Friday, August 6, 2010

Political Digest August 6, 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.

Voters reject Obama health reform in Missouri
Excerpt: In a mostly symbolic swipe at the Obama administration's healthcare reform law, Missouri voters overwhelmingly opposed the provision that requires people to buy health insurance, the New York Times reports. More than 71 percent of Missouri primary voters on Tuesday rejected the mandate. The referendum was the first chance voters had to weigh in on the healthcare reform. "My constituents told me they felt like their voices had been ignored and they wanted Washington to hear them," Jane Cunningham, a state senator and Republican who had pressed for a vote, told the New York Times Tuesday night. "It looks to me like they just picked up a megaphone."

New AMA Report Finds 95 Medical Liability Claims Filed for Every 100 Physicians
Excerpt: A new report from the American Medical Association (AMA) paints a bleak picture of physicians’ experiences with medical liability claims and bolsters the case for national and state level reform. A key finding from the report is that, among physicians surveyed by the AMA, there was an average of 95 medical liability claims filed for every 100 physicians, almost one per physician.

Waxman sees bright side to Nov: 'Difficult' Dems won't be back
Excerpt: Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) believes the November elections will likely weed out some of “most difficult Democrats” that leadership lawmakers have dealt with this Congress. In an interview with The Hill, the Energy and Commerce Committee chairman expressed confidence that Democrats will retain the House, and suggested he won’t miss some of the Democrats who won’t be back next year. I think a lot of the House seats we’re going to lose are those who have been the toughest for the Democrats to pull into line — the Democrats that have been the most difficult,” Waxman said. (Culling the herd of recalcitrant DINOs. Message to Democrats: If you vote for what the people want, instead of what the leadership wants, we will throw you to the wolves. ~Bob)

Party on: Obama back in Chicago for fundraisers by John Kass,0,6254683.column
Excerpt: With his poll numbers dropping through the White House basement floor and his 49th birthday at hand, President Barack Obama sure could use some real party time with the guys back home in Chicago. And nothing says "let's party!" like a political fundraiser. Obama will headline one Thursday for his beleaguered basketball buddy, Alexi Giannoulias, who is campaigning as a Democrat for Obama's old Senate seat. Naturally, all the guests will applaud when Obama gives Alexi a big hug, smiles and says, "My man." But who are the guys behind the guys who won't be there to soak up the recognition? Shouldn't there be table of empty chairs, to silently honor those who are otherwise indisposed? I'm guessing that Tony Rezko, the president's benefactor, friend and personal real estate fairy, would love to attend. He was the star of a Sun-Times report published Monday about a $22 million development loan from the Giannoulias family's now-defunct Broadway Bank to a Rezko company

Delicious prison meals by John Kass,0,7626239.column
Excerpt: A letter arrived the other day from a guy who doesn't want former Gov. Rod Blagojevich to miss out on any of the finer things in life, should he find himself behind federal bars. My new pen pal wants Dead Meat, if convicted, to eat right and get his exercise. Oh, and one more thing: Learn how to whip up some delicious, easy-to-make snacks from ingredients purchased at the federal prison commissary. Because you just never know when a couple of muscle-bound knuckle draggers with blue tattoos on their faces will stop by your cell, hankering for some tasty Big House Tamales. "The reason I am writing is after reading your column regarding the clothing attire Gov. Dead Meat will be wearing very soon, I thought it would be appropriate for you to notify him of the meals he is in for," wrote federal inmate Lee Anglin. "We shop at the prison commissary and end up making some great meals," chef Anglin writes. "My favorite would be the tamales we make, and I think as a borderline chef yourself, you may even enjoy this." Federal inmates can't very well stroll through gourmet markets like Fox & Obel for their mouth-watering ingredients. Instead, inmates use their commissary accounts, stocking up on everything from spicy corn chips to vacuum-packed pouches of fish. "Many of us have issues getting used to the meals provided, such as shriveled hot dogs, hockey puck burgers, Spam with an unspecified green sauce and other unknown meats," Anglin writes. Anglin is a former publisher of south suburban newspapers. He befriended the ultimate political insider, former Chicago Ald. Ed Vrdolyak. Then Anglin became an enemy of Fast Eddie. Soon, Anglin found himself convicted in a multimillion-dollar real estate fraud scheme. He's now at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center in Chicago awaiting sentencing.

Waters wants hearing before midterms
Excerpt: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) sent a letter Wednesday to the House Ethics Committee asking for a hearing date before November elections. Waters wrote Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Ranking Member Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) to ask the panel to schedule an adjudicatory hearing and to release to the public all documents related to her case, waiving her right to keep the Statement of Alleged Violation private. "I am deeply concerned by the Committee’s failure to announce a date for a public hearing in its most recent press release," Waters wrote. "I feel strongly that further delay in the scheduling of the hearing violates the fundamental principles of due process, denies my constituents the opportunity to evaluate this case, and harms my ability to defend my integrity."

GOP could dominate state redistricting
Excerpt: Republicans could hold complete control over the redistricting process in several key states after the 2010 elections. If the party’s gubernatorial candidates were to emerge with wins in Texas, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan — all states where Republicans either lead or are tied in recent polls — and the GOP holds or wins control of legislative chambers in those same states, Republicans could monopolize the post-2010 redraw. (Could make 2012 a better year than 2010. ~Bob)

How Texas Is Dominating the Recession
No state is thriving in the wake of the Great Recession. But compared to the rest of the country, Texas is experiencing something like an economic boom. Pick your category, and Texas dominates. Three of the top five most resilient major metro areas for employment are in Texas: McAllen at one, Austin at three, and San Antonio at five. El Paso and Houston make the top 15. How about state debt? Texas ranks fourth in the country. Texas cities claimed four of the top five spots in the Milken Institute's Best Performing Cities Index, four of the top ten of Forbes' "Cities Where the Recession is Easing," and another four spots in last year's Top Ten in Homebuilding (admittedly, a bit like winning a Warmest Ice Cube contest). Talk to folks in Texas about their state's good fortune, and they'll also point out that the Lone Star State would be the 15th largest economy in the world if it were really alone, and that 64 Fortune 500 companies call Texas home, more than any other state. For relish: more Americans are moving into Texas than any other state, and CNBC recently named it Top State for Business for the second time in three years. What's going on?.... As Brooke Rollins, president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, told me: "Our research shows that the more tax incentives and less regulation you have, and the less likely businesses are to get sued, the more likely it is they'll want to come and prosper in your state." (What’s going on? Low taxes, low regulations, few unions, pro-business approach, tort reform, and people have jobs. Amazing. ~Bob)

Citizens Against Government Waste: ‘Stimulus Spending a Failure Again’
Excerpt: The nation’s premier taxpayer watchdog group, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), today expressed more outrage with the Obama administration’s $862 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), or “stimulus” package, following the release of a new study by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla) and. John McCain (R-Ariz.). The report highlighted the fact that some stimulus programs led to job losses, instead of job creation. The report also detailed more questionable uses of the stimulus money, including $1.2 million for converting an abandoned train station into a museum in New Jersey, $762,372 to develop interactive dance software in North Carolina, and $554,763 for new windows in a visitor’s center that closed in 2007 in Washington. “The President promised that 90 percent of the jobs created would be in the private sector and that unemployment would drop to 8 percent, but the only positive job creation has been in the public sector, as private sector unemployment has risen to 9.5 percent,” said CAGW President Tom Schatz. “The administration’s spokespersons have been all over the board on jobs creation numbers, claiming anywhere from 640,000 to 2 million; yet the numbers show more than 3.4 million jobs have been lost since President Obama promised to create more than 3 million jobs when he announced the stimulus package 18 months ago. While touting the stimulus as part of the effort to get the country out of the Great Recession, all it has done is help to create the Great Debt.”

Democrats Ignore 80% of Workers in Service Sector
Excerpt: In a bid to revive their sagging election prospects, congressional Democrats have hit on the theme of promoting domestic U.S. manufacturing. As a front-page story in the Washington Post reports today, the party has adopted the bumper-sticker slogan, “Make It in America.” I’m all for making things in America, when it makes economic sense to do so. But the Democratic plan opens a window for all sorts of government intervention, including trade barriers, higher taxes on U.S.-owned affiliates abroad, and subsidies for “clean energy” and make-work infrastructure projects. The campaign relies on two major but faulty assumptions: That U.S. manufacturing is in deep trouble, and that creating more manufacturing jobs is the key to prosperity. Neither assumption is true.

How to Defeat the Drug Lords at Last
by Lieutenant Colonel Don Chipman, USMC
Excerpt: In the years after 9/11, American society has become mesmerized by the threat of terrorism, while U.S. foreign policy has been dominated by security concerns posed by nations with rampant government corruption, a weak state presence, widespread poverty, and powerful drug lords. Why, then, are we not more concerned by the situation south of the border in Mexico, where all of these threats to our national security exist? The answer is that most Americans view the U.S.-Mexican border through the prism of the illegal-immigration issue, neglecting serious issues of drug trafficking, free trade, and national security. A host of U.S. domestic sensitivities and a mishmash of strategic interests will continue to threaten any long-term solution to the Latin American narcoterrorism problem. Not the least of these sensitivities is our unwillingness to deal with the demand side of the drug problem. Meanwhile, the United States seems to have little political stomach for aggressively pursuing counternarcoterrorism efforts in Latin America while we are fighting two wars in the Middle East and struggling to deal with an economic crisis. However, all is not lost in this security dilemma in our own hemisphere. In fact, we need look no further than the impressive results in Colombia, where the United States pursued an aggressive, indirect counternarcoterrorism policy. The Colombia model holds the solutions for Mexico’s multifaceted violence problem, and it is time to act before the situation deteriorates further. The stakes could not be higher: our national security and our ability to safeguard our own borders.

Preparing for Higher Taxes
To help you prepare. Don’t blame me. I voted for the American Patriot.

A New Majority? PJTV Poll Tracks Tea Party Supporters
Excerpt: Starting today, PJTV — via its Tea Party TV wing, but we’re all PJ Media really — is sponsoring a weekly tracking poll on the public’s attitudes toward the Tea Party Movement (top line results here, video discussion here). Conducted for us by Pulse Opinion Research, these are “likely voter” polls using methods licensed from Rasmussen. One-thousand voters were surveyed on the first go-round with a sampling error of +/- 3%. We would be delighted to know your reactions to these polls as we go forward in the comments sections here or at PJTV. Feel free to suggest questions you would like to see asked and answered. I will be posting my reactions here. For the first week’s results, I found one at least “interesting” and two I would have to categorize, by varying degrees, as “startling.” Interesting: 54 percent supported the Tea Party Movement strongly or somewhat. The two categories of support were equally divided. Only 41% opposed the TPM (28% strongly, 13% somewhat). Startling: 31 percent of self-identified Democrats support the TPM either strongly or somewhat. Most Startling: Of the 54 percent who support the TPM, 52 percent do so privately [italics clearly deliberate]. Furthermore, just 9 percent consider themselves members of the movement but an additional 21 percent state they have friends and families who are. In other words — despite all those demonstrations and town hall meetings you may have been watching, reading about or participating in — the Tea Party Movement is still largely sub rosa. Why? Well, a variety of answers suggest themselves (and I am sure you will have more), but, as a Hollywood screenwriter who voted for Bush, I know full well the necessity of keeping your mouth shut. And if we are a nation of people who have been keeping our mouths shut, look out in November.

Illegals take much more than they give
Excerpt: I am tired of the argument that illegal immigrants pay sales tax as well as paying into social security without receiving the benefits. Yes, they pay sales tax, but does that in any way add up to the billions that are spent on them for free services? As to paying social security tax, they have broken the law by coming in to the United States; they are not citizens; therefore, they cannot have social security numbers. Furthermore, if they have a social security card in order to pay social security taxes, that card has to be either stolen or forged. When illegal immigrants do jobs "that Americans won't do," their employees pay nothing into social security, Medicare, state taxes or federal taxes. I know of an employer who lost his illegal help and had to hire an American citizen. This employer had never done a payroll because his illegal help was paid under the table.

Show Me ObamaCare
Excerpt: The political revolt against ObamaCare came to Missouri Tuesday, with voters casting ballots three to one against the plan in its first direct referendum. This is another resounding health-care rebuke to the White House and Democrats, not that overwhelming public opposition to this expansion of government power ever deterred them before. Missouri's Proposition C annulled the "individual mandate" within state lines, or the requirement that everyone buy insurance or else pay a tax. Liberals are trying to wave off this embarrassment, but that is hard to do when the split was 71.1% in favor in a state John McCain won by a mere 0.1% margin. The anti-ObamaCare measure carried every county save St. Louis and Kansas City with 668,000 votes, yet just 578,000 Republicans cast a ballot in the concurrent primaries. If the practical effects of this conflict between state and federal law are likely to be limited, more importantly, Missouri's vote revealed once again that the country is still aghast over President Obama's health-care presumption. Earlier this week, the Congressional Research Service reported that the new bureaucracy the bill created is so complex and indiscriminate that its size is "currently unknowable." (...) ObamaCare mandates that insurers spend a certain percentage of premium dollars on benefits, but Democrats never got around to writing the fine print of what counts as a benefit. So a handful of regulators are now choosing among the tens of thousands of services that doctors, hospitals and insurers offer. Few other government decisions will do more to shape tomorrow's health market, or what's left of it. (...) More notable is that people partial to ObamaCare but largely outside of politics are coming to understand the mess Congress has created.

Missouri Shows 'Em
Excerpt: Show Me State voters overwhelmingly rejected the federal mandate to buy health insurance. Those who ignored the consent of the governed to pass ObamaCare take heed: The governed no longer consent. It is fitting that Missouri was the first state to hold a public referendum on ObamaCare, sending the notion that government can shred the Constitution to impose its will to a crushing defeat with three-quarters of the voters approving Proposition C. The measure would forbid the federal government from penalizing people who do not buy health insurance. A year ago, on Aug. 6, 2009, Kenneth Gladney, an African-American vendor, was beaten by thugs wearing the purple shirts of the Service Employees International Union outside a town hall forum called by Rep. Mel Carnahan, D-Mo., at a school in Mehlville, Mo. It was a summer of tea parties and growing town hall protests of administration plans to nationalize health care. Gladney thought he could make a few bucks selling flags saying "Don't Tread On Me" — a flag from America's war of independence that has become the flag of the Tea Party movement. Back then, they were called an "angry mob." Well, it turns out the angry mob can vote, and they don't like to be trod upon by leaders who dismiss their wishes, vote on bills they don't read and then expect gratitude for adding unconscionable debt and regulation on us and our heirs.

U.S., Hanoi in Nuclear Talks
Excerpt: The Obama administration is in advanced negotiations to share nuclear fuel and technology with Vietnam in a deal that would allow Hanoi to enrich its own uranium—terms that critics on Capitol Hill say would undercut the more stringent demands the U.S. has been making of its partners in the Middle East. The State Department-led negotiations could unsettle China, which shares hundreds of miles of border with Vietnam. It is the latest example of the U.S.'s renewed assertiveness in South and Southeast Asia, as Washington strengthens ties with nations that have grown increasingly wary of Beijing's growing regional might. U.S. officials familiar with the matter say negotiators have given a full nuclear-cooperation proposal to the communist country and former Cold War foe, and have started briefing House and Senate foreign-relations committees. A top U.S. official briefed on the negotiation said China hadn't been consulted on the talks. "It doesn't involve China," the official said. Some counterproliferation experts and U.S. lawmakers briefed on the talks say the deal also marks a step backward in Washington's recent nonproliferation efforts, pointing to a key proviso that would allow Hanoi to produce nuclear fuel on its own soil. Both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations had been requiring that countries interested in nuclear cooperation with the U.S. renounce the right to enrich uranium in-country for civilian purposes, a right provided to signatories of the United Nations' Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. The technologies required to produce fuel for power reactors can also be used to create atomic weapons, raising proliferation fears. (Where would this leave us regarding Iran's nukes? As valuable as it would be to keep China off balance, remember Afghanistan in '79 - '80. We armed and trained the Muj who became the leaders that we are now fighting. Just last week, we learned some of the surviving Stinger shoulder-fired anti-air missiles we supplied them with are being used against our aircraft. Now we want to play the same game with nuclear materials? Madness! This will construct a lose-lose proposition for us, no matter the short-term gain. And, in 15 or 20 years, when alignments change again and China and the Viets are again friendly, then what? Ron P. The time to give Hanoi nukes would have been about 1967. Via B-52. ~Bob)

Kyl: Illegal Aliens' Kids Shouldn't Be Citizens
Excerpt: Sen. John Kyl, R-Ariz., said today that Congress should hold hearings to look into denying citizenship to illegal aliens' children born in the United States, as the fight over immigration widens into the explosive "birthright" issue. Last week Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he was considering introducing a Constitutional amendment to repeal a provision of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees citizenship to anyone born within U.S. borders. Graham suggested that children born in the United States whose parents are here illegally should not automatically become U.S. citizens.

Trackers take midterms by storm
Excerpt: On a recent sunny Thursday in California, a tracker for the Meg Whitman campaign was shooting video outside a nurses union protest of the Republican gubernatorial hopeful, when a beefy security guard for the labor group approached and jostled the tracker, whose camera suddenly shook and fell. Fortunately for Whitman, another of her campaign trackers was standing right there, filming the incident. Welcome to tracking, 2010 edition, in which election campaigns and parties are using savvier and quicker technology — and sometimes even multiple operatives — to record their rivals’ every move. Trackers have become the essential campaign tool, exploding in number in part because of the dwindling press corps. News outlets of all sizes have fewer and fewer bodies to send to cover events, meaning campaigns need to gather their own footage of what the opposition is saying and doing on the campaign trail. But trackers are also now considered as indispensable as pollsters for campaigns ranging from presidential contests all the way down to city council races. Their value reaches well beyond the research and intel they provide — they also record footage that might one day turn out to be a viral video, the modern campaign equivalent of a silver bullet.

Mexico's Juarez Cartel Gets Desperate
Excerpt: On Aug. 3, the U.S. Consulate in Juarez, Mexico, reopened after being closed for four days. On July 29, the consulate had announced in a warden message that it would be closed July 30 and would remain closed until a review of the consulate’s security posture could be completed. The closure appears to be linked to a message found on July 15, signed by La Linea, the enforcement arm of the Juarez cartel. This message was discovered at the scene shortly after a small improvised explosive device (IED) in a car was used in a well-coordinated ambush against federal police agents in Juarez, killing two agents. In the message, La Linea claimed credit for the attack and demanded that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and FBI investigate and remove the head of Chihuahua State Police Intelligence (CIPOL), who the message said is working with the Sinaloa Federation and its leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman Loera. The message threatened that if the intelligence official was not removed by July 30, La Linea would deploy a car bomb with 100 kilograms of high explosives in Juarez.

14 Americans Charged With Trying to Join Terror Group
Nothing to do with Islam, of course. Could just as easily been German Anabaptists on a rampage. Excerpt: Fourteen American citizens have been charged with trying to join the Somali terrorist group allied with al-Qaida and tied to two deadly bombings in Uganda last month, the Justice Department said. Twelve of those charged with trying to join or providing support to al-Shabab are from Minnesota; the others are from Alabama and California, Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters. Two women were arrested. "While our investigations are ongoing around the country, these arrests and charges should serve as an unmistakable warning to others who are considering joining or supporting terrorist groups like al-Shabab," Holder said. "If you choose this group, you can expect to find yourself in a United States jail cell or to be a casualty on a Somali battlefield." In all, 19 people in Minnesota have been charged in the investigation, Holder said. Nine were arrested in the U.S. or overseas and five have already pleaded guilty, he said. Ten of those charged are believed to be overseas and are being sought, he said. In addition, two women who live in Minnesota and are naturalized U.S. citizens were arrested today on charges of providing material support to terrorists, Holder said. They allegedly raised money through door-to-door solicitations and teleconferences in Somali communities in the U.S. and Canada. In some cases, they falsely claimed the money was to aid the poor, according to Holder.

Good Cartoon Site

'Administrative alternatives' = stealth amnesty
Excerpt: Obama administration officials are now busy distancing themselves from a controversial draft memorandum outlining various ways to bypass Congress and administratively grant amnesty to tens of thousands of illegal immigrants. But the leaked internal memo has struck a nerve in the body politic precisely because it is only the latest of a growing list of examples of the Obama White House seeking to circumvent the popular will.

Dreadful results in Middle America for the Obama Democrats
Excerpt: I’ve just been looking at the returns from the primary elections yesterday in Michigan and Missouri. Neither state has party registration, which means that voters can choose to vote in either the Republican or the Democratic primary. In both states both parties had relatively congruent top-ticket races. Both had seriously contested governor races in Michigan and both had lopsided primaries with clear favorites for U.S. senator in Missouri. These circumstances make relative turnout a good gauge of the balance of enthusiasm in both states. The big news is that in both states nearly twice as many voters chose to participate in the Republican primary as in the Democratic primary.

More blame Obama for bad economy than Bush
Excerpt: Ahead of Friday's critical jobs report, a new poll finds more Americans blame President Obama than his predecessor for continued economic woes. Forty-eight percent of likely voters blame Obama's policies for the nation's economic condition, compared to 47 percent who fault former President George W. Bush, according to Rasmussen Reports. Although the difference is small and within the margin of error, the poll marks the first time in Obama's presidency that more people blame him than Bush for the economy. Obama's 48 percent also shows a three percentage point increase over the past month, according to Rasmussen. The shift in perceptions is a troubling development for the Democratic Party, which had hoped to show economic gains over the summer to give some lift to their midterm campaigns.

Republican senators tell Geithner: No special tax break for trial lawyers
Excerpt: A special tax break that would let contingency-fee lawyers write off loans they make to their clients has attracted plenty of unwanted attention in the U.S. Senate, Legal Newsline reports: One-quarter of the U.S. Senate has expressed concern that the U.S. Department of the Treasury may be planning to issue an order giving trial lawyers tax breaks on contingency fee lawsuits. Following a letter from Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, 24 more senators wrote the Treasury department Thursday to express similar worries about a tax break that failed the past two years in Congress. John Thune, R-S.D., authored the letter, sent to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner…

Attempted Repeal Of Small Business Tax Reporting Requirements Fails In House
Excerpt: House Democrats Friday reversed course and backed the repeal of controversial Internal Revenue Service reporting rules that were part of health-care legislation. But the measure to repeal the rules failed in the House as Republicans rallied against provisions--added to the bill by Democrats to irk the opposition--to raise taxes on U.S. multinational firms. The measure fell on a 241-154 vote. All but one of the House Democrats who voted supported the measure, and only two Republicans voted in favor of the bill. Democrats have come under increasing pressure over the IRS reporting requirements. Business groups, Republicans and a watchdog agency within the IRS have charged that it would burden small business with mounds of extra paperwork. Friday's House vote came only after Democrats postponed a vote on a Republican motion to repeal the IRS reporting rule. Democratic leaders set a high procedural hurdle on the vote for repeal, bringing it to a vote under special House rules that require a two-thirds majority for passage. Republican aides said this was mainly a way for Democrats to avoid a politically damaging vote on the GOP motion.

Dennis Miller on ‘The Factor’: Ground Zero mosque, Arizona, Lady GaGa
Miller is a funny guy.

The Secret History of Climate Alarmism
Excerpt: "Changes in the earth’s atmosphere, the additional greenhouse effect and the resultant changes in the climate.  .  . represent a global danger for humanity and the entire biosphere of the earth. If no effective counteracting measures are taken, dramatic consequences are to be expected for all of the earth’s regions." This warning will undoubtedly seem familiar, perhaps even mind-numbingly so. But if the substance sounds like the same-old same-old, the date on which it was issued might seem surprising. It was not in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate summit or indeed anytime in the last decade. The above passage is nearly two decades old. It comes from a resolution adopted by the German Bundestag in September 1991. The resolution in question summarizes and endorses the recommendations of a parliamentary commission of inquiry on “Taking Precautionary Action to Protect the Earth’s Atmosphere.” The commission had been set up in October 1987.

The EU Connection In Climate Research
Interesting. Excerpt: The leaking of the East Anglia “Climategate” e-mails and data last November shattered the appearance of a scientific consensus on supposed “man-made global warming” and provided a disturbing insight into the corruption of the scientific process as it relates to the “man-made global warming” hypothesis. The spectacle of scientists stonewalling freedom of information requests, destroying records, hiding unwelcome results, colluding to keep dissenting viewpoints out of scholarly journals, and even suppressing their own acknowledged doubts — all of this made it perfectly clear that other interests were at stake than the pure pursuit of knowledge. The centrality of the quest for funding in the e-mail exchanges made it equally clear that for the scientists in question, money, unsurprisingly, was first and foremost among those interests. But just who or what had corrupted the science in order to produce the phantom “consensus”? Commentators in U.S. online discussion forums and blogs wasted no time in identifying two prime suspects: the reputed prophet of green energy, Al Gore, and the right’s least favorite leftist billionaire, George Soros. Such speculation said a lot about the top bogeymen in the conservative blogosphere, but it was prima facie implausible or even indeed absurd. After all, no single individual, no matter how wealthy, has the resources that it takes to politicize weather and corrupt the entire global scientific enterprise. Indeed, in the grand scheme of things, one of the named suspects is not even particularly wealthy. Despite the prominent role he has played as a spokesperson for climate alarmism, it is far more likely that the former vice president is a passenger on the global warming bandwagon, not a driver. If no individual has the money it takes, states — especially if they pool their resources — most certainly do. The real culprit in the corruption of the scientific process and the promotion of climate alarmism is named again and again in the East Anglia e-mails and documents. But the culprit is named with many different names, mysterious combinations of letters and numbers and lyrical code words, names like “dgxii, dgxi fp5 fp6 fp7 life enrich.” What do they mean? In the final analysis, it is but one and the same multinational organization that lurks behind all these designations: the European Union.

Obama Stimulus Money to Study Dinosaur Eggs
Excerpt: Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and John McCain (R-AZ) have put out Summertime Blues to show Americans how their tax dollars are being squandered by President Obama in the name of “Stimulus.” Would you believe that they have found Stimulus money being used to study the effects of how monkeys react under the influence of cocaine? No way. How ’bout $1.9 million of your tax dollars to listen to foreign Ants? Sound real? What about $296,385 of your tax dollars being used to study dog domestication? Too crazy to believe? Right wing fear mongering? Would you believe $141,002 to study “dinosaur eggs and other fossils” in China?

Chicago Man Arrested For Allegedly Planning "Jihad" Against U.S.
Didn’t get the memo. Excerpt: A 26-year-old Chicago man has been arrested for allegedly planning to join a Somalia-based terror group.

Rights groups condemn Malaysian state's decision to allow child marriage
Excerpt: "The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)." -- Bukhari 7.62.88. The Islamic religious council in southern Malacca state has greenlighted child marriage. It did so not as a "practical move," as is claimed here, but in imitation of Muhammad's example, since Muhammad is the supreme example of conduct for Muslims (cf. Qur'an 33:21). And so here again we confront the irony: Islamic spokesmen in the West routinely denounce as "Islamophobes" those who point out that Muhammad consummated his marriage with Aisha when he was 54 and she was 9, and claim that Aisha was much older, but in the Islamic world the Misunderstanders of Islam once again abound, and engage in or condone child marriage in imitation of Muhammad. (Note: Bukhari is considered to be one of the strongest of the Hadith or Sunna, the “traditions of the Prophet” which are considered Islamic holy texts that illuminate the Qur’an and without which the Qur’an cannot be rightly understood. ~Bob)

Gingrich defends 4 arrested trying to convert Muslims to Christianity
Excerpt: In a July 28 e-newsletter, Gingrich defended the four. "They were ... on a public street outside an Arab festival in a way that is completely permissible by law, but, of course, forbidden by sharia's rules on proselytizing," said Gingrich, a Republican, referring to the missionaries passing out literature. "This is a clear case of freedom of speech and the exercise of religious freedom being sacrificed in deference to sharia's intolerance against the preaching of religions other than Islam." Sharia law is a set of religious laws based on the Islamic Holy Book, the Quran. "Cases like this will become all the more common as radical Islamists grow more and more aggressive in the United States," Gingrich wrote about the missionaries' case and others pointed out in the newsletter.

Religion of Peace
There are harsh words here. But they are hard to refute if you have read widely of Islam’s political doctrine and basis. Maybe harsh words are needed to get the message to those living in the land of wishful thinking. Excerpt: Aslim, Taslim was the message that Mohammed sent to non-Muslim rulers, literally meaning, "Submit and you will be well". Since then that message has been sent by Muslim leaders, political and religious, to Western leaders. The multiple meanings of "Peace", "Submission", "Wholeness" and "Security" connecting to the name of the religion itself, play on the ambiguity of ideas. Peace becomes surrender. Islam becomes safety. And security means submission. For Westerners peace can exist apart from religion, for Muslims, peace is a theological state, rather than a political one. A political peace will never be considered by Muslims as anything but a temporary truce to gain strategic advantage. A true peace must be theological, in that non-Muslims must concede the superiority of Islamic law and the Koran. To achieve "wholeness" with the Dar-Al-Islam, one must first submit to it. Aslim, Taslim. Western apologists for Islam highlight that Islam is a "Religion of Peace." The implication is that Islam preaches peace, when in reality Muslims see peace as existing only within the context of Islam. This theology of Pax Islamica makes any notion of peaceful co-existence into an absurd joke, because it defines peace only in terms of itself, and treats everyone else as wayward heretics who must be suppressed and made obedient to Islam.

EPA left to pick up climate change where Congress dropped the debate
Excerpt: The Obama administration told Congress to find a way to regulate greenhouse gases -- or else. Last month, Congress refused: Democratic leaders in the Senate declined to take up climate legislation before their August break, which means it looks effectively dead for this session. Now the White House is stuck with "or else." The Environmental Protection Agency will soon begin regulating greenhouse gases factory by factory, power plant by power plant. That could be unwieldy, expensive and unpopular -- even President Obama has said it's not his preferred solution. But for now, it's his only option. The next few months could bring a climax to the long-running debate over how to combat climate change, with the EPA trying to implement its rules and industry groups and opponents in Congress seeking to block it with lawsuits or legislation. The administration will cite a mandate from the Supreme Court, which ruled in 2007 that greenhouse gases could be regulated like other air pollutants. But opponents will say it has chosen an approach that stretches the law and could impose serious economic costs. (...) This is where the fight begins. Some industry groups say that if the EPA requires aggressive cuts, the result could be crushing costs for businesses. So even before it begins, the EPA effort is the subject of lawsuits, from plaintiffs questioning both its science and legal underpinnings. At particular issue is the "tailoring rule" that limits regulation to the largest emitters: Opponents say it deviates from standards written into the 40-year-old Clean Air Act.

Vietnam-Era General Cleared After 38 Years
Excerpt: Air Force Gen. John Lavelle was blamed for allowing unauthorized strikes in North Vietnam and for allegedly falsifying reports related to the strikes. He was removed from command and demoted two ranks in 1972 after an inspector general investigation concluded the rules of engagement had been violated. Lavelle, who died in 1979, always denied any wrongdoing and insisted his actions were authorized. At issue was a dispute over whether strikes that Lavelle ordered against North Vietnam were in line with the military's rules of engagement. In 1972, those rules only allowed Air Force assets to strike targets in North Vietnam if they were responding to fire, or if they were targeted by the radar of a surface-to-air-missile system. It has since come to light, however, that President Richard M. Nixon ordered the Air Force leadership to allow so-called "protection reaction" strikes against North Vietnamese surface-to-air missile sites, based on the threat they could pose to U.S. aircraft. A decision announced today by the Pentagon clears Lavelle and nominates him posthumously to the rank of general. "[T]he Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records found no evidence Lavelle caused, either directly or indirectly, the falsification of records, or that he was even aware of their existence," the Pentagon said in a statement released today. "Once he learned of the reports, Lavelle took action to ensure the practice was discontinued." Because of the retirement rules in effect at the time, Lavelle did not lose any pay from his demotion, so the Air Force will not have to pay any retroactive retirement benefits, Beth Gosselin, an Air Force spokeswoman, told AOL News. Gosselin also confirmed that the inquiry into clearing Lavelle was prompted by a 2008 request from his family. The primary evidence clearing Lavelle came from tapes of Nixon that were released in 2007.

Justice Brennan's Footnote Gave Us Anchor Babies
Excerpt: Democrats act as if the right to run across the border when you're 8 1/2 months pregnant, give birth in a U.S. hospital and then immediately start collecting welfare was exactly what our forebears had in mind, a sacred constitutional right, as old as the 14th Amendment itself. The louder liberals talk about some ancient constitutional right, the surer you should be that it was invented in the last few decades. In fact, this alleged right derives only from a footnote slyly slipped into a Supreme Court opinion by Justice Brennan in 1982. You might say it snuck in when no one was looking, and now we have to let it stay. The 14th Amendment was added after the Civil War in order to overrule the Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision, which had held that black slaves were not citizens of the United States. The precise purpose of the amendment was to stop sleazy Southern states from denying citizenship rights to newly freed slaves -- many of whom had roots in this country longer than a lot of white people. The amendment guaranteed that freed slaves would have all the privileges of citizenship by providing: "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." The drafters of the 14th amendment had no intention of conferring citizenship on the children of aliens who happened to be born in the U.S. (For my younger readers, back in those days, people cleaned their own houses and raised their own kids.) Inasmuch as America was not the massive welfare state operating as a magnet for malingerers, frauds and cheats that it is today, it's amazing the drafters even considered the amendment's effect on the children of aliens. But they did. The very author of the citizenship clause, Sen. Jacob Howard of Michigan, expressly said: "This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers." In the 1884 case Elk v. Wilkins, the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment did not even confer citizenship on Indians -- because they were subject to tribal jurisdiction, not U.S. jurisdiction. For a hundred years, that was how it stood, with only one case adding the caveat that children born to LEGAL permanent residents of the U.S., gainfully employed, and who were not employed by a foreign government would also be deemed citizens under the 14th Amendment. (United States v. Wong Kim Ark, 1898.) And then, out of the blue in 1982, Justice Brennan slipped a footnote into his 5-4 opinion in Plyler v. Doe, asserting that "no plausible distinction with respect to Fourteenth Amendment 'jurisdiction' can be drawn between resident aliens whose entry into the United States was lawful, and resident aliens whose entry was unlawful." (Other than the part about one being lawful and the other not.)

Liberal Piety and the Memory of 9/11
Excerpt: Americans may have lacked for much in the course of their history, but never instruction in social values. The question today is whether Americans of any era have ever confronted the bombardment of hectoring and sermonizing now directed at those whose views are deemed insufficiently enlightened—an offense regularly followed by accusations that the offenders have violated the most sacred principles of our democracy.

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