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.
Hard-line Islamic Groups Again Attack Praying Christians
Guess they didn’t get the “Islam is a religion of peace” memo. Excerpt: In the latest attack by extremists on religious minorities in West Java, 300 Islamic hard-liners intimidated, bullied and assaulted a priest and 20 Christian churchgoers praying in a field in Bekasi on Sunday morning. The attack follows an identical incident last Sunday, when 300 members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and Islamic People’s Forum (FUI) protested against members of the Batak Christian Protestant Church (HKBP) from Pondok Timur Indah. Churchgoers have been worshipping in a field in Ciketing Asem after the Bekasi municipality sequestered their church and sealed it from use.
Taliban on murder of aid workers: "They were Christian missionaries and we killed them all"
Wonder how they could read the peace-loving Qur’an and come up with this behavior? Excerpt: Sickness and squalor fi sabil Allah: The medical workers wouldn't even have had to have been preaching openly to provoke the jealousy of the Taliban: filthy infidels performing greater acts of mercy than the mujahedin could dream of is a liability when absolute supremacy is the name of the game.
Starving Gazans smuggling in luxury cars
Excerpt: More suffering from the world's largest prison camp.
France's interior minister targets immigrants who practise polygamy
Excerpt: France's lurch to the right continued after Brice Hortefeux, the country's interior minister, called for immigrants who practise polygamy or female genital mutilation to have their citizenship withdrawn. Mr Hortefeux said there were "possibilities to have nationality withdrawn in the case of polygamy, genital mutilation and serious wrongdoing." In all cases the radical punishment would not just apply to immigrants, but also to those who have a foreign background, even if they were born in France. It follows President Nicolas Sarkozy calling for all foreigners who attack police in the kind of riots which blighted Muslim housing estates earlier this month to also lose their nationality. Mr Hortefeux was speaking after an Algerian-born French Muslim was questioned by police about regularly raping a woman he was involved with between 2003 and 2007. He has already been charged with claiming thousands of pounds worth of state aid for 15 children he had with four different women. (So being for gender equality and against the genital mutilation of children is a “lurch to the right”? Assume this means that leftists support such in the name of “multiculturalism.” ~Bob)
Obama Earmarks $1 Billion in Stimulus Money for Company in Illinois
Excerpt: The biggest earmark in American history has been doled out to a company in Illinois, the President’s home state, in the name of green jobs. The President’s $862 billion Stimulus plan has been an abysmal failure. It provided states and localities with billions in bailout moneys, funded wasteful projects like the Monkey cocaine study at Wake Forest and given false hope to Americans that the President has ideas to turn around the economy. This earmark is an outrage and the signature project of the President’s Stimulus plan. Thankfully, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) is sounding the alarm bells and educating the American people to this new Obama outrage. President Obama is earmarking $1 billion in Stimulus money “to build FutureGen 2.0, a clean coal repowering program and carbon dioxide (CO2) storage network” in his home state of Illinois. According to a Department of Energy press release, this billion is being provided to ”FutureGen Alliance, Ameren Energy Resources, Babcock & Wilcox, and Air Liquide Process & Costruction, Inc. to build FutureGen 2.0, a clean coal repowering program and carbon dioxide (CO2) storage network.” That is right — $1 billion. This is the largest earmark of money in U.S. history and they are taking money right out of your pocket to pay for it. The Department of Energy projects 1,900 jobs as a result of $1,000,000,000 in new spending. This works out to $526,315.79 of your tax dollars spent per job. A half million dollars per job seems to be a bad deal for the taxpayer. Of more concern to the taxpayer, Senator Tom Coburn believes this project to be more about bringing home pork to Illinois than providing stimulus to average Americans
All in the Chicago Family
Excerpt: Among the more appealing messages that Barack Obama campaigned on in 2008 was his promise to change the culture in Washington and usher in a new era of openness and honesty in government. It was the sort of message that still resonates with an increasingly cynical electorate that is, as Obama’s handlers recognized, fed up with the corruption, hidden agendas and back-room deals that characterize life within the beltway. Voters hoped that this fresh face, so full of earnest enthusiasm and idealistic vision, could be the one to usher in a new era. Almost two years after that historic election, more and more voters are realizing that not only didn’t get the change they had hoped for, they’re actually getting much more of business as usual than they could have ever imagined. As ethical questions continue to swirl around the people that the president has embraced one cannot help but wonder if the vaunted political acumen of the Obama administration has been vastly overrated, or if the president and his advisors simply feel that they can and should be able to pull the wool over the eyes of the American people at will. The list of Obama associates and appointees who have serious ethical problems is long indeed, from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and his unpaid taxes through ex “Green Czar” Van Jones’ communist ties. Now there is a new name on that dishonor roll: the Democratic candidate for the United States Senate seat that was once held by Barack Obama: Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias. Giannoulias’ sordid history and that of his shady associates should be enough to concern any canny politician this side of Boss Tweed, but the president has embraced Giannoulias as if he were the second coming of Obama himself. Giannoulias’s political baggage has not stopped the president from endorsing a candidate who helped run a bank into the ground, who made millions while that bank bled red ink, and who has ties to the mob and disgraced political figures.
The Incalculable Health Costs
Excerpt: Always generous Uncle Sam will pay for almost any health ailments for some Americans. That’s the comforting message those recipients—about 16 million low-to-middle income folks. Eventually, this little-noticed part of Obamacare will cost billions, probably eventually trillions of dollars. To start, the federal and state governments between 2010 and 2019, will dish out a mere $6.8 billion. That the best determination of Richard S. Foster, chief actuary for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Those figures are tucked away in tables accompanying lengthy reports. But they represent only a tip of the potential mountain of outlays that lie ahead. Public concern has focused primarily on the law’s provisions relating to charges other individuals will be demanded to fork over for medical treatment. Twenty states are mounting legal challenges to Obamacare’s mandate to buy health insurance. In the battleground state of Missouri seven in ten voted Aug. 3 against the mandate). In Virginia, a federal judge August 2 allowed the state’s lawsuit defying the insurance mandate to go forward. Not surprisingly, few, if any, of those 16 million who are promised magnanimous care are complaining. Taxpayers, however, should be, if they are made aware of the future Olympian costs.
The Deadly Pact: How ObamaCare will 'Save' Money
Excerpt: Andy Griffith, the former TV Sheriff of Mayberry and guardian of small town America, is now the national spokesman for ObamaCare. More specifically, this venerable gentleman is the spokesman for the new Medicare. Apparently Griffith is under the naïve belief that ObamaCare is a genuinely good thing for seniors. As much as it pains me to say this, Griffith is dead wrong. ObamaCare is a fatal bargain for seniors, and all Americans. Although media reports covering ObamaCare have centered mainly on the health insurance mandate and hidden tax increases, the real danger of ObamaCare lies in the official sanction of "mercy death" for America's seniors as a means of reducing federal medical outlays. No, ObamaCare doesn't say this outright. It simply limits hospital readmissions for those using Medicare, thereafter automatically committing said Medicare recipients to hospice facilities, called "community-based care."
Chicago Political Thugs at work?
Mischief in Manhattan: We Muslims know the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation
Excerpt: New York currently boasts at least 30 mosques so it's not as if there is pressing need to find space for worshippers. The fact we Muslims know the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation to thumb our noses at the infidel. The proposal has been made in bad faith and in Islamic parlance, such an act is referred to as "Fitna," meaning "mischief-making" that is clearly forbidden in the Koran. The Koran commands Muslims to, "Be considerate when you debate with the People of the Book" -- i.e., Jews and Christians. Building an exclusive place of worship for Muslims at the place where Muslims killed thousands of New Yorkers is not being considerate or sensitive, it is undoubtedly an act of "fitna" So what gives Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the "Cordoba Initiative" and his cohorts the misplaced idea that they will increase tolerance for Muslims by brazenly displaying their own intolerance in this case? Do they not understand that building a mosque at Ground Zero is equivalent to permitting a Serbian Orthodox church near the killing fields of Srebrenica where 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered? There are many questions that we would like to ask. Questions about where the funding is coming from? If this mosque is being funded by Saudi sources, then it is an even bigger slap in the face of Americans, as nine of the jihadis in the Twin Tower calamity were Saudis. If Rauf is serious about building bridges, then he could have dedicated space in this so-called community centre to a church and synagogue, but he did not. We passed on this message to him through a mutual Saudi friend, but received no answer. He could have proposed a memorial to the 9/11 dead with a denouncement of the doctrine of armed jihad, but he chose not to.
Why I'm Not Hiring
Excerpt: With unemployment just under 10% and companies sitting on their cash, you would think that sooner or later job growth would take off. I think it's going to be later—much later. Here's why. Meet Sally (not her real name; details changed to preserve privacy). Sally is a terrific employee, and she happens to be the median person in terms of base pay among the 83 people at my little company in New Jersey, where we provide audio systems for use in educational, commercial and industrial settings. She's been with us for over 15 years. She's a high school graduate with some specialized training. She makes $59,000 a year—on paper. In reality, she makes only $44,000 a year because $15,000 is taken from her thanks to various deductions and taxes, all of which form the steep, sad slope between gross and net pay. Before that money hits her bank, it is reduced by the $2,376 she pays as her share of the medical and dental insurance that my company provides. And then the government takes its due. She pays $126 for state unemployment insurance, $149 for disability insurance and $856 for Medicare. That's the small stuff. New Jersey takes $1,893 in income taxes. The federal government gets $3,661 for Social Security and another $6,250 for income tax withholding. The roughly $13,000 taken from her by various government entities means that some 22% of her gross pay goes to Washington or Trenton. She's lucky she doesn't live in New York City, where the toll would be even higher. Employing Sally costs plenty too. My company has to write checks for $74,000 so Sally can receive her nominal $59,000 in base pay. Health insurance is a big, added cost: While Sally pays nearly $2,400 for coverage, my company pays the rest—$9,561 for employee/spouse medical and dental. We also provide company-paid life and other insurance premiums amounting to $153. Altogether, company-paid benefits add $9,714 to the cost of employing Sally. Then the federal and state governments want a little something extra. They take $56 for federal unemployment coverage, $149 for disability insurance, $300 for workers' comp and $505 for state unemployment insurance. Finally, the feds make me pay $856 for Sally's Medicare and $3,661 for her Social Security. When you add it all up, it costs $74,000 to put $44,000 in Sally's pocket and to give her $12,000 in benefits. Bottom line: Governments impose a 33% surtax on Sally's job each year.
Jeff Greene pushes Kendrick Meek on Charlie Rangel
Excerpt: Florida Democratic Senate candidate Jeff Greene challenged Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.) Sunday to join him in calling on embattled Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) to resign. In a conference call, the billionaire and political neophyte whose barrage of television ads this summer has threatened Meek's grip on the nomination said his primary opponent should return the $5,500 in contributions he's received from Rangel or donate the funds to charity.
White House advisers flee as economy sinks
Excerpt: The shakeup in President Obama's economic team comes at a critical point for the White House, creating more uncertainty as the economy slumps and midterm elections approach. "It does make one suspicious that some of these senior economic advisers know the economy may go back into recession and they are escaping before it's even more obvious," said Chris Edwards, a tax policy expert at the Cato Institute.
Christina Romer, Obama's top economic adviser, resigned last week on the eve of a jobs report showing sluggish growth and no change in the nation's 9.5 percent unemployment rate. Romer's departure follows a decision by Peter Orszag to step down as Obama's director of management and budget. The two were the highest profile economic advisers at the White House, outside of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, who raised eyebrows last week with an op-ed in the New York Times touting economic recovery. Obama, who appears increasingly flummoxed by the slow economic turnaround despite massive government investment, asked for more patience for his policies to show results. (Government is a drag on the economy, not a stimulus. The bigger the government, the bigger the drag. But convincing statists like Obama is like showing the Pope evidence that Easter never happened. It’s a waste of time to talk to those who believe in big government as an article of faith, regardless of the evidence. ~Bob)
Bell, Calif. city manager who was making $800k a year was actually making $1.5 million
Gives new meaning to “public servant.” Excerpt: Former Bell City Manager Robert Rizzo, whose $787,000 salary prompted widespread outrage, received an unusually large package of benefits that increased his annual compensation to more than $1.5 million, according to city records reviewed by The Times. Rizzo’s benefits package — which covers time off as well as retirement, medical and other types of insurance — shows he was paid for time off that amounted to more than 20 weeks per year.
More stimulus poison
Excerpt: Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both on the ballot this year, now get to bask in the media afterglow. "DC Coming to NY's Re$cue," as one headline put it. A few more "re$cues" like this and we'll be really broke. The state, the city and local school districts have burned through about $17 billion in federal stimulus funds, including amounts budgeted for this year. Assuming the next round of state and local stimulus wins House approval next week, the result will be even more spending that New York taxpayers can't possibly sustain -- and that Washington can't indefinitely subsidize. Keep in mind: New York's school spending of $17,173 per pupil as of 2007-08 was the highest of any state -- 67 percent above the national average, according to the latest Census Bureau data. Between 2000-01 and 2008-09, New York schools added 14,746 teachers and 8,655 nonteaching professionals -- even as enrollment was dropping by 121,280 pupils.
In Harlem, Rangel faces Powell: The next generation
Excerpt: Forty years ago, a Harlem political legend named Adam Clayton Powell Jr. refused to step down from his House seat in the face of an ethics scandal. Rather than allowing Powell to retire on his own time, an ambitious New York assemblyman took on the incumbent -- and won. Now the onetime assemblyman, Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.), finds himself charged with 13 violations of ethics rules of the House of Representatives. He is being challenged by a state assemblyman named Adam Clayton Powell IV, the youngest son of the man Rangel vanquished in 1970. There is, suffice it to say, no shortage of irony to the contest. "We were trying to be respectful and see if he would do the right thing and retire," Powell said in an interview. "Now I'm the one who is going to take Rangel out."
Deport the Wetback Babies!
Excerpt: In the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s the United States deported trainloads, busloads, and shiploads of illegal aliens. “Operation Wetback,” ordered by President Eisenhower in 1954, charged the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) with deporting a million illegal aliens: men and women and their American-born minor children. Government agents did it then, and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution does not prevent them from doing it today. Was Operation Wetback effective? In ninety days 750 INS agents, with state and local police, deported 80,000 illegals from Texas alone. Thousands more were deported from California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada and Idaho. And while the operation was underway, 488,000 illegals in Arizona and California returned to Mexico on their own; another 700,000 fled Texas. Liberal Democrats cling to the 14th Amendment and say deportation of American-born children to the homeland of their parents will never happen again. They point to the first sentence of Section 1: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” (Emphasis added.) They also believe an 1898 Supreme Court case, U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, governs the issue of birthright citizenship. In order to get the desired result, the court ignored the intentions of the framers of the 14th Amendment, and legislative history. Their decision stated “the debates in Congress are not admissible as evidence to control the meaning of those words.” That was expedient, but wrong. How wrong? Senator Howard said, in May of 1868, that the “Constitution as now amended, forever withholds the right of citizenship in the case of accidental birth of a child belonging to foreign parents with the limits of the country.” An excellent study by Vincent Gioia, Are Children Born of Illegal Immigrants US Citizens?, is in the “Family Security Matters” website for 15 July. The bottom line: Mexican illegal aliens are subject to the jurisdiction of Mexico, and so are all their children who are born here.
Early Struggles of Soldier Charged in Leak Case
Excerpt: He spent part of his childhood with his father in the arid plains of central Oklahoma, where classmates made fun of him for being a geek. He spent another part with his mother in a small, remote corner of southwest Wales, where classmates made fun of him for being gay. Then he joined the Army, where, friends said, his social life was defined by the need to conceal his sexuality under “don’t ask, don’t tell” and he wasted brainpower fetching coffee for officers. But it was around two years ago, when Pfc. Bradley Manning came here to visit a man he had fallen in love with, that he finally seemed to have found a place where he fit in, part of a social circle that included politically motivated computer hackers and his boyfriend, a self-described drag queen. So when his military career seemed headed nowhere good, Private Manning, 22, turned increasingly to those friends for moral support. And now some of those friends say they wonder whether his desperation for acceptance — or delusions of grandeur — may have led him to disclose the largest trove of government secrets since the Pentagon Papers. (...) Blond and barely grown up, Private Manning worked as an intelligence analyst and was based east of Baghdad. He is suspected of disclosing more than 150,000 diplomatic cables, more than 90,000 intelligence reports on the war in Afghanistan and one video of a military helicopter attack — all of it classified. (Dear New York Times: I am writing about your article "Early Struggles of Soldier Charged in Leak Case." I do not understand why your author thinks it is appropriate to treat PFC Manning as if he were some sort of pitiful victim. Even in the midst of WWII, the Times didn't publish "The Early Struggles of Vidkun Quisling," portraying him as a poor, misunderstood lad who only betrayed his country by accident. The truth is Manning, aided and abetted by Wikileaks & Associates, has purposely done more harm to our future security than Benedict Arnold. His arrogant narcissism told him he owed no allegiance to the USA, rendered his oath to the Constitution meaningless, and left no regard for the safety of his fellow soldiers, countrymen, family, or friends. Nothing mattered except poor baby Manning. If he’s found guilty—and currently there’s no reason to doubt it—I hope they find a particularly painful way to execute the traitor. Sincerely, Ron Pittenger)
Freddie Mac requests additional $1.8 billion in aid from federal government
Too big to fail? Or too connected to democrats to be included in the Wall Street Reform Bill? How much of this has gone for bonuses for political appointees like Franklin Raines who cooked the books to get his? And, lastly, wouldn’t it just be cheaper to buy the bastards a printing press and let them print money? Excerpt: Government-controlled mortgage giant Freddie Mac is requesting $1.8 billion more in federal help after a larger second-quarter loss. Freddie Mac lost $6 billion, or $1.85 per share, from April through June, the firm announced Monday. Those losses include $1.3 billion the company is required to pay the Treasury Department, representing a 10 percent annual dividend. "We recognize that high unemployment and other factors still pose very real challenges for the housing market," Freddie chief executive Charles Haldeman said in a statement. "With that in mind, we continue to focus on the quality of the new business we are adding to our book to be responsible stewards of taxpayer funds." During the same period last year, the company lost $840 million. On Thursday, Fannie Mae asked for an additional $1.5 billion after posting a $3.13 billion loss, although its losses shrank dramatically in the second quarter, down from $11.5 billion in the first quarter. Both companies, which own about half of the nation's mortgages, about 31 million, valued at more than $5 trillion, were rescued by the government from the edge of collapse almost two years ago. They've needed more than $149 billion to stay in business, including $63.1 billion used by Freddie Mac and $86.1 billion for Fannie Mae, including the second-quarter request.
Rep. Waters charged on three ethics counts
Rangel and Waters—who could have guessed? Who could be next from the black caucus to be picked on? Rep. William Jefferson has already been railroaded for a little bribe money in the freezer. I’m guessing the racists Democrats on the ethics committee might go after Rep. Alcee Hastings, who was already impeached as a judge before being elected to Congress. Excerpt: The House ethics committee said Monday it has charged Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) with three counts of violating House rules and the federal ethics code. Waters is accused of using her position to help secure Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds for OneUnited Bank, in which her husband, a former bank board member, owned a sizable amount of stock. Waters, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, is accused of violating a House rule that requires members to behave in a way that reflects "creditably" on the chamber. The committee argues that by trying to obtain assistance for OneUnited, she directly benefited herself by acting to preserve the value of her husband's stock holdings. She is also accused of violating the "spirit" of a House rule prohibiting the use of a lawmaker's position for his or her own financial gain and a government code of ethics statute that bans the dispersal of special favors. Last week, the ethics committee released a detailed report of Waters's alleged conduct in the OneUnited matter, but it did not outline the formal charges against her. Waters fired back with a lengthy statement, strongly denying she broke House rules and saying she would rather defend herself at an ethics trial than admit to "something I did not do." The investigative subcommittee, to buttress its case, also released more information Monday about Waters's involvement with OneUnited. According to the 10-page Statement of Alleged Violation, Waters "did not instruct" her chief of staff, Mikael Moore, to stop assisting OneUnited after she told Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) that she would stop her outreach to the bank.
News that’s too good to be true
Excerpt: Did you know that when the president signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) he wiped out $53 trillion of unfunded U.S. government liability? With the stroke of a pen, more than 60% of Medicare’s long-term deficit vanished… Poof. Zip. Gone….. Taking a closer look at the two tables, we see that not all sectors were treated equally by the PPACA. The pharmaceutical industry made out like bandits. (Billy Tauzin was worth every penny of the multimillion dollar salary PhRMA paid him.) Doctors took a bath. And the hospital industry got creamed. (You wonder if the American Hospital Association was asleep when all this was going on.)…. We rarely get partisan at this blog, but in this case I think we can safely say that it’s too bad the PPACA was not a Republican bill. If it were, everything you are reading here would be front page and above-the-fold in the East Coast press.
Lame Duck Session?
Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, is forcing a vote that will show us where every member of the U.S. House of Representatives stands on the lame duck session. Price's privileged resolution would condemn the plans for a lame duck and pledge that the House will not have a lame duck session. Democrats will try to block Price's common-sense resolution by offering a motion to table the resolution, which would kill it. So a NO vote on tabling is a NO vote on the lame duck session! Please click here to urge your member of Congress to vote NO on a lame duck session! http://www.capwiz.com/americansforprosperity/issues/alert/?alertid=15780501&type=CO
We know what the Left wants from a "Lame Duck" session in December because they're actually telling their friends in the media. Senator John Kerry, taking time out from docking his yacht outside his home state of Massachusetts to avoid paying taxes on it, told Bloomberg News that cap-and-trade will be on the agenda which White House Climate Czar Carol Browner confirmed on NBC over the weekend. And, we know that President Obama's budget deficit reduction package which will clearly contain tax increases will be on the agenda as well. Naturally, the Big Labor unions are pushing for provisions of Card Check and a union pension bailout.