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.
Please forward to voters in Illinois: What Alexi knew
Excerpt: After Sunday's "Meet the Press" debate with Rep. Mark Kirk, Alexi Giannoulias' campaign put out a batch of things their candidate said, under the title, "10 Quotes, 10 Reasons to Vote for Alexi." Here's a quote that was not included: "I didn't know the extent of their activity." Giannoulias was responding to a question from NBC's David Gregory about his bank's loans to organized crime figures back when he was a loan officer at the family business. As the Tribune reported in April, Broadway Bank had lent millions of dollars to Michael "Jaws" Giorango and his business partner Demitri Stavropoulos by the time Giannoulias arrived at the institution. During his time as a loan officer, the bank kept giving them loans — even when they were about to go to federal prison on felony convictions. Confronted with these embarrassing facts, the candidate has squirmed to put the best face on them. "If I knew then what I know now, these are not the kind of people that we do business with," he said Sunday. But when Gregory asked, "Did you know that they were crime figures that you were loaning to?", Giannoulias couldn't fudge his way to safety. "I didn't know the extent of their activity," he said. That is a roundabout way of saying: "Yes. It's probably true that Giannoulias was not fully briefed on their illegal activity, which is the sort of thing felons rarely publicize even to their financial enablers. But he and his colleagues did know — or should have known — enough to show these clients the door. Not only had Giorango served prison time in the 1990s for his involvement in illegal bookmaking, but he and Stavropoulos had been convicted, in 2004, of new felonies for which they later served prison time. Those crimes were not enough to get them a rejection from Broadway Bank. The two continued getting loans until September 2005. That was the same month that Giannoulias says he stopped his involvement in "day-to-day" operations of the bank as he got ready to run for state treasurer. In other words, it wasn't till he left to run for office that the bank cut off these customers. Of course, there's still this question: How can Giannoulias say he left in 2005, but report to the IRS that he worked hundreds of hours in 2006, thereby qualifying for a $2.7 million tax deduction? Giannoulias tries to minimize the significance of all this, but there is no way to deny the central fact: While he was a loan officer at the family bank, the bank chose to lend money to known felons connected to organized crime. Maybe he didn't know the "extent of their activity." But a conscientious banker wouldn't have needed to.
Please forward to California voters: Barbara Boxer, Code Pink's favorite Senator
Excerpt: In the final days of her most difficult reelection bid, California Senator Barbara Boxer is emphasizing veterans’ issues to deflect criticism of her long history of undermining the US military, a cynical strategy that has garnered an endorsement from the increasingly leftist VFW. At the recent opening of a new veterans' center in Pasadena, Boxer was overcome with emotion as Senator Inouye of Hawaii defended her record of support for veterans and veterans' issues. Let’s review a few facts that Boxer and her handlers hope the voters won't recall. In Congress during the Cold War, Boxer consistently worked to cut military funding for projects such as the Patriot missile and stealth aircraft, and supported a Congressional Black Caucus recommendation to cut the defense budget in half. In 1991, she sponsored a House resolution demanding prior Congressional approval of all covert US actions overseas - a measure that would have crippled anti-terrorist efforts. The radical proposal was defeated unanimously. As a US Senator, Boxer voted against health care reconciliation bill amendments to exempt veterans from a new tax on medical devices, including prosthetics such as artificial limbs. Perhaps the most revealing window into Boxer's true feelings towards our military is her close alliance with Code Pink, a radical leftist group that reviles American troops as terrorists and assassins while praising their enemies as freedom fighters. For years, Code Pink has viciously harassed wounded veterans and their families outside Walter Reed Hospital, even telling the mother of a slain Navy Seal that her son "deserved to die." Code Pink actively supports terror groups such as Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Taliban, Hezbollah and al Qaeda. The Code Pink website repeatedly praises "our beloved Barbara Boxer." And why not? Boxer has worked with the group and supported its goals on many occasions. In early 2005, Boxer was the only member of the Senate to oppose certifying the Electoral College result that returned George Bush to office for a second term. Code Pink hosted rallies and participated in various demonstrations and marches to "defend democracy" against the results of the 2004 elections. They wrapped up the event at Senator Boxer's California office, "singing her songs of thanks." (This woman is one of the really special group of elected representatives who actually despise American culture as it has been, and who are ready and willing to support changes in our society that will leave us all less free and more taxed. Somehow the VFW political arm decided to support her, but below is an excellent article that tells you the real story. Sad and depressing as it is. –Del)
Government Greed by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Those who are always accusing people in the private sector of "greed" almost never accuse government of greed, no matter what it does. Indeed, the question of whether the government is greedy almost never comes up, so most of us probably never think about it. The first time I was forced to think about it was some years ago, when a bank notified me that the government was about to seize a bank account of mine, unless I took action. Since I didn't owe the government any money, and was not accused of any crime, I was baffled. What had happened was that I had received a private grant to help finance international travel in connection with my research into racial and cultural issues in countries around the world. Since the money was not for my personal use, I opened a separate bank account to hold that money until I was ready to go overseas. Such a trip would obviously take a lot of time, so I had to get my other work and commitments cleared up before I could take off for a few months. That was easier said than done, so the bank account with the travel money in it just sat there, with nothing being added to it or taken from it. There are escheat laws, under which the government can seize the assets of someone who has died and whose heirs have not claimed those assets after some period of time. The theory is that there is no reason why banks should get that money. On the other hand, there is no reason why politicians should get it either, but the politicians write the laws. Like other laws, escheat laws have some plausible rationale. And, like other laws, what is actually done can end up going far beyond those rationales. The period during which a bank account can be dormant before the government moves in has been shortened to a very few years…. Perhaps one of the most unconscionable acts of greed by government is confiscating people's homes, in order to turn this property over to other people, who are expected to build things that will pay more taxes. The Constitution allows the government to take private property for its own use, provided "just compensation" is paid. That way the government can build reservoirs, bridges, or highways, for example, even if that requires displacing some people. But judges over the years have expanded this power to include taking private property just to turn it over to some other private individual or business. There are various ways in which the money actually paid to homeowners can be less than the market value of their homes. Moreover, since these homeowners had not chosen to sell their homes in the market, the value that they put on their homes obviously exceeded the market value.
Rather Than Bash the Rich, We Should Emulate Them
This guy is rational about economics. See this and his column below. He’ll never get elected to anything, of course. ~Bob. Excerpt: As the article’s author perhaps unwittingly noted, programs offered by Blake “range from highly successful summer programs for Minneapolis Public Schools students called LearningWorks, to a quickly expanding service learning program that is designed to build a sense of responsibility toward others”. What the author conveniently leaves out is that these programs have a cost, and it’s a safe bet that they’re funded by the very parents who presumably impress on their privileged children the good that comes from helping others. It’s also the case that last year Blake offered 250 students $4 million in aid in order to attend the school. Not mentioned once again is the likelihood that in a school that is 81% white, probably a great deal of the funds meant to give others the opportunities that were once just the preserve of the rich came from the rich white parents whose children supposedly aren’t worth emulating. Blake was of course founded in 1900 “by the richest families in Minneapolis for the purpose of securing access for their children to the elite private schools on the East Coast,” but with 1/5th of the student body unable to afford its nosebleed tuition, it seems the school’s supposedly valueless benefactors are sacrificing a great deal of their own money in order to give to others the advantages their children presently enjoy. If so, and if the rich and their offspring place a high value on accessing the best education well beyond Blake, shouldn’t the non-rich be eagerly copying their values, rather than dismissing them as unworthy? Probably. Looking at community service within a school that is aggressively addressing what the upper school’s assistant director terms “white privilege”, Blake students “volunteer for organizations such as Minneapolis Crisis Nursery, UNICEF, and Vail Place, a support program for adults with mental illness.” Apparently it’s a good thing to “think like a rich kid” if a volunteerism is any kind of gauge.
If Charity is Their Goal, Gates and Buffett Should Hoard Their Wealth
Excerpt: But while it's exciting to contemplate the giving nature of Gates and Buffett, if their true desire is to help their fellow man, they should hoard every penny of their significant wealth. For the two richest men in the U.S. to monetize their wealth in order to support charities is for them to oversee the conversion of production goods to consumption goods. Some will no doubt benefit in the near term, but the removal of limited capital from the productive parts of the economy will ultimately reduce our standard of living, drive up unemployment and make individuals more--as opposed to less--needful of charity. Conversely, money saved and invested constitutes capital offered to today's and tomorrow's businesses. When individuals save, they're by definition providing capital to entrepreneurs, and the capital formation that results from saving naturally stimulates job creation. Considered in this light, savers and investors are conferring the ultimate benefit on others by virtue of their financial means supporting individuals eager to work. There are no jobs without investment, and given the billions that Gates and Buffett control, if they were to hoard their wealth rather than give it away, their wealth-creation motive would boost the job market. All job creation begins with delayed consumption, as does all wealth creation. So when the rich maintain their money and investments, their increased net worth redounds to wages and job opportunities. Some would call the hording of wealth greed, but it's a fair bet that the millions of Americans presently unemployed wouldn't mind Gates and Buffett adding a few zeros to their net worths if it meant those looking for work could find good jobs.
Obama: Our First Post-Racial Failure
Excerpt: Barack Obama has become the nation's first post-racial failure...and we are all the stronger for it. After almost two years in office, he is living proof that America has managed to safely cross the racial divide. Failure is no longer the sole preserve of white presidents and Caucasian New York Times publishers. Obama has fashioned what Harvard historians would call a watershed in modern American history, right up there with the creation of MSNBC and the 1978 Star Wars Christmas television special, Happy Life Day. He has failed. Indeed, Obama has failed so obviously and on such a grand scale that historians will look back in awe from an exceptionally American future and say that his presidency inarguably established as truism that failure knows no color, and fecklessness transcends all races and religions. Generations of schoolchildren will learn that obtuseness is not the sole preserve of the DNA strands that weave their way toward a pale John Kerry or inextricably combine to produce a lighter-shade-of-pale Jimmy Carter. Barack Obama has failed not because he is black, but, as one PajamasMedia reader put it, because "everything he has done or wants to do is a disaster!" For the country, that is -- Democrat leadership, the faculty lounge, and the Upper West Side of Manhattan view Obama's governance and our misery as success...but that's another story for another day. The rest of the nation, however, sees a decimated free market, out-of-control regulation, shrinking liberty, and historic deficits fueling a descent into what Thomas Lifson terms "progressive feudalism," in which "even the most mundane tasks" will be regulated by government. And we don't like it. The inimitable Rush Limbaugh, asked what is "sinking" the Democrats, put it this way: "It's Obama's Jackassian Policies." Leave it to the Maha Rushie to get to the heart of the matter. He put it in such a way that even the simplest of the simple (MSNBC's Ed Schultz, for example, or a New York Times columnist) can understand: an African-American can be every bit of a "jackass" as a dunderhead of the white persuasion. And, extending the logic, ignorance may now also be associated with brown and yellow skin, with females as well as males, with gays and lesbians...why, the possibilities are endless. "Stupid is as stupid does" is no longer just white and Forest Gump; it is black and Barack Obama (three months into his presidency, the Philadelphia Bulletin, a mainstream newspaper that also doubles as the Democratic house organ in Philadelphia, whined that he is setting "a record for incompetence"), or brown and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (a Latino whose latest achievement is making the "America's Worst Governor" list, having already achieved fame as one of the nation's worst cabinet members during the Clinton era). Washington has shown us the way, colorblind and brain-dead from the top down. What a wonderful country!
Another Orwellian Wilders Trial in The Netherlands?
A worthy, mainstream, respected cleric of the “Religion of Peace.” In the brave new world coming, telling the truth will be a “hate crime.” ~Bob. Excerpt: Geert Wilders, on trial in Amsterdam for "inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims," has also been summoned by a court in The Hague because imam Fawaz Jneid is demanding €55,000 in "damages" from the Dutch MP. The so-called basis for this absurd lawsuit is that Wilders used footage which reveals Lebanese-born Mr Jneid's true malevolence, copied from an interview shown on Dutch public TV, and edited into the short film documentary "Fitna" -- but incorporated into Fitna without the good imam's permission. The "plaintiff" imam Jneid cursed filmmaker Theo van Gogh in a sermon a few weeks before he was murdered. Moreover, as per terrorist suspect Soumaya Sahla, van Gogh's murderer, Mohammed Bouyeri, was present at the sermon. During his sermon, Fawaz intoned to Allah: "Cause Van Gogh a disease which all the inhabitants of the earth are unable to cure. Cause him suffering making him long for death. Blind the sight of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, give her brains a cancer. Give her tongue a cancer." More recently imam Jneid has taken to radicalizing 5-14 year old Muslim children.
California: the make-believe state
Excerpt: “If I am elected, the bald will grow thick hair.” Alas, I am not a candidate for anything, and so the bald will have to continue their suffering in silence. And, frankly, were I campaigning for a position of public trust, I would lose badly, for reasons entirely separate from my utter lack of schmoozing skills. The real reason is quite simple: In no universe would I be able to out-promise any randomly-selected opponent here in the land of Hollywood fantasies, San Francisco nuttiness, and 12.4 percent unemployment. Well, you ask, why not? After all, anyone can make promises. Not really: One has to make promises with a straight face, a rather different skill. And here in California, one loud promise made in 2006 with the enactment of the Global Warming Solutions Act (“AB32”) — which requires a reduction in the emissions of so-called greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020, or about 25-30 percent — was that this legislation would increase aggregate employment, particularly in the form of (undefined) “green” jobs. And that promise was made with uniformly straight faces by a broad spectrum of California pols, prominent among them Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, bodybuilder, terminator, and political wuss. What about the fact that green energy must be subsidized heavily, whether through the tax system or by regulation, in order to compete, even in regulated energy markets? Irrelevant. What about the dismal experience in Spain, where each green job has cost $791,000 (over 571,000 Euros) and has resulted in the loss of 2.2 ordinary jobs? Irrelevant. What about the German experience, where each green job has cost as much as $244,000 (about 175,000 Euros)? Irrelevant.
China stakes claim to S. Texas oil, gas
Excerpt: State-owned Chinese energy giant CNOOC is buying a multibillion-dollar stake in 600,000 acres of South Texas oil and gas fields, potentially testing the political waters for further expansion into U.S. energy reserves. With the announcement Monday that it would pay up to $2.2 billion for a one-third stake in Chesapeake Energy assets, CNOOC lays claim to a share of properties that eventually could produce up to half a million barrels a day of oil equivalent. It also might pick up some American know-how about tapping the hard-to-get deposits trapped in dense shale rock formations, analysts said. As part of the deal, the largest purchase of an interest in U.S. energy assets by a Chinese company, CNOOC has agreed to pay about $1.1 billion for a chunk of Chesapeake’s assets in the Eagle Ford, a broad oil and gas formation that runs largely from southwest of San Antonio to the Mexican border. CNOOC also will provide up to $1.1 billion more to cover drilling costs.
China overtakes U.S. as biggest energy consumer: IEA
Excerpt: China has become the world's largest energy user, having overtaken the United States, the head of the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday. "China is now the largest energy consumer by our definition," the executive director of the Paris-based IEA, Nobuo Tanaka, told an industry conference. "Probably half of the oil demand increase comes from China. Nobody knows when it (will) slow down." The IEA advises 28 developed countries. China is not a part of the IEA but the agency monitors the country as its oil demand can have a significant impact on prices. (We need a Chinese Al Gore to sabotage their economy. ~Bob.)
Joel Pollak: Probably smartest candidate for Congress in the country ~Bob
This is my district. ~Bob. Excerpt from e-mail: Mr. Seals was meant to have shared the stage with 10th district Republican candidate Robert Dold, but Bob was unable to attend the forum due to a national television appearance on FOX News. That left Joel as the sole Republican candidate for federal office at the forum. Unfazed, Joel Pollak introduced himself to the more than 200 attendees in both Hebrew and Arabic, launching into a description of the current challenges facing the United States and Israel in the Middle East in his opening presentation. Watch the candidates answer a question on Iran:
Watch the candidates answer a question on the economy:
Pollak for Congress TV Ad 3 - "Nancy Sells Flowers"
Pollak for Congress Web Ad 2 - "Biggest Spender"
Families, veterans call operation name on Arlington headstones propaganda move
Excerpt: Along the meticulously spaced rows of graves at Arlington National Cemetery, the names of the nation's wars are clearly etched into the headstones: World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korea, the Persian Gulf. Soon, a new inscription for troops killed in Iraq could appear: "Operation New Dawn." Unlike in past conflicts, the overwhelming majority of headstones for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan at the nation's most hallowed military burial ground use the military's official names for those conflicts: Operation Enduring Freedom for Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom for Iraq. As of Sept. 1, Operation Iraqi Freedom has been rebranded Operation New Dawn. Some families and veterans groups say those slogans are little more than propaganda tactics, ways for politicians and the Pentagon to sanitize the wars and drum up public support. The phrases are also confusing, the veterans groups say, because many people have no idea that Operation Enduring Freedom refers to Afghanistan. Using the words "new dawn" to mark a person's final resting place is inappropriate, even insulting, some family members say. "It's not a new dawn; we lost a son," said Oscar Aviles, whose son Andrew Aviles, a Marine Corps lance corporal, was killed in Iraq in 2003. "It's just a lot of pain and anguish."
Nobel Winner Blocked From Federal Reserve Post by Republican 'Hold'
He’s not the only Nobel Winner who should be blocked from a federal post. ~bob.
Democrats' desperation tactics on campaign finance
Excerpt: In their latest attempt to distract voters from their job-killing policies, President Obama, his White House and senior Democrats in Congress have added to their long list of bogeymen the outside groups that seek to help elect Republicans in November. They threaten congressional investigations, discuss private tax information and level baseless accusations of criminal activity against those who have been public in seeking to defeat Democratic candidates and their liberal agenda. Without a trace of irony, powerful. Democratic officeholders lament that many who support these groups wish to remain anonymous. None of these Democrats expressed concern about such outside spending in 2008, when more than $400 million was spent to help elect Barack Obama, much of it from undisclosed donors. The liberal groups and Democrats who supported the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, which established the legal framework for this new campaign spending, were much faster to adapt to its contours than the Republicans and conservative groups that largely opposed it, and liberal outside groups massively outspent Republicans in the past two election cycles. When conservative groups and their backers moved closer to spending parity (Democrats' cries of being outspent omit the more than $200 million being spent by labor unions this cycle), Democrats tried to change the law again. Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen and Sen. Chuck Schumer, who chaired the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, tried to jam through a new campaign finance reform bill that would force the disclosure of donors but carefully adjust the disclosure thresholds to exempt labor unions. After this transparently political effort failed, the Democrats unleashed a torrent of calls for government investigations into groups for abiding by the law they passed in 2002 but failed this year to change.
"The Boy and the Man" - Ron Klein & Allen West Bedtime Story
New Allan West ad.
Global warming fraud: the tide begins to turn
Excerpt: Funny business, blogging. Sometimes, you put up a post you personally think is genius and no one gives a damn. Other times, you put up a post you imagine is fairly routine – and suddenly the internet goes mental. US physics professor: “Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life” definitely belonged in the latter category. I claim no credit for it. All I did was print, verbatim, a resignation letter written by a distinguished US physics professor Hal Lewis to the American Physical Society. Possibly I helped give it legs by singling out the juiciest quote in the letter and putting it in the headline. That’s all. The true hero of the hour is Professor Lewis for having the courage to stick out his neck and say what so many thousands of other scientists around the world would dearly love to say too: that the global warming industry is a scam and sham. But they can’t because, like all of us, they have to make a living. I’ll leave it to a commenter called Scotchman to explain how it works: No surprise here. Don’t know if any of you are scientists but climate change is a bit of a standing joke in the science community. Want funding for a study of, say, UK swan populations? Sorry old boy, no money. Well, in that case I would like to conduct a study into the effect of climate change on UK swan populations. Certainly, how much would you like? Trouble is it distorts the research. The scientist’s objective is to stay in a job, publish papers and run a research team. Process takes precedent over results, a bit like modern policing and medicine really.
Hal Lewis: My Resignation From The American Physical Society – an important moment in science history
"I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work."~ Hal Lewis Below is his resignation letter made public today, via the GWPF. This is an important moment in science history. I would describe it as a letter on the scale of Martin Luther, nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door. It is worthy of repeating this letter in entirety on every blog that discusses science. (Anthony Watts) (I am (occasionally) guilty of overstatement. After reading the letter referred to in the article, I don't think anyone will accuse Anthony Watts of overstating its importance in his comment below. Ron P.)
Physicists Stick to Warming Claim Post-ClimateGate
Dated 8 Dec 2009, this article from CBS News--not even remotely a conservative site--provides some history for Prof. Hal Lewis's so-public resignation from the American Physical Society, and why it is of historic proportions within the specialty. Ron P. excerpt: The professional association for physicists is facing internal pressure from some of its most distinguished members, who say the burgeoning ClimateGate scandal means the group should rescind its 2007 statement declaring that global warming represents a dire international emergency. (...) Pressure on this venerable society of physicists, which was founded in 1899 at Columbia University, is coming from members who are squarely in the scientific mainstream and are alarmed at the state of climate science revealed in the leaked e-mail messages and program files from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit. (See CBS News' prior coverage.) Those files show that prominent scientists were so wedded to theories of man-made global warming that they ridiculed dissenters who asked for copies of their data, plotted how to keep researchers who reached different conclusions from publishing, and discussed how to conceal apparently buggy computer code from being disclosed under the Freedom of Information law. Internal investigations are now underway at East Anglia, Penn State, and the British government's weather forecasting unit. One APS dissenting member is William Happer, a physicist who runs the Happer Lab at Princeton University. Another is Hal Lewis, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A third is Robert Austin, another Princeton physics professor and head of a biophysics research group. They've been circulating a letter saying: "By now everyone has heard of what has come to be known as ClimateGate, which was and is an international scientific fraud, the worst any of us have seen... We have asked the APS management to put the 2007 statement on ice until the extent to which it is tainted can be determined, but that has not been done. We have also asked that the membership be consulted on this point, but that too has not been done." (...) In the aftermath of the embarrassing data leaks, however, Princeton's Happer says that about half of the APS members they've contacted now support the petition (which, after all, is only asking for an independent analysis of the science involved). Of the signatories so far, Happer says, 77 are fellows of major scientific societies, 14 members of the National Academies, one is a Nobel laureate, and there is a large number of authors of major scientific books and recipients of prizes and awards for scientific research. He adds: "Some have accepted a career risk by signing the petition. The 230 odd signatories can hardly be dismissed as lightweights compared to those who spread the message of impending climate disaster."
Do Gassy Camels Add to Global Warming?
Coming soon, the Al Gore Fart Police! ~Bob. Excerpt: Camels will be studied in central Australia to determine whether the animals' flatulence is contributing to global warming, the Northern Territory News reported Tuesday. The study will monitor the levels of greenhouse gas emissions produced by the animals. It will also try to determine if dead camels emit even more pollution as they are decomposing. The Northern Territory Government has given Charles Darwin University AU$10,000 ($9,671) to engage Aborigines to monitor camels' impact and carbon emission.
New York Suppresses Military Vote
No surprise. Ever since the Army vote re-elected Lincoln in 1864, they’ve preferred soldiers not vote. Dying to protect them is still okay, however. ~Bob. Excerpt: Here's a story we've heard before (see here and here, for example). The Democrat-run establishment is suppressing the military vote: More than one week after its extended deadline, New York still hasn't mailed out absentee ballots to all its 320,000 military servicemen and women and overseas voters, in clear violation of the MOVE Act, FoxNews.com has learned. According to the 2009 MOVE Act, a state must send out its military and overseas ballots 45 days prior to elections. New York was granted a waiver to this deadline by the Department of Justice and given an additional 15 days — until October 1 — to send out all its ballots. The new deadline came and went, and still the ballots were not sent out for some of New York's most heavily populated areas, including NYC.
U.S. Spending At Least $18.6 Million Per Day to Incarcerate Illegal Aliens; More Than 195,000 Illegal Aliens Deported in Fiscal 2010 Had Committed Crimes Here
And bullets so cheap. ~Bob. Excerpt: U.S. taxpayers are spending at least $18.6 million per day to house an estimated 300,000 to 450,000 illegal immigrants who are incarcerated and eligible for deportation from the United States, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). The cost per day for these prisoners is based on Justice Department incarceration cost estimates from 2001 and on the lower-end figure of 300,000 incarcerated deportable aliens, which means the actual expense today could be substantially higher than $18.6 million per day. The prisoners involved here are foreign national who have come into the United States, committed a crime, been captured, and imprisoned. Half of the undocumented aliens who were removed from the United States in fiscal 2010 (which ended on Sept. 30) had been convicted of a crime in the United States. On Wednesday, the office of the DHS Inspector General (IG) released its annual performance plan report for fiscal year 2011, which states that there are “approximately 300,000 to 450,000 criminal aliens incarcerated in federal, state, county, and local correctional facilities [who] are eligible for removal from the United States.”
Head of lead investigator in Falcon Lake case found
Excerpt: The severed head of the lead Mexican investigator in the Falcon Lake case was delivered Tuesday in a suitcase to the Mexican military, Texas Rep. Aaron Pena told CNN. However, a spokesman for the attorney general of Tamaulipas state in Mexico said he had not heard the report. David Michael Hartley went missing September 30. His wife, Tiffany, told authorities her husband was shot and killed during a sightseeing trip on Falcon Lake, which bisects the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas.
Federal Judge Orders 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Injunction
Be interesting to see if BO & Holder appeal! ~Bob. Excerpt: A federal judge issued a worldwide injunction Tuesday stopping enforcement of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy, ending the military's 17-year-old ban on openly gay troops. U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips' landmark ruling was widely cheered by gay rights organizations that credited her with getting accomplished what President Obama and Washington politics could not. "This order from Judge Phillips is another historic and courageous step in the right direction, a step that Congress has been noticeably slow in taking," said Alexander Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United and the sole named veteran plaintiff in the case along with the Log Cabin Republicans. Servicemembers United is the nation's largest organization of gay and lesbian troops and veterans. U.S. Department of Justice attorneys have 60 days to appeal. Legal experts say the department is under no legal obligation to do so and could let Phillips' ruling stand.
Close Encounters of the Worst Kind
Excerpt: The earth had another of those close encounters with an asteroid this morning -- this one an object called 2010 TD54, which had just been spotted Saturday morning by a telescope from the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson. It was only a small clump of rock, but it was only a small distance from Earth. At closest approach, over southern Asia around 6:50 a.m. ET today, it was about 28,000 miles away, a little more than a tenth of the distance to the moon. NASA has a diagram of its orbit HERE. (Second or third time this year. And, since we are closing down our manned space program--only a pair of shuttle launches left--what do they hope to do if we do find one that will impact? Complain to the Congress-critters who didn't vote for the funds or scream at the administrators who didn't ask for them? Or just pray the Russians or Chinese have a craft available? Ron P.)
Russia Replaces Tanks With Inflatable Versions
Excerpt: In these penny-pinching days of recessionary gloom, it's no surprise that governments across the world are looking for new and inventive ways to save a little cash. Russia's latest solution? Inflatable tanks. Like an aggressive-looking bouncy castle, these camouflaged combat units are not some sort of ludicrous joke. They're genuine, highly advanced pieces of equipment -- the latest in military technology. Specially designed to look as lifelike as possible, they have tech inside them that fools radars into thinking they're the real deal, as well as inbuilt heat sources to pull the wool over thermal imagers' eyes. (For those innocents thinking "what use are these?" The most obvious use is to deceive opponents--like us--who rely heavily on technological means of striking from a distance with missiles or artillery. If it "looks" like a tank to instruments, it will be targeted by those same instruments wasting expensive ordnance and time. More important, it will also reveal where the attack is coming from before the hidden "real" tanks with men inside them are hit. I hope we have something similar in the works. Ron P. Or pellet guns to blow them up? Actually, think Patton’s fake army that deceived the Germans in 1944 at to D-day had inflatable tanks. ~Bob.)
Sharron Angle raised $14 million in 3rd quarter
A lot for Nevada. In NJ in 2000, Jon Corzine spent $62M of his own money to buy a senate seat and only won 52-48, but NJ is in the NY and Philly media markets. Lots of folks hate Reid, though he got the most beatable candidate out of the GOP primary. If one of the others had won, he’d be down ten points now. Excerpt: Former Nevada state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle (R) raised an eye-popping $14 million between July 1 and Sept. 30 for her challenge to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), a stunning number that far eclipses the cash-collection totals of other prominent candidates seeking Senate seats next month. "Sharron Angle produced one of the most successful single quarters of fundraising in the nation's history for a U.S. Senate campaign," said Angle communications director Jarrod Agen. "This is a testament to the hatred of Harry Reid, the nation's disapproval of President Obama, and the unprecedented grassroots support for Sharron Angle." Ninety four percent of the money raised in the third quarter by Angle came in the form of donation of $100 or less. Ninety six percent of the contributions were $200 or less.
Michelle Rhee to resign
Made the DC schools better, but didn’t cater to race baiters enough. Had to go. Screw the poor kids. ~Bob. Excerpt: The D.C. schools chancellor is stepping down, bringing to close a tenure that drew national acclaim but also criticism.
THE HILL POLL: Republicans are up in 8 of 10 open House districts
Excerpt: Republicans are winning eight out of 10 competitive open House seats surveyed in a groundbreaking new poll by The Hill. Taken on top of 11 GOP leads out of 12 freshman Democratic districts polled last week, The Hill 2010 Midterm Election Poll points toward 19 Republican victories out of 22 races, while Democrats win only two and one is tied. A further 20 districts will be polled over the next two weeks, for a total of 42 of the most closely contested races, which will point to who is going to win on Nov. 2 and control the House in the 112th Congress. The Week 2 focus on open seats vacated by Democrats suggests a string of important pickup victories by the GOP in the midterm election just three weeks away. Republican candidates have taken big leads in two districts Democrats have held for nearly a century and a half-century, respectively, according to The Hill’s survey. A Republican is also ahead in the heavily Democratic district that contains President Obama’s hometown of Honolulu. Many races are tight — 12 of the 22 fall within the margin of error — but the margins, though slim, preponderantly favor the GOP.
House playing field largest in more than a decade
Excerpt: With less than three weeks left before the November midterms, the ever-widening House playing field of competitive races is now nearly double what it has been in other recent elections, according to independent political handicappers. Charlie Cook, who edits the Cook Political Report, a campaign tipsheet, pegs the number of competitive races at 92. Eighty five of those are Democratic-held seats while just seven are controlled by Republicans. Stu Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report, puts the number of competitive races slightly higher -- 97 -- with 88 Democratic seats and nine GOP districts making the cut. Those numbers are far in excess of the number of serious House races in past elections -- including in 2006 when Democrats retook control of the chamber. Looking back at Cook's ratings for more than a decade -- thank you Internet! -- the highest number of competitive seats he had was 58 in 1998. In 2006 he carried 54 (nine Democratic, 45 Republican) races on his most competitive list and in 2008 that number was 53 (13 Democratic, 40 Republican). In fact, Cook's 92 competitive races is nearly triple the number he rated that way in both 2002 (32 district) and 2004 (33 seats).
Hispanic district going Republican?
Excerpt: Amazing! Here’s a poll (by a firm unknown to me) showing Republican challenger Ruth McClung leading four–term Democratic incumbent Raul Grijalva 39%-37% in Arizona 7. This district was designed to be Arizona’s second Hispanic majority House district (it was 54% Hispanic in 2000) and to be safe Democratic (it voted 57%-42% for Barack Obama in 2008 and 57%-43% for John Kerry in 2004). So it would be amazing if rocket scientist McClung (yes, apparently she actually is a rocket scientist) won here. What’s interesting here is that Grijalva has supported the tourist boycott of Arizona in retaliation for the passage of Senate Bill 1070 which he, like Barack Obama, has portrayed as a grievous violation of civil liberties. Apparently some voters in Arizona 7 don’t want their state boycotted. Arizona’s U.S. House delegation is currently 5-3 Democratic. But it looks like the House Democrats’ campaign committee is setting Arizona 1 freshman Ann Kirkpatrick adrift and may not be doing too much for 70-year-old Harry Mitchell who beat J. D. Hayworth in the Scottsdale/Tempe 5th district in 2006 and was reelected by a solid margin in 2008. Democrats do seem to be fighting for Arizona 8 sophomore Gabrielle Giffords. Metro Tucson is divided between the 7th and 8th districts; I expect that Tucson TV viewers are going to be seeing a lot of ads for candidates in both districts over the next three weeks
VFW Leadership Un-Endorses Candidates
Excerpt: Veterans have spoken and the VFW Leadership could not help but hear. "As determined in the VFW By-Laws, as the national officers, we have specific responsibilities to take definitive action when events can have a detrimental impact on the organization. It is clear to us that the current situation now demands direct action; therefore, we are requesting the chairman and the directors of the Political Action Committee immediately rescind their endorsement actions." VFW News While this is a "request," I cannot find the endorsement list on the VFW-PAC website, though it does still appear in links by Veterans who have rightfully spoken against the endorsements. There are other important statements by the VFW Leadership in that news release. They point out that the PAC was created by the membership in 1979 and can only be dismantled by the membership, which they have decided to put to a vote at the next meeting in 2011. "VFW By-Laws stipulate that VFW leadership does not direct PAC activities and that the VFW convention is the governing body of the organization. As such, it is only the delegates at the convention that can determine the continuation of the PAC." They request that those that care, defend the VFW and encourage participation at all levels, which will be important when it comes time to vote on removing the PAC in 2011.
Running from Bam
Excerpt: The single most amazing thing in this year's campaigns is that no one is defending President Obama's legislative accomplishments. Obama's impact has been revolutionary: radically changing our health-care system, betting our national solvency on "stimulus," erasing the line between the public and private sectors. Yet there is an almost total lack of support for his program on the stump. Democrats' campaigns consist almost entirely of personal attacks on their opponents. If they dabble in issues, they go for those on the periphery of our politics, trying to milk fear from GOP discussions of privatizing Social Security and tax reform. But nobody is arguing that the stimulus worked or that ObamaCare is a good thing or that GM is recovering because Obama bailed it out. Most Democrats mention Obama or his program only to distance themselves from the man and his ideas. Even those who vote with him 95 percent of the time herald their "independence" and run as far from him as they can.
Of Course Obama Hasn't Yielded to Americans' Will
Excerpt: Just in case anyone mistakenly believes Obama has heard (or gives a rip about) the loud voice of the American people rejecting his socialism, appeasement, unconstitutional abuses of power and un-presidential combativeness and divisiveness, let me share a few tidbits.
The nanny state kills, but gets away with it because no one realizes who was killed. ~Bob. Excerpt: The National Transportation Safety Board has again recommended that airlines require a separate seat for all children, regardless of age, eliminating the current practice of permitting children under the age of 2 to fly for free on the lap of a parent. Will mandating child restraint systems make air travel safer? The answer is probably yes but that's the visible. Having to purchase an extra airplane ticket, some families will opt to drive to their destination instead. Thus, mandated CRS will force some families to switch to a less safe method of travel and some highway fatalities will represent the invisible victims of NTSB policy. By the way, if parents wanted a greater measure of safety for their infant, it's available to them right now. They can purchase a seat and seat restraint for their infant.
Excerpt: Suppose that Congress did something really silly. Say it passed a law requiring all health plans to pay for an hour of free conversation every year between patients and doctors, to discuss whatever is on the patient’s mind — sports, politics, the weather, or even health care. Surely even the densest reporter would have the presence of mind to ask, “Where are the doctors going to find all the additional hours to provide this service?” Yet Congress did something almost that silly last spring. It promised almost everyone in the country access to a whole slew of preventive services with no copay or deductible. (See Timothy Jost’s summary here.) Yet I cannot recall a single reporter asking how all these extra services are going to be provided. An even more important question is: How will the attempt by millions of American to obtain more preventive care services than can possibly be provided affect the triple problems of cost, quality and access to care. As I explained at Kaiser Health News the other day, it will probably make all three problems worse than any are today.
The Democratic Party Goes Grayson
Excerpt: It's been a while since the Democrats were able to successfully claim the patriotic mantle. And Obama is the worst positioned to do that of any Democrat since Jane Fonda. Not that this hasn't stopped the Democrats from trying. When Huckabee visited Israel and called for a better relationship between the two countries, the media hounds bayed like mad that he was committing treason. Those same media poodles of course viewed John Kerry's commitment to helping the Viet Cong, or Ted Kennedy's offer of aid to the USSR against Reagan, as acts of great patriotism. In a matter of months, the Democrats had to swing about from participating in radical anti-Bush and anti-war rallies run by Communist organizations, to suddenly becoming great patriots fighting against Republican treason. The turnabout was as laughable as it was hollow. It's even more laughable now, as Obama tries to echo not McCarthy, but his fictional doppelganger, the Manchurian Candidate's Senator Iselin, waving a blank piece of paper in order to spread a sensational charge with no actual evidence behind it. But when he's asked what's on the paper, it turns out there's nothing there. When even the New York Times has to shrug in embarrassment, then it's not just a strike, it's a foul ball. And when ABC's Jake Tapper has to suggest comparisons to the birth certificate issue, then it's clear that Obama has caused himself more damage, than he has to the Chamber of Commerce. And it wouldn't be the first time. The White House's orchestrated attacks on Limbaugh (Operation Rushbo) and Glenn Beck raised both men's profiles. The Obama Administration's original tactic was to claim that Limbaugh was the "real head" of the Republican party. Dutiful liberals from Newsweek to Letterman repeated the smear to no effect. Then we had the claim that the Republican party was really running the Tea Party. Followed by the more recent claim that the Tea Party was really running the Republican party. Now we've come down to the claim that unnamed foreign companies are running America through the US Chamber of Commerce. The one thing all these brilliant smears had in common was that they all went nowhere.
FBI Raid in MN Reveals New Global Terror Alliances (PJM Exclusive)
Excerpt: Weeks ago, news broke of a September 24 FBI raid on the homes of Minneapolis activists — part of an investigation related, as the Bureau told the Star-Tribune, to “the material support of terrorism.” But in the absence of further reporting by the mainstream media, Americans are left wondering just who these activists are, if they remember the story at all. An ongoing PJM investigation reveals that the revolutionary American socialists targeted by the FBI are connected at multiple levels with groups uncomfortably close to designated terror organizations. At the center of the Minneapolis raid is one Mick Kelly. As executive editor, Kelly runs Fight Back! News, a website offering “news and views from the People’s Struggle,” through the Freedom Road Socialist Organization — a self-styled “Marxist-Leninist” outfit born out of the New Communist movement of the 1970s. Commanded to appear before a Chicago grand jury on October 19, Kelly faces a subpoena probing any travel to Colombia, Jordan, Syria, the Palestinian Territories, and Israel — and any correspondence, communications, or connections with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), or Hatem Abudayyeh, executive director of the Arab American Action Network. The FBI raided Abudayyeh’s Chicago home in the same sweep that targeted Kelly. Even more remarkably, as Politico has reported, Abudayyeh attended a meeting “for Arab-American leaders” at the White House — on April 22 of this year. (In a forthcoming report, PJM will reveal the disturbing scope of Abudayyeh’s connections to terrorist organizations and individuals.) Speaking to Minnesota Public Radio, Kelly insisted that he has not visited Colombia, the Palestinian Territories, or Israel. Rather, he “traveled to Lebanon for a political conference about two years ago” but “does not recall the names of the groups that organized it.” But Mick Kelly’s “exclusive interview” with PFLP leader Leila Khaled, conducted in Beirut on January 17, 2009, is still posted at Fight Back! News.
Walmart Rolls Back Rollbacks: Food Prices at Two-Year High
Doubtless Bush’s fault. ~Bob. Excerpt: Walmart has rolled back its rollbacks. Earlier this year, the retailer tried to spark sluggish U.S. sales by lowering its prices - already bargains - even further. One analyst called it "an initiative that screams: Price! Price! Price!" These rollbacks, as they are known in Walmartspeak and in the company's advertising, were intended to overwhelm the shopper. In May, according to one shopping website, the price of a 40-oz. bottle of Heinz ketchup, which had been $2.42, was chopped to $1. Kraft mac and cheese, which had been going for $3.58, was reduced to $2.50. The rollback of a 50-oz. bottle of Tide laundry detergent, which was priced in the $7.48-$8.12 range, gave shoppers a $2.50 discount. Walmart expected a flood of customers to its stores, which would help lift the company's stock out of its rut and get Walmart rolling again. Instead, cutting prices depressed sales, as shoppers took the bargains and ran. For the quarter ending July 31, Walmart's U.S. same-store sales fell 1.8%. The company's same-store sales have now fallen for five straight quarters.
The Oil Drilling Moratorium Doesn’t End Till the Permits Begin
Excerpt: Since President Barack Obama first banned drilling for gas and oil in the Gulf in May, about 36 rigs in the Gulf of Mexico have been put out of work, five rigs have left for Egypt and other parts of Africa, and 12,000 jobs have been lost. If the ban stays in place, the long-term and indirect economic losses will cost more than 175,000 jobs. The problem with President Obama’s new drilling policy, as with all of his economic policies, is the uncertainty it inflicts on our nation’s job creators. Louisiana State University professor Joseph Mason tells The Christian Science Monitor that “uncertain policy decisions” are making it difficult for rig operators to plan for the future. Referring to the rig operators, Mason continued, “and when they can’t plan around it, they move.” And by “move” Mason means taking jobs and energy overseas. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) echoed this verdict:
Whose shady foreign cash?
Excerpt: Democrats deserve a Guinness World Re cord award for their election-season cognitive dissonance. President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and White House senior adviser David Axelrod accused Republicans last week of benefiting from "money from foreign corporations" -- which liberals claim the US Chamber of Commerce is funneling into domestic political ads. Endangered Democratic candidates across the country are dutifully parroting the line of attack. It's beyond comical to watch the party that cries "RAAAACISM" whenever conservatives question their shady foreign funny money suddenly sounding the alarm over non-US campaign cash. And it's beyond galling to hear Democrats fret about foreign intrigue while the president has inextricably tied America's fate to the Chinese holders of our T-bills. GOP candidates should remind voters of all the shady foreign cash the Democrats and their deep-pocketed donors have pumped into the political system. Convicted fraudster and former top Democratic fundraiser Norman Hsu -- who ran several Hong Kong companies into the ground and built a vast Ponzi scheme -- raised millions for the Democratic Party and its candidates, including Hillary Clinton and Obama. The Federal Election Commission imposed a record-setting $719,000 in fines against Democrats for the 1996 Chinagate campaign-finance scandal. Acknowledging the hypocrisy of the Team Obama Chamber of Commerce assault, one top Democratic staffer warned this week: "The White House may reap the whirlwind." As well it should. While it gins up anti-GOP fear and hostility among blue-collar Americans worried about the economy, Team Obama has presided over job-killing policies that are driving companies overseas. The Obama drilling moratorium forced several American oil rigs to abandon the Gulf of Mexico. Radical environmental rules are strangling coal workers in West Virginia.
Gallup Finds U.S. Unemployment at 10.1% in September
Excerpt: Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, increased to 10.1% in September -- up sharply from 9.3% in August and 8.9% in July. Much of this increase came during the second half of the month -- the unemployment rate was 9.4% in mid-September -- and therefore is unlikely to be picked up in the government's unemployment report on Friday.
Why Nancy Pelosi Will Not be Speaker In 2011
Excerpt: Such predictions on Pelosi's future behavior and how she'll handle those unfaithful members are misguided and a waste of time. No matter what happens on Election Day, less than a month from today, Mrs. Pelosi will not be speaker of the House in 2011 and may not be leading Democrats in Congress at all. There are three primary reasons for this conclusion.
Dying Girl, 7, Taunted by Neighbors in Trenton
Excerpt: Her family says 7-year-old Kathleen Edward is in the final stages of a degenerative brain disorder diagnosed as Huntington's Disease - the same disease which killed her mother, Laura Edward, when she was only 24. Neighbors Jennifer and Scott Petkov, who have been feuding with the family, admitted to posting grim depictions of Laura and Kathleen on Facebook. One photo depicts Laura in the arms of the grim reaper, while the other features Kathleen's face as part of a "skull and crossbone." The couple hitched a coffin to a pick-up truck in front of the house, which they say is nothing more than a halloween decoration. (This is almost unbelievable. I would love, and I mean LOVE, to beat this couple to death with a hammer. Might take a while for them to die. Hours, maybe. –LW)
At 54 Percent of Likely Voters, Conservatives Now Outnumber Liberals, Moderates—and Republicans
Excerpt: Based on polling conducted Sept. 23 to Oct. 3, Gallup now estimates that 54 percent of “likely voters” for the Nov. 2 election are self-professed conservatives. If Gallup’s estimate holds up, self-professed conservative voters in this year’s midterm congressional election will outnumber self-professed liberals (18 percent of Gallup’s “likely voter” pool) by 3-to-1, and self-professed moderates (27 percent of Gallup’s “likely voter” pool) by 2-to-1. The 54 percent of likely voters who Gallup says are conservatives also out-number the Republicans, whom Gallup estimates make up 39 percent of likely voters.
Terror threat to restaurants as Al Qaeda calls for attacks on government workers in D.C.
Faithful members of the “Religion of Peace” dreaming of mass murder. ~Bob. Excerpt: The terror group tied to the Ft. Hood killings and the Christmas Day undies airbomber urge wannabe American jihadis to open fire on crowded restaurants in the nation's capital to massacre U.S. government workers. The advice appears in "Inspire," the latest issue of a slick propaganda publication by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Osama Bin Laden's franchise in Yemen. "A random hit at a crowded restaurant in Washington, D.C., at lunch hour might end up knocking out a few government employees," Yahya Ibrahim writes in the 74-page jihadi how-to magazine. "Targeting such employees is paramount and the location would also give the operation additional media attention," Ibrahim added. Other trash talk came from "Samir Khan," an American who came to AQAP from North Carolina, who produces the publication and wrote that he is "proud to be a traitor in America's eyes."
Accused terrorist was determined to 'kill Americans': feds
Didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: A man accused of helping to build a truck bomb used in a 1998 terror attack on a U.S. embassy in Africa was a member of an al-Qaeda cell that was determined to kill Americans, a federal prosecutor told jurors Tuesday at the start of trial. Prosecutor Nicholas Lewin said that Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani — the first Guantanamo Bay detainee to face a civilian trial — bought the truck and gas tanks that were used in the bombing in Tanzania. “The defendant did all of this ... because he was committed to al-Qaeda’s overriding goal: killing Americans,” he said.
Al-Qaeda Magazine Interviews 'Proud' Traitor to US
I’m sure all those moderate Muslims we hear about will speak up and condemn this flawed view of Islam. In case I miss it, readers should send me links to articles refuting this misunderstander of Islam, and I’ll post them in a future blog. ~Bob. Excerpt: Some notable excerpts from Samir Khan's story as quoted by both MEMRI and Fox News are: "I am a traitor to America because my religion requires me to be. We pledge to wage jihad for the rest of our lives until either we implant Islam all over the world or meet our Lord as bearers of Islam."
The Walking Dead
Excerpt: There a lot of people running around proclaiming themselves to be members of “The Walking Dead” and most are either idiots or wannabe’s who can’t identify the actual unit designation of the battalion nicknamed “The Walking Dead.” Worst of all they can’t even tell you how that name was earned. Here’s what happened. In 1965 the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Marine Division, made an amphibious landing near Da Nang, Republic of Viet Nam (South Viet Nam) as the first American combat unit deployed to that war (prior to that all Americans were “advisors”). In the ensuing months the battalion conducted combat operation in an area south of Da Nang that stretched from the South China Sea to the Laotian border area. One particular valley within 1/9’s Tactical Area of Responsibility had been a communist stronghold since WW II when the Viet Minh were fighting the Japanese. Neither the Japanese nor the French who followed had ever been able to take and hold that valley. 1/9 did. This loss of a propaganda tool was a real problem for the Viet Cong and especially their North Vietnamese comrades. Ho Chi Minh was in some deep political trouble due to this defeat and was having trouble with his Central Committee. He made a speech in which he said something to the effect of “Don’t worry about these American Marines. They are walking dead men.”