Friday, November 5, 2010

Political Digest for November 5, 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.
Traveling on business. Apologies to those whose e-mails I didn’t have time to open. ~Bob.

Must Read: To Stop or Not to Stop Sharia By Hasan Mahmud
Excerpt: The litmus test to differentiate a progressive Muslim from a radical one is to inquire about the belief in Sharia law being divine. Sharia law is by no means a benign legal system; to the contrary, it is a malignant weapon that aids the pursuit of a global theocracy. The claim that the violence of Sharia law is Allah’s Law destroys the legitimacy of Islam as a “Religion of Peace.” Like many Muslims I am deeply concerned with the alarming penetration of the institution of Sharia law into the West. After conquering most of Muslim world, this theological python is encircling our civilization and tightening its grip. Muslim women are its primary victims, followed by secular Muslims and non-Muslims. Even a cursory look into Sharia law’s content, spirit and case studies shows that it brutally violates human rights. Sharia law forms the constitution of radical Islam. Radical Islamists often pose as “Sufi” (saint-like Muslims), “Moderate” or “Progressive” Muslims to deceive the West. But no matter how they dress or what they say, they work to destroy secular democracy and to establish the Islamic State. This deadly virus is flowing through the arteries and veins of the West with the help of numerous politicians, journalists, intellectuals, academics, judges and even religious leaders. An axe can only destroy a tree when it is helped by its wooden handle. On the other hand, the West is constantly bombarded by news of the horrific violence on women and minorities under Sharia law in the Muslim world. As a result, the recent popular opposition to Sharia law in the West was inevitable. But the resistance is failing; the way the tide is going, Sharia law is appearing to be unstoppable. To defeat it, we need to know its strength and weakness. It is a powerful institution with a legacy of 1300 years, unlimited finance, countless organizations and millions of dedicated followers led by a cunning leadership capable of instant metamorphosis and changes of strategy. Indeed, the leadership has a shrewd ability to learn from failure and a craftily tailored theological structure that allows deception and the killing of opponents. Sharia law has withstood the world’s two mightiest war machines and emerged as the State constitution in Afghanistan and in previously secular Iraq. Its weakness is in its content and spirit. Sharia law is not only about reading books, it is also about living it. That puts secular Muslims in a stronger and more legitimate position against Sharia law. The Canadian Sharia court that ran for 14 years with the blessing of Canadian law was eliminated mostly due to the forceful movement of secular Muslim organizations MCC and CCMW (Muslim Canadian Congress and Canadian Council of Muslim Women) along with a secular group’s “Inter [1]national Campaign Against Sharia Court in Canada [1]” If it could happen in Canada, it can happen anywhere. Western secular and humanist forces are flooding the media with personal opinions against Sharia law without exposing its details. This gives radical Islamists the opportunity and legitimacy to support Sharia law without exposing its details either. As a result, people are unable to make their own judgment as to which side is correct. Nobody wants to be deceived. Once Muslims are shown how they have been deceived in the name of Islam many of them are expected to turn back as I did. One of the most forceful battles in the UK against radical Islam is led by two ex-radicals. The West is not aware of it, but a similar movement is taking place all over the Muslim world. We must use the proofs to create awareness in Muslim societies. A little basic information from past and recent Sharia books can help:

Despite all our help, Muslims still hate us.” Here’s why.
Excerpt: But let’s always remember: Islam has been at war with the West long before 9/11 or the establishment of the state of Israel. Alas, the Muslim predilection for absurd conspiracy theories (which are altered on the fly as current events demand) is abundantly and embarrassingly evident in the Pew study that inspired the IBD editorial. (In fact, I’ve finally solved the puzzle that has confounded so many since September 11, to whit: “Why is the Left allying itself with its supposed ideological opposite number, namely radical Islam?” (The answer lies in a famous quotation of Ronald Reagan’s; merely substitute the word “Muslims” for “liberals” and magically, all is revealed: “Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.”) Alas, the Pew results will simply inspire the elites to call for still even more “interfaith dialogue,” “bridge-building” and “Muslim outreach.” My fellow Canadian blogger, Scaramouche, has a phrase for these impotent, feel-good make-work projects: “Project Samosa.” Progressive Jews and Christians share tasty, exotic ethnic food with professional Muslims, and come away thinking their unctuous hosts are as interested in “dialogue” as they are. Wrong. Quite simply: dialogue, education and compromise are Western notions, not Muslim ones. This is especially obvious when you watch semi-Westernized Muslims try to act out these foreign concepts during controversies; they can only last about 10 minutes before the mask drops. Islam is the only religion that teaches that lying is a virtue.

Republicans target health-care bill, government spending as Obama acknowledges election setback
Excerpt: Leaders of the new Republican majority emerged emboldened Wednesday, promising to slash the size of government and setting their sights on repealing President Obama's signature health-care overhaul.

Obama spends billions, only adds to college costs
Excerpt: The Obama administration has doled out a record amount of college loans this year to help students cope with the affordability crisis in college tuitions. Meanwhile, college tuitions have become yet more unaffordable. Gee, could there be a connection? Uncle Sam handed out $28.2 billion in Pell grants to students in the 2009-10 school year, almost $10 billion more than the previous year. Since taking office, President Obama has increased spending on student aid by nearly 50 percent, to $145 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports. Despite the helicopter drop of billions of dollars over college campuses, pundits marvel, affordability remains a problem. Really? From 2000 to 2010, tuition and fees at four-year institutions increased an average of 5.6 percent faster than inflation. Apologists for higher education blame cutbacks in state appropriations, which declined 5 percent in 2009-10. "There's only so much cutting you can do before institutions suffer in fundamental ways," weeps Terry Hartle, an official with the American Council on Education, a higher-ed lobbying group. Cutting? Did the man say "cutting"? Higher education has been one of the great growth industries of the 2000s. According to the 2009 Digest of Education Statistics, published by the National Center for Education Statistics, which lists data from the 2003-04 to 2006-07 school years, operating expenditures for all U.S. institutions of higher education increased 16 percent (in real, inflation-adjusted dollars) over that three-year span. (Undoubtedly, the rate of increase has been tempered since then by the recession, but any slowdown follows a spectacular run-up earlier.)

Meet the new members of Congress

Debt solution lies in success of Europe
Excerpt: In short, there is no consensus. And if even the world’s most esteemed economic theorists cannot decide whether a huge new spending bill would make the current crisis better or worse, guidance will have to come from somewhere else. Perhaps that somewhere is Europe, where governments have deliberately rejected Washington’s embrace of massive deficit spending as the best way to rev up an ailing economy — with better outcomes than Americans have seen.

Tuesday's Election Was A Vote To Bring The Nineteeth Century To An End
Excerpt: The 19th century was the nursery for contemporary politics. Every form of modern political activity -- fascism, communism, socialism, liberalism -- has its roots in that epoch. (Yes, I'm fully aware of such figures as Locke, Burke, Madison, and Jefferson, but their work was hijacked and twisted all out of recognition, in large part by French revolutionaries and assorted German academics. Edmund Burke was so appalled by this that, having invented modern liberalism, he turned around and invented modern conservatism.) Anything coming out of the 19th century is going to be imbued with rationalism, the dominant intellectual credo of the period. Rationalism has nothing to do with rationality per se; it is instead an ideology (note that "ism" -- always a giveaway) based on a severe simplification of Cartesianism, humanist doctrine, and the results of modern scientific research. For our purposes, rationalism can be defined as a reductionist doctrine holding that the universe and everything within it is a mechanism, governed by simple laws easily discovered, understood, and manipulated. A rationalist is a very smart individual who, if he doesn't know all the answers, can tell you where to get them. A political rationalist is all this and more, since political rationalism is the arena in which the limitations of the ideology first became apparent. Namely, rationalism, taken to its logical extreme (and how could it be otherwise?), leads inevitably to chaos, misery, and death on continental scales. Most leaders of the modern era were political rationalists: Lenin, Mussolini, Woodrow Wilson, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot, Clement Atlee, FDR, Lyndon Johnson, Harold Wilson, all the way down to Mr. Barack Obama, who lives in Washington in a building called the "White House." Whether communist, fascist, progressive, socialist, or liberal, all believed in the tenets of rationalism. Since the universe is a mechanism, and everything within it shares that quality, then society, in all its varied manifestations, was a mechanism to these rationalists as well. The social and political machinery was open to manipulation, along with all the little machines within -- humans, they were called. All were perfectible, and all could be made right with the proper formulae. The doctrine of political rationalism remains in force today, even though it has been derelict for over a century. It got that way thanks to Planck, Einstein, and the new physics. The discovery of the quanta and its various tricks (still being uncovered to this day) rendered any consideration of a "rational" universe ludicrous. Particles (perhaps better called "entities") could be in two places at once, could move backwards in time, could interact though separated by billions of light years. (This implies that there is no such thing as a "universe" at all, at least one containing empty space, as far as the particle itself is concerned. Try to come up with a "rational" explanation for that.) While the universe does have rules, they are not our rules, and they do not follow any rational plan or formula. Physicists long ago threw in the towel and today think in terms of probabilities rather than absolutes (some very reluctantly, including Einstein himself, who argued for decades with Neils Bohr and others that the universe must have a deterministic basis).

Alan West Victory Speech

34 warships sent from US for Obama visit
Visit? That’s an invasion! ~Bob. Glad to learn the government is flush with cash. Excerpt: The White House will, of course, stay in Washington but the heart of the famous building will move to India when President Barack Obama lands in Mumbai on Saturday. Communications set-up, nuclear button, a fleet of limousines and majority of the White House staff will be in India accompanying the President on this three-day visit that will cover Mumbai and Delhi. He will also be protected by a fleet of 34 warships, including an aircraft carrier, which will patrol the sea lanes off the Mumbai coast during his two-day stay there beginning Saturday. The measure has been taken as Mumbai attack in 2008 took place from the sea. Arrangements have been put in place for emergency evacuation, if needed. Obama is expected to fly by a helicopter -- Marine One -- from the city airport to the Indian Navy's helibase INS Shikra at Colaba in south Mumbai.

Cure for Common Cold May Be Close
Excerpt: If their claims hold up, it could pave the way for the invention of a new class of anti-viral drugs that would bolster the cells' natural ability to destroy viruses, the paper said. Those drugs could be ready for clinical trials within two to five years. "Obviously this is of great interest to anyone who suffers from the common cold, which is pretty much everyone," Dr. Cliff Bassett, the medical director of Allergy & Asthma Care of New York, told AOL Health. "If this can be done safely and cost-effectively, they've got a home run. But it remains to be seen." Many respiratory infections lead to sinus infections and other bacterial ailments. And those already suffering from allergies and asthma would benefit from a common cold cure since their symptoms are often triggered by colds and other respiratory illnesses, Bassett said. The findings could also aid in the fight against other viral illnesses including norovirus and rotavirus, which can cause severe gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, according to the scientists. (...) "It's promising, but we can't speculate without clinical trials," Bassett said. "I think it's premature to have any joy or jump up and down about a drug to get rid of common colds." (For a change, the scientists are being careful not to over-promise. This could be an enormous advance. Virtually all major diseases originating outside the body that aren't controlable with antibiotics are viral. Some forms of cancer are also thought to be triggered by viruses. If we actually get a wide-spectrum anti-viral, who knows what additional ailments can be cured? But, don't hold your breath waiting for something to come on the market; that may take decades. Ron P.)

France: AQ Bomb Just Minutes Away From Exploding When Found
Excerpt: New information from France and Britain make clear that the al-Qaeda mail-bomb plot intended to attack jets in mid-air and not necessarily the locations to which the packages were addressed. France’s interior minister told the media that the bomb discovered in the jet in East Midlands, England would have detonated in 17 minutes, a finding confirmed by CBS through its British sources:

America Just Checked Into Rehab
Excerpt: Obama failed miserably to keep the nation's trust. After just 21 months, the country concluded that he was an extremist, and that his attempts to manage the economy through massive borrowing, rapid growth in government size and spending, assumption of private enterprise, and serial harangues against business and the rich had turned a recession into a crisis of confidence and a near-depression. For some strange reason, Obama thought the cure for Republican big-spending was European-style socialism, when in fact, voters wanted an end to Bush-era borrowing and waste -- not far more of it. Second, not being Obama will no longer be enough for the ascendant Republicans, many of them political novices or Tea Party mavericks skeptical of both parties. These outsiders told outraged voters that America will have to step up and start controlling spending in a manner Republicans never did as a majority in Congress from 2001 to 2006. Perhaps a good symbolic start would be to cut back on popular pet programs -- agricultural subsidies, for example -- whose end the republic will survive. This would be iconic proof of congressional willingness to alienate powerful special interests. Social Security, Medicare and some Defense programs all have to be on the table. If conservatives plan to cut taxes, they will no longer be able to convince the public that the resulting supply-side growth in the economy will eventually bring in more money and balance the budget. Instead, right from the start, the new House majority will have to demand that we pay as we go -- every dollar lost in revenue will require a commensurate dollar cut in federal spending. Republicans should be willing to be demagogued by a weakened Obama as heartless and cruel budget cutters -- even if the president may well be the ultimate beneficiary by running on the new theme of fiscal responsibility and a recovering economy in 2012.

Found Below US - Mexico Border - High Tech Drugs Tunnel
Excerpt: Federal authorities have made one of the largest marijuana seizures in the U.S., confiscating more than 20 tons of cannabis smuggled into the country through an elaborate underground tunnel. Mexican authorities also seized more than four tons of cannabis from a warehouse on their side of the border. The marijuana has a street value of $20million, but it is the discovery of the hi-tech passageway, which boasted lighting, ventilation and even a miniature railway, which has stunned U.S. customs officials.

Republicans Won Bigger Than You Think
Excerpt: Mr. Obama may be counting on Republicans not to underachieve but to overreach. He shouldn't get his hopes up. Almost all Republicans know that the brief shutdown of the federal government in 1995 was a tactical disaster. They also know that the Republican embrace of higher spending and earmarks helped lose them the Congress a decade later, in 2006. Republicans now understand that you can't govern from Capitol Hill. So they won't try. And they know it's safer to keep their leaders from overexposure lest they become Democratic targets, like Newt Gingrich in the 1990s and Tom DeLay in the 2000s. The Republican plan is to stress ideas, not personalities. This, they hope, will set the stage for the election of a Republican president in 2012. Trying to pass major policy breakthroughs would either be futile or risk painful backfire. Yet there are useful things Republicans can do besides paring spending. With their subpoena power, Republicans can summon Obama administration officials to Capitol Hill to explain what they're doing to implement ObamaCare, financial-market reform, curbs on greenhouse gases, and other policies. They can trim around the edges of ObamaCare and delay its start-up without stirring complaints from anyone but the White House and liberal Democrats. And they can expand oversight of bureaucrats who are now writing rules based on the thousands of pages of health-care and banking-reform legislation. Many media commentators have wondered if Republicans realize the election was a repudiation of Democrats rather than an endorsement of the GOP. Of course Republicans do. How could they not?

A Recoil Against Liberalism
Excerpt: It is amazing the ingenuity Democrats invest in concocting explanations of voter behavior that erase what voters always care about, and this year more than ever - ideas. This election was a nationwide recoil against Barack Obama's idea of unlimited government. The more he denounced Republicans as the party of "no," the better Republicans did. His denunciations enabled people to support Republicans without embracing them as anything other than impediments to him. He had defined himself as a world-class whiner even before Rahm Emanuel, a world-class flatterer, declared that Obama had dealt masterfully with "the toughest times any president has ever faced" - quite a claim, considering that before the first president from Illinois was even inaugurated, seven of the then-34 states had seceded. Today's president from Illinois, a chronic campaigner and incontinent complainer who is uninhibited by considerations of presidential dignity, has blamed his difficulties on: George W. Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, the Supreme Court, a Cincinnati congressman (John Boehner), Karl Rove, Americans for Prosperity and other "groups with harmless-sounding names" (Hillary Clinton's "vast right-wing conspiracy" redux), "shadowy third-party groups" (they are as shadowy as steam calliopes), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and, finally, the American people. They have deeply disappointed him by being impervious to "facts and science and argument."

Get To Work On Spending Cuts
Excerpt: On October 15, 2008, well after the financial collapse had begun, President Barack Obama promised the American people during the third presidential debate: “What I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut.” The verdict is out on how many Americans believed President Obama then, but the verdict is in on his first two years in office: instead of a net spending cut, federal spending has exploded. Since 2008, federal spending has surged from $25,000 to $30,000 per household. And under President Obama’s budget it would reach $36,000 per household by 2020. Even if Congress allowed President Obama’s preferred tax hikes to become law, his budget would double the national debt to more than $20 trillion by 2020.

New Hidden Missile System Unknown To Feds
Excerpt: A Russian weapons company is marketing a new missile system that is hidden inside an ordinary shipping container. It can turn a ship, train or truck into a long range missile launcher. Channel Two Action News anchor Justin Farmer investigated the threat and found officials at the Port of Savannah had never heard of the Club K Missile system. It sounds like something out of a James Bond movie. A hidden cruise missile that can transform a shipping container into a missile launcher. The problem is it's real and a Russian weapons company is advertising it for sale to anyone who has the cash to pay for it. Channel Two Action News went to the Port of Savannah to find out how the feds are combating this potential threat. They did not even know about it, until Farmer told them.

Fox ratings landslide
Excerpt: Tuesday's election-night returns were a huge hit for Fox News Channel, according to ratings released yesterday. Fox News drew nearly 7 million viewers in prime time -- more than CNN (2.4 million total viewers) and MSNBC (1.94 million) combined. At 10 p.m., in fact, Fox News' audience was even bigger than the three broadcast networks, according to early ratings data.

EPA policy chief steps down
Excerpt: Within EPA, Heinzerling is one of the more dogmatic proponents of regulating greenhouse gases to the maximum extent possible under the Clean Air Act. There are two camps within the agency on climate, said an environmental advocate who spoke on background. The Heinzerling camp, with the mind-set that, “we have the law on our side; let’s go get them.” In the other camp are Administrator Lisa Jackson and EPA air chief Gina McCarthy, who are trying to maintain the support of the White House and Congress. Heinzerling gained fame in the environmental community for her role in helping to win a landmark 2007 U.S. Supreme Court case that gave EPA the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. At EPA, she’s played a leading role in crafting the agency’s controversial climate policies as Jackson’s senior climate policy attorney and then as the associate administrator of EPA’s Office of Policy. “I think she’s probably the farthest left and most committed of anyone on the team, with the exception of Carol Browner,” on climate change, said an industry attorney familiar with the agency, referring to the former agency administrator and President Barack Obama’s energy and climate adviser.

Day of reckoning for climate vote
Excerpt: House Democrats who voted for the 2009 bill to cap greenhouse gas emissions – dubbed cap-and-tax by GOP opponents – had a terrible night. Over two dozen lawmakers who favored efforts to clamp down on heat-trapping emissions were swept away on Tuesday's anti-incumbent wave, ushering in a new class of Republicans who doubt global warming science and want to upend President Barack Obama's environmental and energy policies. Democrats who voted for the controversial House climate bill were slaughtered at the ballot box, including Rep. Rick Boucher, the 14-term Virginian who helped broker some of the key deals instrumental to its June 2009 passage. In the Senate, several reliable green advocates also went down to opponents who derided tough new environmental policies. Come January, Obama will be working with a Congress that will have little appetite for the types of sweeping energy reform he sought over the last two years. With the House in Republican hands, some of the climate issue's most vocal advocates have been dislodged from their powerful perches, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman. There's no hiding the House Democrats' bloodbath, with more than two dozen members who voted for the Pelosi-led climate bill losing their seats, and more likely to fall as the final tallies come in. The outcome sends a strong signal to moderate lawmakers as they consider any risky votes in future Congress' on energy and environmental issues.

Team Obama Blaming Rahm
Excerpt: As chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Rahm Emanuel built a Democratic majority in the House. As President Obama's chief of staff, he devised White House strategy toward Capitol Hill. So when the Democrats were going down in flames Tuesday night, where was Obama's chief political architect? Half a continent away, campaigning for himself in the most pro-Obama place on the planet, largely sheltered from the Republican rubble crashing down on his party all across the country. And his old colleagues in Washington aren’t too happy about it. Some of them shake their heads in disbelief that Emanuel would bolt at precisely the juncture when the Democrats needed to shape their strategy and message during the homestretch of what everyone knew would be the toughest election cycle in years. “It was Rahm who always said, ‘We’ve just got to put points on the board,’ and that’s why we have a transactional presidency,” said one former colleague. “The only problem is that Obama is not a transactional politician. It was Rahm’s strategy and then he leaves a month before the election for his own personal political career. It’s extraordinary.” (Stuff you can only get from a left-center site like Daily Beast. This is an interesting denial technique. They just flatly refuse to believe their policies ARE the problem, not the solution. Just like refusing to identify Muslim terrorists as Islamic. And, as if the electoral doom wasn't already written in stone when Emanuel left. Is this a form of madness? Or just stubbornness? Ron P.)

The World of Obama — A Glossary
This would be funnier if not so painfully accurate. ~Bob.

New wave of House Republicans includes several health care professionals who ran against ObamaCare
Excerpt: Notably, out of those 60 plus Republican seats, nine of the newly elected Republicans are or were health care professionals. Many of the health care professionals elected to Congress Tuesday ran on a platform in opposition to President Barack Obama’s new health care law — giving those anti-Obamacare adherents even more to smile about this week. The nine House newbies include: Larry Bucshon, an Indiana thoracic surgeon; Joe Heck, a Nevada physician; Dan Benishek, a surgeon from Michigan; Renee Ellmers, a North Carolina nurse; Scott DesJarlais, a Tennessee general practitioner; Diane Black, a Tennessee nurse; Paul Gosar, a dentist in Arizona; Andy Harris, an anesthesiologist in Maryland; and Nan Hayworth, a New York ophthalmologist. These newly elected congressmen vocally stood in opposition to the president’s new health care law. Bucshon, for example, told Byron York in March that Obama’s plan would bring down the entire health care system.

A stormy forecast for climate change reporting
Excerpt: The biggest hurdle mentioned by most journalists was the so-called 'Climategate', the controversy surrounding the publication of hundreds of hacked emails from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK between influential climate scientists. It was a "defining moment in all our careers," according to an environment editor. Given the underlying science has been exonerated in successive inquiries, what is it that the journalists believe they were guilty of? Firstly, they missed a cracking story that was instead first pursued by the blogosphere and which proved to be, unlike many other climate change stories, a hit with the public. After struggling to find stories the public wanted to read, a tabloid journalist observed "Climategate … got a strong response; it made climate change more topical." Many journalists say the UEA email hacking, combined with the discovery of an error regarding the melting of the Himalayan glaciers in the 2007 report by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), also proved they had failed to cast a critical enough eye on climate science and that they had been far too dismissive of sceptics. (I just read the original article from ABC's own site. WOW! What a thorough gutting and repudiation of the media coverage of climate science prior to Climategate! All those emails had far more impact in the halls of journalism than I dreamed. Apparently, reporters don't take kindly to being made to look gullible and stupid. I don't know whether to suggest we combine the stories or run them separately, so your choice. Anthony Watts' comment leading the WUWT article is important because he DOES have 30+ years in broadcast journalism, but that's just the fluff on top of the mixture. The meat is at the link at the end of his column. Here's an excerpt from the good stuff: Ron P.)

Wave II coming in 2012?
Excerpt: If Democrats thought this past Tuesday was bad, wait for 2012, The Hill warns. Thanks to the big pickup for Democrats in 2006 for the Senate, they have to defend a lot more seats in the next cycle than they did in 2010. Republicans may have an easy opportunity to grab control of the upper chamber, but a few things have to fall in place first:

Newt Gingrich: The Challenge for Republicans
Excerpt: But the last two years have been conducted differently than the normal debates of the past and I think explain the scale of Tuesday's election results. When bills are passed without any member of Congress having time to read them, it's insulting to a free people. When $800 billion are wasted on a stimulus program that visibly does not create jobs, and yet our leaders tell us that jobs were "saved or created," it's insulting to a free people. When a 300-page amendment is inserted into a cap-and-trade bill at 3 a.m. on the same day of the final vote, a bill that would reorder the nation's economy and impose economic costs of trillions of dollars, it's insulting to a free people. When corrupt backroom deals are cut to buy support for health care legislation, even after promising all proceedings would be put on C-SPAN, it's insulting to a free people. (Newt is dead-on perfect in this assessment, I think. Ron P.)

Pelosi says election not a rejection of agenda, Obama will be two-term president
Read the article for a good laugh. My phrase "addiction to fantasy" seems to apply here very nicely. –Del

Website Used By Woman Who Stabbed MP Encourages Further Attacks
Excerpt: The website, Revolution Muslim, is hosted in Bellevue, Washington, and includes a disclaimer invoking the first amendment of the US constitution, protecting free speech. Dame Pauline Neville Jones, the security minister, has complained to the Americans that they are allowing radical websites to be run from the US. In a statement published this week the website praised Roshonara Choudhry, who tried to stab Mr Timms to death during a constituency surgery in Beckton, East London. Choudhry, 21, who was jailed for life on Wednesday, is thought to have radicalised herself over the internet. She told police she had visited the Revolution Muslim website and watched videos on Youtube by Anwar al-Awlaki, one of the leaders of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular. “We ask Allah to keep her safe and secure, to hasten her release and to reward this heroine immensely,” it said.

80-year-old man marries 14-year-old
Excerpt: A Saudi old man aged above 80 years has married a 14-year-old girl and is refusing to divorce her unless she pays him back his wedding money, the Saudi Ajel Arabic language online paper reported on Wednesday. The bride’s father, Showan Ateen, said his daughter had been forced to marry that man from the southwestern town of Sabya but that she has not moved in with him yet. He did not say who forced her to marry him


  1. Last Monday, as I sat in the waiting room at desk 2-B in the Veterans Hospital in Fargo North Dakota. I heard one silly veteran telling another. “Tomorrow I’m voting for every Republican I can find”. “How come” said the other. “Because the Democrats are all a bunch of Socialists”. “They want government run health care and to take my freedom”.
    I thought I should say something to this idiot, but then I though there’s nothing I could possibly say that would make a difference to an idiot sitting in the Veterans Hospital bitching about government run health care. I probably shouldn’t be so hard on him, he could have been there because of traumatic brain injury.

  2. A quick perusal of several of these articles indicates that just as in times past the conservatives will overplay their hand. I see it took Jim Dement less than 24 hours to throw the tea party under the bus, with regard to the debt ceiling. But, But, But you said you would still respect me in the morning”!