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. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.
Reading List for the Educated Voter
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Deficit Reduction By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Another deficit reduction commission has now made its recommendations. My own recommendation for dealing with deficits would include stopping the appointment of deficit reduction commissions. It is not the amount of money that these commissions cost that is the issue. It is the escape hatch that they provide for big-spending politicians. Do you go ahead and spend the rent money and the food money-- and then ask somebody else to tell you how to escape the consequences? If President Obama or the Congress were serious about keeping the deficit down, they could have had this commission's recommendations before they spent hundreds of billions of dollars, handing out goodies hither and yon to their pet constituencies.
House ethics panel: Rep. Rangel violated rules
Oh, the horror! Now comes the dreaded “slap on the wrist” and the obligatory cries of “racism.” I can’t bear to watch. ~Bob. Excerpt: A House ethics panel has found Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel of
guilty on 11 counts of breaking House rules. The full ethics committee will next conduct a hearing on the appropriate punishment for the former chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. The committee will then make a recommendation to the House. New York
Senate GOP Leader McConnell agrees to ban earmarks
Hi, my name is Mitch and I’m a spendaholic. Hi, Mitch. ~Bob. Excerpt: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Monday that he will join a GOP effort to ban congressional earmarks. McConnell, one of the Senate's most prolific proponents of earmarks, said Monday he had come to the conclusion that he had to lead by example in agreeing to the ban. In a floor speech, McConnell said: "There is simply no doubt that the abuse of this practice has caused Americans to view it as a symbol of the waste and out-of-control spending that every Republican in Washington is determined to fight.
Organizations Funded Directly by George Soros and his Open Society Institute
Can’t Bill Clinton get this guy a hobby? ~Bob.
Another great Kass column. ~Bob. Excerpt: The
mayoral election is the Rahmfather's to lose. In a long interview in a diner on Chicago
as Rahm Emanuel prepared his formal weekend announcement, we talked about his strengths and the negative issues. One is that illegal City Hall patronage army that put him in Congress years ago. How can a potential mayor credibly discuss straightening out at City Hall if he's also a direct beneficiary of corruption?
Court: Illegal immigrants can get in-state tuition
This will speed up the collapse in
. ~Bob. Excerpt: The California Supreme Court says some illegal immigrants are entitled to the same tuition breaks offered to in-state high school students to attend public colleges and universities. The high court unanimously upheld a state law that says any student, regardless of immigration status, who attended a California high school for at least three years can qualify for in-state tuition rates. A lower court had ruled the law unconstitutional. It said the law violated federal prohibitions denying illegal immigrants secondary education benefits that aren't offered to U.S. citizens. California
More on the “missile” from a retired Navy officer
In addition to all the commercial ships inbound and outbound the
, I am sure there were hundreds of aircraft inbound and outbound LAX and other area airports. Our government could not gag all of these folks. Has anyone heard/read of any other blogs, tweets, and social media posts about this incident. I agree with FC2 that it is VERY hard to “accidentally launch” a missile, but not impossible. At the same time I think the port of LA military would own up to the accident, no matter how embarrassing. Chances are it would be quietly acknowledged, like the DDG that fired on the Polish city of US earlier this year while performing preventive maintenance on the Phalanx CIWS. As to the color of the trail, I have landed in LAX many times and noticed the brown haze as the flight descends. The “dirty” white trail at a distance off LA holds no sway for me. I am not noticing any increased chatter among my contacts. It is true that my clearance has long expired but I have not heard of an increased DEFCON and my son-in-law, a Commanding Officer of a USN combat ship is not getting ready for accelerated deployment. I am still not convinced it was and inbound aircraft but everyday that passes without some other source (an airline pilot, a commercial surface ship officer, a fishing boat crew, a resident of the Channel Islands) coming forward I am inclined to accept the contrail explanation. –Al Gdanya
Another Look at the Missile Launch off
's Coast California
By a USAF General. ~Bob. Excerpt: ANOTHER GOVERNMENT COVER-UP!!! WILL IT EVER END??? Sliding silently under the mud, muck and fog of national politics, is a current event that makes Bill Clinton's excursion into the world of elderly sex look tame in comparison. This time the nation's national security is truly threatened in my opinion, and it involves not only a weak President with limited problem-solving ability, but leadership at the highest levels in the Pentagon as well. The American people would do well to demand a full investigation by an unbiased group, and let the chips fall where they may. I am referring to the "missile shot" taken of
coast recently, and the lame response by NORAD, the Pentagon and the White House itself. (I sure hope it was a brown, straight-up contrail, as the other possibilities are pretty scary. ~Bob.) California
Hundreds ride with boy to show support for his U.S.-flag-decorated bike after school banned it
The peasants are getting restless.
Excerpt: A woman has been charged in
San Diego with providing money and personnel to a terrorist group in . A federal prosecutor said Monday that Nima Ali Yusuf supported al-Shabab, an al-Qaida-linked militia trying to create an Islamic state in Somalia . She is the fourth person charged in the last month in Somalia with helping al-Shabab. San Diego
Hitler reacts to the Midterms
Another funny use of the Hitler movie clip.
How the world works
Will make you crazy.
Reach for the Low-Hanging Fruit: It's time to reform Social Security
Hard politically. Here in
, a Republican challenger suggested that the age had to be raised for future retirees. The Democrat started running ads of geezers like me saying, “Young man, you have a lot to learn. Keeps your hands off the Social Security I worked for!” Thankfully, her scare tactics didn’t work, but they usually do. ~Bob. Excerpt: The country is on an unsustainable fiscal path. According to the Congressional Budget Office's alternative scenario (the one that makes realistic assumptions about future policies), by 2050 the national debt will reach 344 percent of the economy with entitlements consuming two-thirds of non-interest spending. While Medicare and Medicaid require some intricate work to reform, there are a few easy changes that could be done to Social Security. Think of it as the low-hanging fruit of entitlement reform. Besides, we don’t have a choice. This October, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its Long-Term Projections for Social Security. Like the two long-term projections before it, this projection finds social security in even worse shape than expected. The main conclusion is that by 2014 the Social Security Trust fund will be running perpetual cash flow deficits—three years ahead of what was predicted last year. Chicago
Avastin vs Lucentis: One Step Closer to Cost Rationing?
Excerpt: One of the many concerns about President Obama’s health care legislation is that it will encourage—if not eventually require—the government to approve the cheapest rather than the best medical therapy. Indeed, the government already engages in some price rationing in the health insurance programs it controls: Medicare, Medicaid and the Veterans Administration. You can expect that rationing to explode once the new health care law is fully implemented. Take the current debate over Avastin and Lucentis—two drugs owned by San Francisco-based Genentech, which is part of the much larger drug company Roche.
Ted Koppel’s Delusions About TV News
Excerpt: As Koppel sees it, the good old days existed when someone giving campaign contributions who was part of a news team would have meant immediate suspension, if not outright being fired. As he writes, it was a time “when the networks considered the collection and dissemination of substantive and unbiased news to be a public trust.” In those years, the networks “aimed to avoid even the appearance of partisanship.” That, indeed, is the key sentence, although Koppel does not seem to realize it. He thinks there really was a time when the networks “considered the collection and dissemination of substantive and unbiased news to be a public trust.” Is that like the years when the late Peter Jennings, his colleague he cites as one who earned the public trust, demonstrated hostility to Israel and a pro-Palestinian point of view that was apparent to most anyone who watched his broadcasts? The same
Jennings whose prime-time ABC special on the dropping of the A-bomb on Hiroshima endorsed entirely and uncritically Gar Alperovitz’s discredited thesis that the dropped the bomb only to pressure the Soviets, and that its use was completely unnecessary? Or perhaps he is thinking of those golden years when the entire nation watched Walter Cronkite, whose famous judgment that the U.S. had lost the Vietnam War led Lyndon Johnson to say “if we’ve lost Walter Cronkite, we’ve lost the country.” Does Koppel not realize that the U.S. had not lost when Cronkite claimed it had and that the CBS TV anchor was himself on the anti-war side in the debate and was hardly objective? (The war in Vietnam was lost when, after all our troops had left, the Democrat congress voted to cut off all aid to South Vietnam in violation of the treaties we had signed, thus letting the North safely invade, in violation of the peace agreement it signed. ~Bob.) U.S.
National Security Shouldn’t Be For
Excerpt: The Washington Post reports this morning that the fate of a lame duck vote on New START rests on just one man: Senator Jon Kyl (R–AZ). According to the Post’s sources, other Republicans in Congress have “kind of delegated” New START to Kyl, meaning that if the Obama Administration wins his vote, the nine total Republican votes needed to reach 67 votes would be easy to find. That is why the White House dispatched General Kevin Chilton to
last Friday, and it is why Defense Secretary Robert Gates is scheduled to meet with Kyl later this week. In what the Post describes as a “high-octane lobbying” campaign, Gates has already offered Kyl an extra $4 billion in spending on nuclear programs in exchange for his vote. This is on top of the existing $10 billion Administration pledge. This deal is bad policy and deplorable politics. Arizona
Federal Workers Making Over $180,000 Increase By 2,000% In Past Five Years
Don’t bother me with this stuff—I’m trying to figure out why we have huge deficits. ~Bob. Excerpt: For all those wondering how to cut down on government expenditures, here's a thought: cut the skyrocketing salaries! A study by USA Today, using US Office of Personnel Management data, confirms what has been widely known: that the biggest beneficiaries of government largesse over the past 5 years as a worker cohort, are none other than Federal workers themselves. The numbers are stunning: those earning over $150,000 in the past five years have grown from 7,420 to 82,034, a 1,006% increase. More shockingly, those earning over $180,000 has surged from just 805 in 2005, to 16,912 in 2010: a 2,001% increase. And it is on the background of this that Congress is planning on giving 2.1 million federal workers another 1.4% across the board pay raise! Additionally, it appears that the bulk of the gains have taken place since Obama took office. Can someone please stop the lunacy: this country is beyond bankrupt and it turns out that in addition to Wall Street (which everyone knows does nothing but transfer wealth from the middle class to a few choice CEOs and groupthinking Bloomberg terminal operators), the biggest thief is the very government itself, which has perfected the art of giving with one hand, and taking with 10, almost as well as those enclosed in glass corner offices on Park, Lexington and Broad (and now West).
Napolitano to American Travelers: We’ll Take Naked Pics of You and Touch Your ‘Junk,’ and You’ll Like It!
Excerpt: Trying to defend the indefensible, Homeland Secretary chief Janet Napolitano, last seen laughing at the governor of Texas for wanting his state’s border with drug war-torn Mexico secured, took to the pages of USA Today. Napolitano insists that the body scan machines are “safe,” and that the pat-downs are “discreet.” Neither is an argument that they’re either “necessary” or “effective.” And neither is an argument that they’re the best tools we have available. The best tools we have available will remain in the drawer while the tools of TSA grope granny.
D.C. elites think Obama will be reelected, but the public doubts it
Too many unknown factors, especially including the GOP nominee, to really predict. ~Bob. Excerpt: The midterms not only dealt a big shock to Democrats but also sent a message to President Barack Obama. According to the new POLITICO Power and the People poll, only 26 percent of the public believes he will be reelected as president in 2012. This difference in expectations could mislead the president if he is listening to the Beltway chatter — right here in D.C., he may just find a lot of comfort in this assessment by insiders, and that may lead to actions that don’t fully adjust for the sea change that has occurred among the general public.
What the PA buys with American money
Excerpt: In funding the Palestinian Authority, the
contravenes its own laws; most aid to the PA has gone to propping up Fayyad. Two weeks ago, a Palestinian from US Bethlehem was arrested by the -financed and trained Palestinian Authority security forces. He was charged with “carrying out commercial transactions with residents of a hostile state.” No, he was not buying uranium from US . His purported crime was purchasing wood products from an Israeli community located beyond the 1949 armistice lines. Denied bail by the US-funded PA magistrate’s court in Iran , he has been remanded to custody pending the conclusion of his trial. Bethlehem
Dems Love Facts and Science--Except When They Don't
Excerpt: But his larger point was that Democrats are guided by facts and science and argument while Republicans act on ideological or even irrational motives. As liberals and Democrats are fond of saying, they are part of the "reality-based community." Except when they're not. In the course of the Obama administration, we have seen examples of Democrats in the White House, Congress and across the government pursuing ideological goals that are not only not based on facts and science and argument but actually fly in the face of facts and science and argument.
Anti-US and anti-Zionist slogans begins in Arafat desert
A lot of folks on the Hajj didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. Shocking. ~Bob. Excerpt: 'God is the Greatest', 'Death to Israel', and 'Death to America', were among slogans chanted by the masses in unison as they gathered in the Desert of Arafat, 20 kms (12 miles) from Mecca, for a day of prayer and meditation.
CAIR: TSA Can Only Pat Down Muslim Women’s Head, Neck
Perfectly safe. They belong to “The Religion of Peace.” What could go wrong? Watch for the TSA to back down to Hamas-linked CAIR under pressure from above. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has issued a travel notice to Muslim airline passengers, warning them that new regulations from the Transportation Security. According to CAIR, the TSA’s new “enhanced pat down” policy should be limited to searching only around Muslim women’s head and neck if they are wearing a hijab and that Muslims objecting to the enhanced full-body scans have the right to request the pat-down procedure be done in a private place.
Leading Sunni Islamic seminary: Divorce over cellphone is valid, even if wife doesn't hear it
Women’s rights under Islam. ~Bob. Excerpt: In Islamic law, if a man says "talaq" (you are divorced) to his wife three times, even jokingly (as you can see below) or in a fit of temper, they must separate, and cannot reconcile until she marries another man, consummates that marriage, and is divorced by him. This bizarre law is based on the Qur'an: "A divorce is only permissible twice: after that, the parties should either hold together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness....So if a husband divorces his wife (irrevocably), he cannot, after that, re-marry her until after she has married another husband and he has divorced her." -- Qur'an 2:229-230.
Flying V to start Restoring Honor in America
Excerpt: Glenn Beck had been trying for weeks to get a military fly-over with fighter jets to start the August 28th event at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. for his 'Religious rebirth of America' but the White House blocked it... saying it was "restricted airspace". The rally started at 10:00 am, but at precisely 9:59 AM, God gave us His fly-over that could not have been better. I still get Goose bumps when I watch this. (Airspace is restricted to the US Military? ~Bob.)
TSA Body Scans Leaked Online
with the net flooded with free porn and nudity, I can’t see this getting anyone excited. ~Bob.
"Whenever destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men's protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked: 'Account Overdrawn.” –Ayn Rand
Great News! Sarkozy Kills French Super Environment Ministry “Medad”
Excerpt: The all important sector of energy has been brought back under the control of the Economics Ministry. In summary, Medad was a bureaucratic monstrosity that would have regulated everything. Sarkozy killed it. The omnipotent ministry that treehuggers had been salivating over for the last 3 years has been reduced to a boring second-tier government department. (Even the French are getting smart. Emphasis is in the original. Ron P.)
Worse? The Dems promised they’d never cost the taxpayers a nickel ~Bob. Excerpt: When you see a foreclosure sign, chances are good that you, as a taxpayer, are on the hook for the costs involved because Congress has its very own money pit — federal guarantees of mortgages gone bad. And the official estimates for the damage put it at more than $300 billion. “It’s probably likely to be closer to $500 billion by the time all of this is finished,” David Johns of the Heritage Foundation said. “And you and I get to pay that.”
Westboro Baptist Church to go to hell in La Plata
Excerpt: When the hate group showed up at an
Oklahoma soldier's funeral to celebrate God's punishment of for its failure to -- what, put homosexuals to death? It's hard to figure out from their website what would satisfy them -- the locals responded by slashing their tires. This morning in La Plata, Md., the hate group's parade of absurdity received quite a response: More than a thousand counter-demonstrators showed up early, established themselves on the rights-of-way around the church, and prevented the "God Hates Fags" crowd from getting anywhere near the funeral of Marine Lance Cpl. Terry Honeycutt. America
Why the delay with Kirk’s swearing in? Illinois is just more backward than West Virginia
This is intended to thwart the will of the people. But no surprise in Democrupt
. ~Bob. Excerpt: Why is Illinois taking so long, and leaving Rod Blagojevich’s puppet, Roland Burris, D, in the seat for two more weeks? Paperwork. Despite a court case and much to-do about having a separate ballot line for the last few weeks of Obama’s term, Illinois will not certify the results until November 23. To be sure, this is consistent with the court order under which the election was held, but it’s also a sign that their elections process is considerably more backward than that of Illinois , whose new senator was already sworn in. West Virginia
Oh sure, the TSA is hated and ineffective now, but things will get better when they unionize, right?
Excerpt: Lost in all the hoopla about TSA’s turn-your-head-and-cough security checks and so-called new “porno-scanners” is the news that TSA is about to unionize: In a significant victory for federal employee unions, the Federal Labor Relations Authority decided Friday that Transportation Security Administration staffers will be allowed to vote on union representation.
Peggy Noonan on Sarah Palin and Ronald Reagan
Excerpt: Conservatives talked a lot about Ronald Reagan this year, but they have to take him more to heart, because his example here is a guide. All this seemed lost last week on Sarah Palin, who called him, on Fox, “an actor.” She was defending her form of political celebrity—reality show, “Dancing With the Stars,” etc. This is how she did it: “Wasn’t Ronald Reagan an actor? Wasn’t he in ‘Bedtime for Bonzo,’ Bozo, something? Ronald Reagan was an actor.” Excuse me, but this was ignorant even for Mrs. Palin. Reagan people quietly flipped their lids, but I’ll voice their consternation to make a larger point. Ronald Reagan was an artist who willed himself into leadership as president of a major American labor union (Screen Actors Guild, seven terms, 1947-59.) He led that union successfully through major upheavals (the Hollywood communist wars, labor-management struggles); discovered and honed his ability to speak persuasively by talking to workers on the line at General Electric for eight years; was elected to and completed two full terms as governor of California; challenged and almost unseated an incumbent president of his own party; and went on to popularize modern conservative political philosophy without the help of a conservative infrastructure. Then he was elected president.
Retired CIA officer: Quit saying the Valerie Plame leak was a big deal already
Excerpt: In any event, at least one 31 year veteran of the CIA officer is sick of people making Plame out to be some kind of folk hero and wrote the following letter to the Washington Post over the weekend: In 1978, my CIA affiliation was exposed by Philip Agee in his book “Dirty Work II.” I’m nothing special; more than a few colleagues have been exposed at one time or another. I went on to serve nearly 34 years. As luck would have it, I was at one point charged with looking into possible damage in one location caused by Valerie Plame’s outing. There was none.
Don't underestimate foreclosure crisis, watchdog warns
Excerpt: A congressional oversight panel warned on Tuesday that a widespread problem of flawed and fraudulent foreclosure paperwork could upend the housing market and undermine the nation's financial stability. The report comes just as the issue is drawing greater scrutiny this week in
'No freeze vote until written proposal'
Excerpt: The security cabinet will not vote on a US proposal for a three-month settlement freeze until the Obama administration's promises are officially delivered to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in writing, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said in an interview with Army Radio on Tuesday. The comments came after reticence by Likud ministers about the US keeping its promises, and Shas saying it would not make a decision on the freeze until such a written proposal was received. 9why wouldn’t they trust us? The South Vietnamese trusted us and that worked out okay. The Sunnis in Anbar trusted us and we haven’t deserted them. Entirely. Yet. ~Bob.)
The Horrible Truth Starts to Dawn on Europe's Leaders
The Horrible Truth Starts to Dawn on Europe's Leaders
“Starts to dawn”? Anyone who could do the math could see this coming years ago. ~Bob. Excerpt: The entire European Project is now at risk of disintegration, with strategic and economic consequences that are very hard to predict. In a speech this morning, EU President Herman Van Rompuy (poet, and writer of Japanese and Latin verse) warned that if Europe’s leaders mishandle the current crisis and allow the eurozone to break up, they will destroy European Union itself. “We’re in a survival crisis. We all have to work together in order to survive with the euro zone, because if we don’t survive with the euro zone we will not survive with the European Union,” he said. Well, well. This theme is all too familiar to readers of The Daily Telegraph, but it comes as something of a shock to hear such a confession after all these years from Europe’s president.
Haiku for Van Rompuy
No babies. No cash.
Entitlement Riots in streets.
E. U. hits the fan.Excerpt: California imports more cheap labor from a third world country than any other state. California exports her prisoners. The state of California essentially outsources a substantial amount of its energy production, importing more of its electricity than any other state. If California were a country, the liberals in academia would be outraged at this neocolonial behavior. Ironically it has been liberal policies that have lead to California becoming a neocolonial state. The heart of liberal illegal immigrant friendly policies, like the sanctuary cities, In-state tuition for illegal immigrants , and state subsidized medical care is supposed to be compassion. If one were to don the mantle of a traditional academic, and California were a western country, an observer would note that the number one driver for the illegal immigrant policies is that rich Californians want cheap housekeepers and gardeners. An academic would also point out that encouraging this illegal behavior essentially sets up a permanent underclass , better known in academic circles as economic slavery (hardly compassionate).
California - The Neo-Colonial State
California - The Neo-Colonial State