. “Therefore more and more policies and controlling practices are aimed at enhancing a self-policing environment.”

NASA warns solar flares from 'huge space storm' will cause devastation
I blame George Bush. He had eight years to move the earth further away and did nothing. I’m sure Obama has been on this from Day one! Excerpt: National power grids could overheat and air travel severely disrupted while electronic items, navigation devices and major satellites could stop working after the Sun reaches its maximum power in a few years. Senior space agency scientists believe the Earth will be hit with unprecedented levels of magnetic energy from solar flares after the Sun wakes “from a deep slumber” sometime around 2013, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. In a new warning, Nasa said the super storm would hit like “a bolt of lightning” and could cause catastrophic consequences for the world’s health, emergency services and national security unless precautions are taken. Scientists believe it could damage everything from emergency services’ systems, hospital equipment, banking systems and air traffic control devices, through to “everyday” items such as home computers, iPods and Sat Navs.

POW commission stalled
See, if they brought any POWs home, they might vote Republican. Excerpt: Congressional Democrats are holding up Obama administration plans to restart the U.S.-Russian joint commission on prisoners of war and servicemen missing in action, a panel that was suspended in 2004 by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The White House National Security Council has been pressing for the commission to resume its efforts to gain access to Russian archives where secret files on the fates of hundreds of missing Americans from wars are believed to be held. A meeting of the U.S. side of the commission was held June 10 on Capitol Hill, but a key member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, was absent, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, has not assigned a Democratic House member to the panel. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, Georgia Republican and the chief of staff for Rep. Sam Johnson, Texas Republican and himself a prisoner of war in Vietnam for seven years, took part.

Vietnam, the Media and Lies
Simple. The media were then, as now, cheering for the enemies of freedom. Excerpt: “There were some worthy, honest, and intelligent reporters in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Dickey Chapelle, Robert Shaplen, Liz Trotta, Peter Braestrup, Hugh Mulligan, Keyes Beech, Neil Davis, Denis Warner, were among those who objectively, and without resort to sensationalism, conveyed elements of truth, parts of the puzzle, to the American public. Their efforts notwithstanding, the fog of nonsense spewed out by others obscured and effectively censored honest, logical, comprehensive reporting, denying the American public information needed to develop accurately informed opinions. News media malfeasance was complemented by brilliant manipulative Hanoi propaganda, and a corresponding U.S. government inability or unwillingness to make a case for its own efforts. The American public could not hope to understand what was taking place, and does not today. No one, least of all South Vietnamese, American, or other allied forces, was oblivious of or happy with the endemic corruption and incompetence, yet, because of flawed and narrowly focused “reporting,” the story of South Vietnam’s progress and improvement remains untold. American reporters never wrote or televised stories about Dr. Phan Quang Dan, Gen. Ngo Quang Truong, Gen. Nguyen Khoa Nam, the 81st Biet Kich, the Hau Nghia RF, Col. Mach Van Truong, Gen. Le Minh Dao, Tran Ngoc Chau, Col. Ha Mai Viet, writer Nguyen Manh Con, or RVN Marine Sergeant Van Luom, who stood alone on the Dong Ha Bridge and knocked out the lead tank in an NVA armor column with a shoulder-fired antitank missile, an act, in the words of an American witness, of inspiring “defiance and bravery.” Knowing little of this, the American public was understandably disenchanted. The news media seldom, if ever, accompanied American or Australian troops on MEDCAPS or DENTCAPs (Dental Civic Action Projects, extremely welcome to rural people with painful tooth conditions). In the first six months of 1969, more than 200,000 villagers received medical care and 15,000 received dental care from the 3rd U.S. Marine division alone. Instead, the American public was subjected to repeated coverage of the My Lai atrocity, which, like the photo of Gen. Loan, was considered symbolic and representative of the entire war. Wolfgang Leonhard, a Soviet communist agent before defecting to the West, was tasked with analyzing Western news media stories. He and his colleagues were puzzled over superficial news coverage predominating in the newspapers they read. “Generally, we could only shake our heads over them, and often we were exceedingly disappointed. There was usually not even mention of the really significant events that were causing endless discussions amongst ourselves and on which we were passionately eager to read a serious Western commentary. ‘They don’t seem to know what is going on’ was the main theme of our conversations when we talked to each other on the subject.”

Katrina and BP, Two Sides of the Same Coin
Excerpt: Mississippi's Governor Haley Barbour, in the wake of hurricane Katrina, often blunted attempts of the media to goad him into criticizing the rescue efforts of President George W. Bush by stating, "Louisiana has the same president as Mississippi has." That is to say Bush's supposed inaction in the New Orleans' "come rescue me" fiasco was in sharp contrast to the boot-strap spirit of the people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Now the Gulf oil spill has shed more light on the consequences of reliance on the federal government to a national disaster. In Katrina, a group of people relied on government to take them out. In the Gulf, a group of people have been trying to get in -- to apply American ingenuity to clean up the oil spill or prevent it from reaching the shore. Both groups have been held up -- by government.

Obama's Political Oil Fund
Excerpt: In its Gulf spill panic, the White House runs roughshod over the rule of law.
The BP oil spill is already a calamity for the Gulf Coast ecosystem and economy, but now that Washington is looking to deflect all political blame it could also became a disaster for the rule of law. Exhibit C, or perhaps it's now D, is the new White House demand that BP pay into an escrow account controlled by government to pay for the economic costs of the spill. Exhibit A was the public announcement by Attorney General Eric Holder that his Department had opened a criminal probe of the spill, a fact usually kept under wraps to protect the innocent. Then came the President's suggestion that BP suspend its dividend, which is crucial to the retirement of thousands of shareholders. BP may decide it is prudent to suspend its dividend while it gets a better handle on its ultimate liability. But the White House has no legal basis to compel such a decision. Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress are preparing to lift their own $75 million liability cap and apply that retroactively to BP, another move of dubious legality. No wonder Britain's Prime Minister and other officials are alarmed about the fate of one of their country's foremost corporations. This is the kind of treatment that Americans would protest if it were applied to U.S. companies by Venezuela or Russia.

GOP lawmaker demands Barton step down from top committee spot
Dumb of Barton. Bashing BP is good politics right now, right or wrong. Excerpt: A Republican lawmaker from a district affected by the oil spill called on Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) to step down as the ranking member of his committee. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), whose Pensacola district is among the most-impacted areas in the Gulf by the oil spill, condemned Barton for apologizing to BP CEO Tony Hayward during a committee meeting on Thursday. "I condemn Mr. Barton’s statement. Mr. Barton’s remarks are out of touch with this tragedy and I feel his comments call into question his judgment and ability to serve in a leadership on the Energy and Commerce Committee," Miller said in a statement. "He should step down as ranking member of the Committee.”

Southwest Finds Shipment of Heads on a Plane
A new revenue stream possibility for the Mexican drug cartels? Excerpt: A Southwest Airlines employee called police after finding human heads in a package set to be transported to a Fort Worth medical research company, the airline said. "It wasn't labeled or packaged properly," said Ashley Rogers, a Southwest spokeswoman. "They called the local authorities." The incident happened in Little Rock, Ark., last Wednesday, she said. Little Rock police turned the package over to the county coroner, who questions where they came from and if they were properly obtained. The heads were being transported to the Fort Worth office of Medtronic, a leading medical research and technology company based in Minnesota. "We've come to the conclusion that there is a black market out there for human body parts for research or for whatever reason," said Pulaski County coroner Garland Camper. "We just want to make sure these specimens here aren't a part of that black market and underground trade." Medtronic spokesman Brian Henry said it is common to ship body parts for medical education and research, but he said it is rare for a shipment to be seized. "We expect our suppliers to follow proper procedures," he said. Camper described the items as 40 to 60 human heads. But Henry said they were "four full cranial specimens and 40 pairs of temporal bone ear blocks." He identified the supplier as JLS Consulting of Wynne, Ark. JLS's business license was revoked in December, according to the Arkansas Secretary of State's online database.

The President's Animosities -- Since when was the American idea us versus them?
Excerpt: The oil company formerly known as British Petroleum is starting to look kind of beaten up. So it goes when a business finds itself tossed into the ring with the current president of the United States. "We will make BP pay," Mr. Obama said Tuesday night. There is a mood in the land that BP is getting what it deserves. Maybe so. But players in the political game who've found it convenient to join the president in the BP bear-baiting should not delude themselves that BP is a free hit. In politics, nothing happens in isolation. The beating Mr. Obama is giving BP isn't the exception. It's the rule when this president finds himself in tension with the private sector. I can't recall any previous president with this depth of visceral, antibusiness animosity.

Worth Reading: Watching for Watchers
Excerpt: In last week’s Security Weekly we discussed how situational awareness is a mindset that can — and should — be practiced by everyone. We also described the different levels of situational awareness and discussed which level is appropriate for different sorts of situations. And we noted how all criminals and terrorists follow a process when planning their acts and that this process is visible at certain times to people who are watching for such behavior. When one considers these facts, it inevitably leads to the question: “What in the world am I looking for?” The brief answer is: “warning signs of criminal or terrorist behavior.” Since this brief answer is very vague, it becomes necessary to describe the behavior in more detail.

Elderly and Expendable
Excerpt: The Obama Administration and the President’s pals in Congress have been on a deliberate course to write off America’s senior citizens as a lost cause politically. This decision is based on an internal Democrat study indicating that seniors don’t trust Obama. The Democrats, in fact, have stiffed the country’s seniors: ranging from multi-billion dollar cuts in Medicare to driving physicians to drop seniors as patients by delaying and cutting federal reimbursements to such medical specialists as cardiologists and oncologists, who treat the biggest killers of seniors–heart disease and cancer. The disdain toward seniors has included cuts in home health care and payments to hospitals to new taxes on medical devices on which many seniors depend. Add to this: increases in the Medicare tax on some working seniors and cancellation of the traditional cost-of-living boost to Social Security checks for 2010 and 2011. During the stretched-out debate over the new health law, seniors continually heard that Medicare would be slashed by $500 billion. The final bill’s provisions included $132 billion chopped from Medicare Advantage, the enhanced private version of Medicare in which 25 percent of seniors are enrolled.

Arlington woman pleads guilty to federal charges after 3 pipe bombs found in truck
Didn’t get the memo. Sigh. Excerpt: A 45-year-old Arlington woman, who has had past run-ins with counterterrorism agents, has pleaded guilty to federal charges after police found three pipe bombs in a pickup she was driving. Kimberly Al-Homsi and Yasinul Ansari, her 18-year-old accomplice, both entered pleas before U.S. District Judge John McBryde in Fort Worth. They admitted to one count each of possession of an unregistered firearm, in this case homemade pipe bombs found in the truck in February.

Unbelievable: New York hotel pioneers birth tourism
Long range planning. Growing the US citizen jihadists of the future. Excerpt: A New York hotel is staking its claim to have invented a new hospitality niche – birth tourism. The Marmara Manhattan offers “an exclusive package for new mothers that wish to give birth in the USA”, with the additional bonus of the newborn child gaining US citizenship. The hotel, which is part of the Turkish hospitality chain, exploits the 14th amendment to the US constitution, which states that all children born on American soil “are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside”.

WikiLeaks and National Security
Simple. Medal for Adrian Lamo. Bullet from Bradley Manning. Declare WikiLeaks an enemy spy organization and take whatever means necessary to destroy it. Excerpt: In the old days, people who wanted to leak confidential national-security documents had to find an interested journalist and hope his publisher would go with the story. This often came after journalistic soul-searching on the balance between national security and the public's right to know. How quaint. Now leakers can post documents directly and anonymously on a website called WikiLeaks, which brags that its system hasn't yet been traced. Based on recent WikiLeaks by a young, disaffected U.S. soldier, even those of us who cheer disclosure need to think twice about what technology now allows. Spc. Bradley Manning, a 22-year-old U.S. Army intelligence analyst, allegedly downloaded confidential material from his base in Iraq. It included a video showing a 2007 U.S. helicopter strike in Iraq that killed possible insurgents but also two Reuters journalists. WikiLeaks posted the material in April. Spc. Manning was caught because he bragged about his leaks in emails to a former hacker, Adrian Lamo, asking him, "If you had unprecedented access to classified networks 14 hours a day, seven days a week for eight-plus months, what would you do?" Mr. Lamo reported him to the FBI. What really worries the U.S. is that Spc. Manning, who was detained by the Army in Kuwait last month, claims to have passed to WikiLeaks more than 250,000 cables sent by U.S. Embassies and other diplomatic missions that he downloaded off military servers. If true, this could be one of the biggest State Department leaks ever. Government officials say many of the confidential documents describe the workings of Arab governments and their leaders. Wired magazine quoted Spc. Manning as saying, "Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available."

Mass. Gov Signs Bill, Saves Marine's Job
Excerpt: The Massachusetts governor signed a bill that saves the job of a public high school ROTC instructor who refused to pay teachers union fees. The Massachusetts Governor signed a bill on Wednesday afternoon that saves the job of a retired Marine and public high school ROTC instructor who refused to pay teachers union fees. Gov. Deval Patrick signed a supplemental bill that included language added as an amendment by state senator Richard R. Tisei that exempts Junior ROTC instructors at public high school across the state from having to pay union fees. Juan Martinez, Patrick's press secretary, confirmed that the ROTC provision was signed. It was passed by the Massachusetts Senate and House earlier this week.

Selling America to China
Excerpt: China is in the midst of a global strategy to move its products to market and obtain the natural resources it needs to fuel its red-hot economy. The Chinese have deals with Cuba, Iran and other oil-producing countries to supply its industries and people with fuel for its growing fleet of cars, trucks, trains and planes. In addition, they have invested billions in places like Angola and Peru to bring needed minerals to their factories. And, if you’ve got coal and uranium, they’ll buy it for their power plants. Now China is bailing out Greece. It is pumping billions into rebuilding the Mediterranean Port of Piraeus to make it the gateway to southern Europe and North Africa for China’s consumer goods. The Chinese shipping giant Cosco assumed full control of the port’s major container shipping dock and is spending $700 million to upgrade existing facilities and build a new pier. But there are strings attached. In exchange for Chinese cash, the Greek government must take on its powerful unions to eliminate inefficiencies and improve productivity. According to the Washington Post, the Piraeus port project is emerging as a bellwether for Greek plans to pay down its crippling national debt and reinvent its economy by privatizing inefficient government-owned utilities, trains and even casinos. While some Europeans are alarmed by China’s plan to flood its markets with cheaper Asian imports, the Greek government sees it as a necessity.

Obama’s Gulf War III
Obama’s coolest plan is to stop US Drilling, putting US workers on unemployment, raising energy prices and making the environment safer by leaving the deep water drilling in the Gulf to the Chinese (via Cuba), Mexicans and Venezuelans. Excerpt: The president last night addressed the nation on the oil slick, nearly two months into the disaster. He seems stunned that a single man in Washington is being held responsible for either a human error that is polluting the gulf, or an act of god that led to a tragic chain of events, inevitable at some point when drilling from 5,000 feet above the ocean floor. Do not we see the injustice of it all, of holding a green Mr. Obama culpable for either the blowout or the tardy and insufficient efforts at clean-up? Does Obama appoint another “czar?” Does he do to BP what he did to Las Vegas, the saw-happy surgeons, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News? Is the spill to oil companies what the 2008 panic was to GM? Is there some sort of cash-for-clunkers PR fix? A Bush memo to be found ordering drilling from a zillion feet? Perhaps another “wise Latina,” or an “Oooh. Van Jones, alright! So, Van Jones” to recruit? What to do? Where to turn? Whom to blame? Who unfairly established this strange post-Katrina precedent that the president of all people — not the mayor, not the governor, not private enterprise — is ultimately responsible? We can all question that unfair premise, and did so in 2005, but critics like Obama himself made the federal response to Katrina a campaign issue. And so here we are with him hoisted with his own petard.

The President's Oil Reserves Lie
Excerpt: During his speech, the president made a statement that was blatantly false. The president noted, "We consume more than 20% of the world's oil, but have less than 2% of the world's oil reserve. And that's part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean -- because we're running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water." We are not running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water. In fact, it is due to the president's party of extreme environmentalists that BP had to drill some forty miles from the coastline in deep waters to extract oil. Imagine if this oil leak had happened in the shallow waters off of the East Coast or even, dare we say it, in the pristine ANWR region. How much easier it would have been to cap the leak and clean up the oil? Consider our nation's vast oil reserve resources that are currently unavailable for use due to government ownership of the land or outright bans on drilling in certain areas. According to a June 2008 article in Kiplinger Magazine, the United States has enough oil reserves to power the nation for upwards of three centuries. That's three hundred years, Mr. President. We are not running out of oil reserves -- it's just that those oil reserves have been declared off-limits due to decades of environmental lobbying of our politicians, especially those on the Left. This lobbying has driven the likes of BP and others out deep into the Gulf of Mexico to extract the nation's needed oil.

Obama BP meeting: No Interior Secretary, but lots of lawyers
Excerpt: One interesting note from the BP side. The White House says five BP executives were in the meeting, plus one outsider: Jamie Gorelick, a lawyer with the firm Wilmer Hale. Gorelick, of course, is a former Clinton Justice Department official who walked away with $26.46 million after a four year stint at Fannie Mae from 1998 to 2002. Gorelick is now representing BP.

Ouch! Louisianans say Bush did a better job on Katrina
Excerpt: Louisianans believe that President George W. Bush did a better job handling the crisis in the state than President Obama, 50 to 35. But most Louisianans think the oil spill is far more critical than Hurricane Katrina. Louisianans overwhelmingly believe that the effects of the oil spill will be far more harmful to Louisiana in the long term than Hurricane Katrina, 76 to 17%

Stop the Mosque at Ground Zero
Excerpt: On Sunday, June 6th, a multi-ethnic, multi-racial coalition of Americans opposed to Islamic violence and intolerance rallied at the site of the World Trade Center in New York City.

Mohammed Brand Condoms
X-Rated humor. This should get someone killed.

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