Friday, December 24, 2010

Political Digest for December 24, 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. Help your friends and relatives stay informed by passing the digest on.

Parcel Bomb Attacks Hit Rome Embassies
Excerpt: BOMBS exploded last night at the Chilean and Swiss embassies in Rome, injuring two people, as authorities feared a new spate of parcel bomb attacks. A parcel bomb delivered to the Swiss embassy in Rome exploded in the hands of a mail worker who opened the package, seriously injuring the man in what Italy's foreign minister termed "a deplorable act". There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Islamic Fanatics Plotted Australia's Worst Terrorist Attack On Army Base
Didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: The radicalised Muslim men were yesterday found guilty of planning the brazen attack on Holsworthy Army Base, a training area and artillery range on the outskirts of Sydney that can host up to 2,000 soldiers at a time. Wissam Mahmoud Fattal, 34, Saney Edow Aweys, 27, and Nayef El Sayed, 26 – all Australian citizens of Somali or Lebanese origin – plotted to walk into the base with high-powered weapons and shoot scores of soldiers until they had either used up their ammunition or had been killed or captured. The men, who were also accused of having ties to al-Shabab, the powerful al-Qaeda-linked Somali terror group, wanted to carry out the suicide attack in revenge for Australia's role in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan...

The Government Can!
Great song.

Loser Pays, Everyone Wins
Excerpt: Republicans picked up 16 governorships and at least 675 state legislative seats in November, and some of them are using this new running room to get creative. One Governor out of the gate early is Texan Rick Perry, who wants to extend his state’s impressive tort reform record. Most notably, Mr. Perry is proposing a British-style “loser pays” rule, which would require plaintiffs to pick up the legal costs of their targets if they lose their suits. Almost all of America’s economic competitors follow a similar standard, but trial lawyers and their Democratic codependents have blocked states from making this revolutionary improvement to U.S. civil justice. Americans now spend more on tort litigation than they do on new cars. The courts are choked with such high crimes as the $54 million pair of pants that a D.C. dry cleaner allegedly ruined in 2007. A procedural reform like loser pays to deter junk lawsuits would make the legal system less of a drag on the economy and less of a political tool for redistributing wealth. (Increasingly, my bride and I are thinking of Texas as a potential retirement place, should I live long enough to retire. This is just one reason. ~Bob.)

Medical malpractice an inconsistent system
Excerpt: The news that New York faces a current fiscal year budget deficit that could reach $1 billion and a deficit for the next fiscal year that could approach $10 billion is sobering for us all. Deficits of this magnitude will create difficult choices for Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo and the newly elected Legislature. New Yorkers already carry the highest tax burden in the country. We can no longer count upon new revenues to address this fiscal crisis. To close the deficit, all options to reduce spending must be on the table, including Medicaid and, indeed, all health care programs. New York can no longer accept the extraordinary costs incurred by taxpayers to sustain a failed system for resolving allegations of medical malpractice. (and New York isn’t on the retirement list! ~Bob.)

Fighting the 'FICA Scream'
Excerpt: Many parents have heard FICA Screams. Indignant children, holding in trembling hands their first paychecks, demand to know what FICA is and why it is feasting on their pay. FICA (the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax) is government compassion, expressed numerically: It is the welfare state; it funds Social Security and Medicare. Sometimes it makes young people into conservatives. Dave Camp was 14, working for his father's garage in central Michigan, when he made the acquaintance of FICA. Now 57 and about to begin his 11th term in Congress, he will chair the
House Ways
and Means Committee, where he will try to implement the implications of his complaint that "the tax code is 10 times longer than the Bible, without the good news."

'Christmas is evil': Muslim group launches poster campaign against festive period
Excerpt: Fanatics from a banned Islamic hate group have launched a nationwide poster campaign denouncing Christmas as evil. Organisers plan to put up thousands of placards around the UK claiming the season of goodwill is responsible for rape, teenage pregnancies, abortion, promiscuity, crime and paedophilia. They hope the campaign will help 'destroy Christmas' in this country and lead to Britons converting to Islam instead.

Antitrust Suit in Michigan Tests Health Law
Excerpt: When the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in October, the unusual action was widely seen as a warning shot to dominant health insurance carriers in many other states. The case is viewed as a test for the Obama administration’s introduction of the federal health care law, which is aimed at spurring competition and driving down costs.

Iran Just Shipped Missiles to Venezuela. Hello? Is This Thing On?
Excerpt: Among the two most alarming revelations is the already completed sale and delivery, to Venezuela by Russia, of nearly 2,000 advanced, shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles capable of hitting aircraft as high as 19,000 feet. Equally and perhaps more alarming is an October agreement between Iran and Venezuela. The agreement establishes a joint ground-to-ground missile base on Venezuelan soil and calls for the sharing of missile technology and the training of technicians and officers. In addition, Venezuela may use the missiles as it chooses for “national needs” and in case of “emergency.” Several types of missiles will be deployed, giving Venezuela the ability to strike targets throughout South and Central America and throughout the U.S. The dangers arising from the Marxist, cult-of-personality rule of Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez are many. These weapons are only the largest and most destructive purchased or finagled by Chavez. He has also purchased an enormous number of Russian assault rifles — the real thing, fully automatic military rifles, not the non-existent “assault weapons” of gun control imaginations and press releases — and related weapons and ammunition. Keep in mind that these are only the sales and transfers about which American authorities and the public are aware. (This article points out some very uncomfortable facts about the on-going assault on our southern border. Ron P.)

Support For Israel's Settlements From Europe's Right
Excerpt: Outside Israel, most of the world’s governments oppose the settlement construction, but in recent weeks the settlers have found solid support from what might seem an unlikely source: the far-right of the European political spectrum. Geert Wilders, whose anti-immigrant party supports the government of the Netherlands, said in a speech this month in Tel Aviv, “Jews need to settle Judea and Samaria,” using the ancient Hebrew name for the West Bank. He added, “Without Judea and Samaria, Israel cannot protect Jerusalem.”

Israel warns Gaza missiles could provoke new offensive against terrorists
Excerpt: On the eve of the second anniversary of Israel's 23-day offensive against Hamas in Gaza, a period of relative calm in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been shattered by missile launches from the coastal strip and Israeli counterstrikes. On Monday and Tuesday, 15 mortars or rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel compared to some 200 for all of 2010, leaving one Israeli teenager lightly wounded and prompting a formal protest to the United Nations. While Gaza is still struggling to recover from the destruction of "Operation Cast Lead," many observers worry that this unexpected flare-up in border violence could provoke another Israeli offensive.

Illegal Immigration and Terrorism
Excerpt: I first heard the news report about the threat that al Qaeda might attempt to have their operatives poison foods in restaurants and hotels yesterday morning when I was listening to the local CBS Radio station in New York City…..What is missing from the discussion about the threat of terrorism and what is missing from the strategy of our government to protect our nation and our citizens from the threat of terrorism and transnational criminals either, is the way that the immigration laws could and should be brought to bear to help prevent the entry of terrorists into our country and to prevent them from easily embedding themselves in our country as they prepare to attack us.

Disarming The Toy Box: Providence Program Destroys Children's Toy Guns
Another Hall for the Marines, I’m thinking. And I’m thinking the country will be conquered by kids who learn to play with real guns in the Madrassa. ~Bob. Excerpt: Malik Hall, a round-eyed second-grader, looked apprehensive as he stood in line with his favorite toy, a thick, blue gun with plastic sword underneath the muzzle. The 8-year-old was furious when his mother, Amanda, told him he would have to give it up. Yesterday morning, he tried to hide it under his pillow, she said. “I’m worried,’’ she said. “He might cry.’’ But when it was his turn, Malik strode dry-eyed and with quiet dignity to the Bash-O-Matic and fed it the gun. When his mother approached, he said nothing. “You don’t want to talk to me?’’ Hall asked. He looked at her stonily and left to retrieve his gift. Hall said she had no regrets. The 26-year-old mother of six said she has been trying to wean her only son off toy guns for years. In kindergarten, he brought a pop gun to school and shot at a classmate when the child refused to return his toy truck. The police and representatives of the state’s children services department rushed to the school, and the boy was expelled. “He had it in his pants like a gangster,’’ Hall said. Yesterday, she had six other of his guns to feed the Bash-O-Matic, but she admitted she had let Malik keep one, a small pistol that shoots rubber targets.

To Root Out Dirty Police, Mexico Sends In a General
I suspect I’ll be posting his obit in the next six months. ~Bob. Excerpt: His grandfather was the cross-eyed cousin of Mexico's legendary revolutionary Francisco "Pancho" Villa. Like his famous ancestor, Carlos Villa is a hard-charging general who is charismatic, foulmouthed and not afraid to use his gun. And some say he is just what Mexico needs as it wrestles with the corruption and violence spawned by the country's powerful gangs of drug traffickers. Retired Gen. Villa is the 61-year-old police chief in Torreon, an industrial city in Mexico's violent northern badlands—a central drug-running route currently being fought over by two of Mexico's biggest cartels. Since taking over as the city's top police officer in January, Mr. Villa has battled not only the city's drug lords, but also his own police force, which was on the payroll of a powerful cartel.

WTF? OMG, LOL! CIA gives WikiLeaks taskforce naughty name
Excerpt: The CIA has launched a taskforce to assess the impact of 250,000 leaked US diplomatic cables. Its name? WikiLeaks Task Force, or WTF for short. The group will scour the released documents to survey damage caused by the disclosures. One of the most embarrassing revelations was that the US state department had drawn up a list of information it would like on key UN figures – it later emerged the CIA had asked for the information. "Officially, the panel is called the WikiLeaks Task Force. But at CIA headquarters, it's mainly known by its all-too-apt acronym: WTF," the Washington Post reported.

Good review of bad policy choices: Liberals' 50 Years of Dreadful Domestic Policy
But the Day of Reckoning is close. And I’m not talking about an election or a revolution. ~Bob. Excerpt: For the past 50 years, the Democrats -- and many Republicans who should know better -- have been wrong about virtually every major domestic policy issue. Let's review some of them:

America's Financial Future: Our Choice... But Not For Long
The alternative will be default or printing fiat money, setting off rampant inflation. ~Bob. Excerpt: Apparently rejecting these clarion calls, the President and Congress acted in the lame-duck session to cut not one dime of federal spending, while increasing the national debt by nearly $1 trillion. They are ignoring a glaring problem that, if not addressed soon, will cause a panoply of other problems. Some insist that the problem with increasing the debt by nearly $1 trillion is that the borrowed money will be loaned to us by China. Concerning as it is that we have become the world’s largest debtor to a foreign sovereign whose interests are (to put it mildly) not always in harmony with our own, that's not the biggest problem. What ought to be of even greater, more immediate concern is the fact that China will refuse to loan us the money. From October 2009 to October 2010, we financed $734 billion of our $1.690 trillion deficit through loans from foreign entities. And while China remains our largest creditor, China actually reduced the amount of U.S. debt it holds by $32 billion over the last year—from $938 billion to $906 billion. Through its actions, China has indicated that it will no longer fund the U.S. government's practice of perpetual deficit spending. So if not China, then who? That's the problem. The largest increase in U.S. debt holdings over the past year was a near five-fold increase by the U.K.—from $108 billion to $477 billion — and a near three-fold increase by Canada — from $44 billion to $125 billion. The reality is that the U.K. and Canada do not have another half-trillion dollars to loan the U.S. in 2011.

Eu Ponsi Scheme Cheerleaders: Acceptance Of Turkey Is Completion Of Eu Integration
Excerpt: Let the Tundra Tabloids say it here and now, that Finnish FM, Alexander Stubb is an EU cheerleading lap dog, whom the TT wouldn’t trust as far as it could spit. The man thinks first and foremost (IMHO) not as a Finnish Foreign Minister, but as someone in a key position to promote EU policies. The man could care less that EU membership rips apart Finnish sovereignty, and that the recently (forced and highly unpopular) EU constitution, dubbed the Lisbon Treaty, makes it possible for Finns to be arrested for something not illegal under Finnish law, and transported to the EU state where it is. Stubb, like most of the Finnish government, are a bunch of traitors to their own people, who take to the art of lying like a duck takes to water. It’s sickening to see these people attain power with the same ease in which they hand it over to Brussels. For all of my fellow Finns who read this blog, this has to be made into a serious political wedge issue. Why are our politicians not telling us what is actually in the Lisbon Treaty, that we have to read elsewhere how our sovereign state is nothing more than a fiction. This explains the zeal in which the Finnish government is persecuting those of us who dare to peel back the curtain surrounding Islam

U.S. congressman declares: Borders will be 'irrelevant'
And so will locks on homes—with the same results. ~Bob. Excerpt: A so-called spiritual conference at which Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., called for the U.S. border to become an "irrelevancy" was led by a slew of extremists, including a Marxist who reportedly compared the tea-party movement to Hitler. Conference speakers include radicals with deep ties to President Obama.

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