Friday, January 28, 2011

Political Digest for January 28, 2011

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.

Bob Howard
They call him “The Real Rambo” in the title, but that’s a disservice to him, as Rambo is a fictional, crazed character of fantasy. This soldier was the real deal. ~Bob.

Animal Farm Comes to Arizona
"Some animals are more equal than others." -- George Orwell in Animal Farm. Talk about irony. For the most unexpected of reasons, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a supporter of Obamacare, may well become a popular symbol of the reason to repeal it. Outside of a lone, extremely disturbed man in a Tucson jail cell, there is no one who doesn't wish Congresswoman Giffords well in her fight to recover from a gunshot wound to the head….Here's a very cold fact….., it begs the question. That question? If Gabrielle Giffords were not part of the governing elite -- the Ruling Class -- with this serious of a wound, a gunshot to the brain -- under ObamaCare would she be receiving this kind of A-triple plus treatment?

Quote about Obama
"I agree with 80% of what he says but disagree with 80% of what he does." – Attributed to Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas.

Medicare Actuary Doubts Health Care Law Will Hold Down Costs
Excerpt: Two of the central promises of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law are unlikely to be fulfilled, Medicare's independent economic expert told Congress on Wednesday. The landmark legislation probably won't hold costs down, and it won't let everybody keep their current health insurance if they like it, Chief Actuary Richard Foster told the House Budget Committee. His office is responsible for independent long-range cost estimates. Foster's assessment came a day after Obama in his State of the Union message told lawmakers that he's open to improvements in the law, but unwilling to rehash the health care debate of the past two years. Republicans want to repeal the landmark legislation that provides coverage to more than 30 million people now uninsured, but lack the votes.

Excerpt: Many estates, however, consist of business assets. And this looms large when business owners make plans. If, because of the death tax, the Internal Revenue Service will claim more than a third of what you own after you die, you will act differently than you would if there were no estate tax. You might, for example, purchase life insurance to cover the cost of the tax. Or you might put your assets in a trust. Money that is spent this way, however, is money that isn't being used to grow your business.
Excerpt: Two years ago, the National Assembly adopted one of those solar “feed-in tariffs” — a cute misnomer for a mandate that forces utilities to buy expensive renewable electricity at ridiculously high prices. Flush with visions for the solar future, the legislature set the price at 546 euros per megawatt-hour, almost ten times the market price of 55 euros that customers pay for electricity from other sources. Electricitie de France (EDF), the national utility, was obligated to buy from all comers, covering the costs with a special levy on other customers. The result was an avalanche of expensive rooftop projects. Whereas EDF had received only 7,100 applications a year for such connections before 2008, by last December it was fielding 3,000 per day. “We didn’t see it coming,” French lawmaker Francois-Michel Gonnog told Bloomberg News. “What is in the pipeline this year is unimaginable. Farmers were being told they could put panels on hangars and get rid of their cows.” The government cut the price support twice last year but was finally forced to impose a three-month suspension in December. Now costing 1 billion euros per year, the program does not expire until 2017 and has put the utility in trouble. EDF’s stock declined 20 percent last year, compared to only a 3.7 percent decline for the rest of Europe’s Stoxx 600 Utilities Index. The utility is now 57 billion euros in debt. Plans to upgrade its aging fleet of 53 nuclear reactors — which provide 75 percent of France’s electricity — have been thrown into doubt. (Politicians get a bright idea from academics with no real world grounding. They meddle in the market. Disaster follows. Next year, they get another bright idea….~Bob.)

Guiding State Lawmakers in Budget Reform
Excerpt: Most legislative "fixes" aimed at mending state structural deficits created by overspending have merely postponed or obscured the problems, rather than address them directly, says the Reason Foundation. In response, the American Legislative Exchange Council, Reason Foundation, Americans for Tax Reform, The Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Washington Policy Center, Evergreen Freedom Foundation and State Budget Solutions have created the State Budget Reform Toolkit. The Toolkit seeks to guide policymakers in prioritizing and more efficiently delivering core government services through advancing Jeffersonian principles of free markets, limited government, federalism and individual liberty.

Republican Party unity cracks over raising $14.3 trillion debt ceiling
Well, a federal default has to come sometime, with all the pain and evil that will follow. ~Bob. Excerpt: Conservative Republicans in the House are upping the pressure on their party leaders to take a firm stand against raising the federal debt ceiling. The Republican Study Committee (RSC) introduced legislation on Wednesday that it says would allow the Treasury Department to avoid a default on U.S. debt without expanding the borrowing limit. 

Record $1.5 trillion deficit throws gasoline on the fiscal fire
Excerpt: A record $1.5 trillion deficit projection Wednesday from the Congressional Budget Office provided ammunition for both sides in the raging debate over spending and the size of government. The CBO blamed the dismal picture on December’s tax deal, which extended all of the Bush-era tax rates for two years and will add $390 billion to the deficit. (And if the tax deal hadn’t passed, taking the economy south, what would have happened to government revenue collections? ~Bob.)

Global Muslim population gains will outstrip non-Muslim growth over the next 20 years
Excerpt: The world's Muslim population will grow at double the rate of non-Muslims over the next 20 years, according to a broad new demographic analysis that is likely to spark controversy in Europe and the United States. If current trends continue, the study found, the number of Muslims in the United States will more than double, from 2.6 million in 2010 to 6.2 million in 2030. The percentage of native-born Muslims in the U.S. is projected to rise from 35 percent today to 45 percent in 2030.

Quotes from a Spam e-mail!
1. Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn't misuse it. 2. God is at home; it is we who have gone for a walk.

Jobless claims pushed higher by wintry weather
Can’t blame George Bush anymore. Hummm. Let’s see. I know—blame Global Warming! ~Bob. Excerpt: The number of people applying for unemployment benefits rose sharply last week, but the figures were largely distorted by rare snowstorms that swept through the Southeast. Applications surged last week by a seasonally adjusted 51,000 to 454,000, the highest level since late October, the Labor Department said Thursday. A government analyst said that a major reason for the spike was the harsh weather in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. That forced many companies to shut down temporarily and also prevented many people from applying for benefits in the previous week. When state offices, which had closed, reopened and people were able to file applications that pushed the number of requests up sharply, the analyst said.

Conservatives Must Lead Where Obama Has Failed
Excerpt: In his Tuesday State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said Americans must “understand [that] if we don’t take meaningful steps to rein in our debt, it could damage our markets, increase the cost of borrowing, and jeopardize our recovery—all of which would have an even worse effect on our job growth and family incomes.” This is all true. But then in a total failure of leadership, President Obama went on to completely abandon his own deficit commission’s spending cut proposals. Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed that our nation simply can’t afford President Obama’s failed leadership for much longer. This new CBO 10-year budget baseline shows an unprecedented $1.5 trillion deficit for this fiscal year—an increase of $95 billion over their last estimate. This will be the third consecutive year of trillion-dollar deficits. And the reality is even worse than the CBO report suggests. By law, the CBO is forced to make a number of unrealistic assumptions about federal spending and taxes, including that (1) the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts will expire, (2) the Alternative Minimum Tax will not be annually adjusted for inflation, and (3) non-war discretionary spending will grow no faster than inflation through 2021.

New CBO Budget Baseline Reveals Permanent Trillion-Dollar Deficits
Excerpt: The CBO baseline contains two important messages. First, Washington is accumulating debt at an unsustainable rate. After the debt slowly grew to $5.8 trillion through 2008, the more realistic baseline shows the federal government adding an astonishing $19.1 trillion in new debt between 2009 and 2021—$140,000 per household over those 13 years. Annual budget deficits would never drop below $1 trillion, as the debt is now projected to reach 100 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020—and continue growing thereafter. This steep rise in debt would eventually become too large for global capital markets to absorb, potentially triggering a financial crisis, an interest rate spike, and gigantic tax increases. The second message is that surging government spending—not low revenues—is driving long-term deficits. Recession-depleted tax revenues are scheduled to rebound to their historical average of 18.0 percent of GDP by 2018 and reach 18.4 percent by 2021—even if all tax cuts are made permanent. By contrast, federal spending (historically 20.3 percent of GDP) is projected to reach 26.4 percent of GDP by 2021.

The Emergence of the Gay Mafia
Excerpt: Why aren't these extremist homosexualists targeting businesses owned and run by Muslims? Why are they not applying to be youth workers in mosques? Or asking Muslim printers to print 'Gay Pride' leaflets? Or demanding to hire a hall dedicated to the glory of Allah? Or descending in hordes upon Muslim-run B&Bs? Just wondering.

GOP Senators Introduce ObamaCare Repeal
Excerpt: U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) introduced legislation to fully repeal the Democrats’ government health care takeover that President Obama signed into law March 23, 2010. Thirty-four Republicans have already cosponsored this bill. “Republicans are standing with the American people who are demanding we repeal this government takeover of health care,” said Senator DeMint. “Repealing ObamaCare is vital to the future of our nation and the health of our people. ObamaCare will raise health costs, reduce choices, ration care, hike taxes, cut jobs, increase the national debt, and put bureaucrats between patients and their doctors. It’s time to start over and implement commonsense solutions that allow Americans to choose affordable plans across state lines, end frivolous lawsuits that drive up costs, and gives equitable tax treatment to those who don’t get insurance from their employer.”

Dave Barno’s Top 10 Tasks for General Demsey, the New Chief of Staff of the Army
Excerpt: Marty Dempsey's nomination as the next Army Chief of Staff means one thing: The U.S. Army has just won the big Powerball jackpot. For a service struggling with the grim realities of ten years of war, and facing an uncertain future of inevitable defense cuts, this wily cavalryman is exactly the right medicine to revitalize the force. Dempsey leads the Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), an organization once described as "the architect of the future Army." He's been acting commander of U.S. Central Command and served twice in Iraq. He's a scholar with a degree in English who taught at West Point. He listens and thinks. With coming budget belt-tightening, two wars winding down and a shrinking Army end strength, Dempsey is the pivot man holding a historic opportunity to re-shape the Army Next. So -- what are the "gotta do" items in the next Chief's overflowing inbox? (Always on the Army's unwritten list of to do tasks: Subsume the Marine Corps into the Army—the Marines keep making us look bad by putting better combat troops in the field at a lower cost. And we can use their budget to fund more generals. ~Bob Hall)

Dennis Kucinich Sues House of Representatives for $150,000 after He Broke His Teeth on Olive Pit
This is what happens when you spend too much time in Congress as a member of the Lawyers Party. ~Bob. Excerpt: An Ohio congressman is suing a cafeteria for selling him a sandwich three years ago that caused severe dental damage when he bit down on an olive pit. Cleveland Democrat Rep. Dennis Kucinich, 64, filed the suit on January 3 against a U.S. House of Representatives cafeteria. He is seeking $150,000 in damages from the companies that operate the Longworth House Office Building's restaurant. Mr Kucinich said he bought the sandwich wrap 'on or about April 17, 2008' and eating the snack caused 'permanent dental and oral injuries requiring multiple surgical and dental procedures. 'Said sandwich wrap was unwholesome and unfit for human consumption in that it was presented to contain pitted olives. 'Yet unknown to plaintiff contained an unpitted olive or olives which plaintiff did not reasonably expect to be in the food prepared for him, and could not visually detect prior to consumption', the lawsuit claims

Stanley Ann Dunham and the Left's Exploitation of Women
Excerpt: Much of the Left's dirty laundry has been expunged and reconstructed, particularly regarding its treatment of women. But women have always been viewed as the movement's maids -- and their mattresses. In the 60‘s, radical girls were expected to serve the food, as well as service the men sexually. Activist Stokely Carmichael articulated the general vibe in an infamous, and candid, response. When asked the role of women in the Students for a Democratic Society, Carmichael replied, "The position of women in the movement is prone." Radical women were brainwashed to believe that they needed to sacrifice their bodies for the Revolution. The women of the Weather Underground, for example, were required to have sex with any male who asked for it.

The Loud Passing of the Old Order
Excerpt: After the Greek financial fraud and collapse, the European Union identity crisis, and insolvency in California, there will be no more new defined-benefit retirement programs. A shrinking and debt-ridden youth cohort cannot and will not continue to subsidize an expanding and more affluent retired generation. Soon, 65 will be the new 50. We are going to see lots more seniors working well into their 70s. Few believe that Detroit's problem is too few unionized autoworkers, or that the SEIU has resulted in far better public service and efficiency from government employees. A government conspiracy or an ignorant public does not explain why union membership has now fallen to 12 percent of the American workforce.

Olbermann's Last Supper at MSNBC: What Happened?
The Godfather of Leftist Civility. ~Bob. Excerpt: Calling opposition to ObamaCare the equivalent of "terrorists ... killing 45,000 people every year"; blaming Rush Limbaugh for the Oklahoma City bombing; calling the tea party-backed Republicans racists who would bring back "Jim Crow ... bread lines ... robber barons" and "hanging union organizers"; calling now-Sen Scott Brown, R-Mass., a "homophobic, racist, reactionary ... teabagging supporter of violence against women"; accusing columnist and Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin of engaging in "morally bankrupt, knee-jerk, fascistic hatred without which (she) would just be a big mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it"; accusing President George W. Bush of "urinating on the Constitution" and of committing "panoramic and murderous deceit"; exclaiming about Bush, "You're a fascist!"; asserting that Bush "lied us into a war and, in so doing, needlessly killed 3,584"; calling Fox News' Chris Wallace "a monkey posing as a newscaster"; and saying of the then-Whitewater prosecutor, "It finally dawned on me that the person Ken Starr has reminded me of facially all this time was Heinrich Himmler ... a persecutor as opposed to a prosecutor."

Senate Republicans Beg for Spending Addiction Intervention,
Democrats Say No Way
Excerpt: Senate Republicans said Wednesday that without a rule requiring them to balance the budget, they would never be able to bring themselves to do it on their own. “If you don’t have this kind of fiscal discipline, you’ll never get there,” Hatch said. “We’re worse than addicts.” Hatch forced a vote on a similar amendment in 1997 and got 66 Senators to support it, one vote shy of the 67 required to pass it onto the states. Each attempt since then, and there have been many, has failed Hatch said he had no confidence that Republicans would succeed at balancing the federal budget even if they held majorities in both chambers of Congress and controlled the White House. When Republicans did control the federal government for a period during the Bush era, deficits increased. “This is needed no matter who’s in charge,” Hatch said.

We have a new enemy within – the Lib Dems
This is part way down in an interesting column about sexism. ~Bob. Excerpt: To keep her Coalition partners happy, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, has had to announce a revision of control orders, which will give terrorist suspects more freedom when we are at the highest level of security alert since the London and Glasgow car bombings. Even the new relaxation will not satisfy those who seem to believe that restrictions on a few men’s liberty are more of an affront to the British way of life than the carnage of the 7/7 bombings. Of the eight men who have been under control orders – out of 4,000 suspected terrorists in the UK – one charming individual has said his preferred career option is to become a martyr. The reason why MI5’s work is so impossible is that the line between someone wanting to blow himself up and someone actually blowing himself up is very fine. If you don’t call it correctly, hundreds of people may lose their lives. There is a lethal paradox. After July 7, when it emerged that the plot’s leader, Mohammad Sidique Khan, had cropped up on surveillance, the cry went up, “Why didn’t MI5 keep tabs on him?” Yet, if MI5 had requested a control order for someone like Sidique Khan, Liberty and its supporters would have yelled for him to retain his civil rights. That is its overriding concern. Mine is that, quite soon, despite MI5’s best efforts, a wannabe martyr will become a real one.

Prescription now needed for OTC reimbursement
Circumventing Obamacare. ~Bob. Excerpt: As of January 1, 2011, patients who utilize certain tax-favored health benefits for purchasing over-the-counter (OTC) medicines and drugs must submit a prescription written by an authorized health care professional for those items to be eligible for reimbursement. This new restriction is part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 and affects flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) and other similar benefits. A similar restriction applies to health savings accounts (HSAs) and Archer medical savings accounts (MSAs).

Dems, GOP suggest Obama is failing to lead in fixing budget crisis
Ya think? ~Bob. Excerpt: Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said Thursday that his panel might have to take the lead in solving the nation’s long-term budget problems, implicitly criticizing President Obama for failing to do so. Conrad's comment that solutions “may fall to this committee” came shortly after Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Budget panel, ripped President Obama’s State of the Union speech for failing to tackle the nation’s budget problems. “I don’t think he rose to the occasion … it was a timid speech,” said Sessions, who criticized the president for not being honest with the public about the kinds of dramatic measures needed to balance the budget. Significantly, Conrad, who has announced he will not seek reelection in two years, did not defend Obama when he spoke.

U.S. missionary fatally wounded in Mexico
Excerpt: A U.S. missionary died at a southern Texas hospital Wednesday after her husband rushed her, mortally wounded, over the Rio Grande from Mexico. Sam Davis told police that he and his wife were traveling about 70 miles south of the border when gunmen in a pickup truck tried to stop them. When the couple sped up, the gunmen fired, wounding his wife in the head, he said. Nancy Davis, 59, died in a McAllen hospital about 90 minutes after her husband drove the couple's truck against traffic across the Pharr International Bridge, according to a statement issued by the Pharr Police Department.

Controversial Muslim cleric arrested by Border Patrol agents
Excerpt: U.S. border authorities have arrested a controversial Muslim cleric who was deported from Canada to Tunisia three years ago and was caught earlier this month trying to sneak into California inside the trunk of a BMW, according to court documents. Said Jaziri, the former Imam of a Muslim congregation in Montreal, was hidden inside a car driven by a San Diego-area man who was pulled over by U.S. Border Patrol agents near an Indian casino east of San Diego. Jaziri allegedly paid a Tijuana-based smuggling group $5,000 to get him across the border near Tecate, saying he wanted to be taken to a "safe place anywhere in the U.S."

Tunisia, Egypt, Arab world need bold US support for democracy, not mixed messages
By an Arab. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Obama administration is missing a huge opportunity. Instead of continuing to invest in authoritarian Arab governments, America must start supporting the political changes already well underway. Here's how and why.

The Moscow Attack and Airport Security
Excerpt: The Domodedovo attack serves as a striking illustration of several trends we have been following for years now, including the difficulty of preventing attacks against soft targets, the resourcefulness of militants in identifying such targets and the fixation militants have on aviation-related targets. By definition, soft targets are those targets that are vulnerable to attack due to the absence of adequate security. Adequate security may be absent for a number of reasons, including disregard for the threat and lack of competent forces to conduct security, but most often soft targets are “soft” because of the sheer number of potential targets that exist and the impossibility of protecting them all. Even totalitarian police states have not demonstrated the capability to protect everything, so it is quite understandable that more liberal democratic countries do not possess the ability to provide airtight security for every potential target. Moreover, some measures required to provide airtight security for soft targets are often seen as intrusive by citizens of countries where personal freedom is valued and the financial cost associated with providing such security measures is often seen as excessive. There is an old security truism that states: “If you try to protect everything all the time you will protect nothing.” Because of this reality, policymakers must use intelligence gained from militant groups, along with techniques such as risk assessment and risk management, to help them decide how best to allocate their limited security resources. While this will help protect the targets the government deems most sensitive or valuable, it will also ensure that some things remain unprotected or under-protected. Those things become soft targets.

I like Mike (Pence)
Excerpt: I think he should run. While not denigrating the other potential GOP candidates for President in 2012, ask yourself: do any of them really excite you? That should clear out half the field right there, if not three fourths. Then ask yourself who has held true to his or her principles under fire, time and time again? I’m not saying standing up and proclaiming this or that: words mean nothing to me. It’s what you actually do, and Mike Pence’s voting record has shown from No Child Left Behind to Medicare Part D to TARP to the stimulus bill, even taking a stand against the recent tax compromise, he has talked and walked the walk. Then ask who you think has the ability to excite the base and not alienate independents? Keep asking yourself questions along these lines, and throw in the fact that Mike Pence is a very good communicator of the ideas we hold dear, and you start to realize a Mike Pence for President bid could really take off.

Jeb Bush, Newt Gingrich in the Los Angeles Times: Better off bankrupt
Excerpt: When California refused to bail out Orange County, the county entered bankruptcy and emerged within 18 months. Within three years, the county returned to an investment grade rating, and it repaid 100% of the principal of the vast majority of its investors by 2000 without raising taxes. The lesson is that voluntary bankruptcy offers taxpayers the option to restructure state finances responsibly to achieve long-term fiscal health — which can only improve California's bond rating since it is the worst in the nation— instead of simply having to accept the Sacramento solution of another tax increase.

Obama's State of the Union Was Tantamount to Plagiarism
I’ve tried to avoid the piles of SOTU spin—boring—but found this of interest. I blame his lazy teleprompter. ~Bob. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, what can be said of plagiarism? President Obama’s second State of the Union address contained enough recycled ideas and lines lifted from speeches of others to make historians wince. I suppose this is what one does when one not only has nothing new to say, but is required by custom and Constitution to come forth with a report of some kind by a certain time and day. Had Obama or his writers been considerate enough to have informed listeners of where some of the president’s best lines and offered-up ideas originated, the speech might be remembered for its cutting and pasting of great and not-so-great moments of the past performance of others. After quoting Robert Kennedy early on, Obama tried to have his listeners believe that everything else he said that we might remember were his or his writers’ creations. Had the president submitted the text of his second State of the Union Address in the form of a college term paper, he would have been sent forthwith to the nearest academic dean. Once again, our public affairs are such that we have one standard for presidents and another for undergraduates. Now is as good a time as any to let Obama’s listeners in on what the late Paul Harvey would have termed “the rest of the story.”

A Presidency to Nowhere
Rats. Stop me before I print more SOTU stuff. ~Bob. Excerpt: For a while Tuesday night, it appeared Mr. Obama would replicate Bill Clinton's almost sci-fi ability to absorb his opposition's best ideas, such as welfare reform, and re-infuse them into the body politic as his own. But no. We got high-speed rail and solar shingles. Barack Obama believes what he believes. The ideas he came in with are the ideas he will go out with, and nowhere in that speech was there a fully formed policy idea reflecting authentic belief in the private economy. The recently promised and much-needed regulatory review was offset with a paean to regulation. "It's why we have speed limits." He somehow felt compelled to tell productive suburban families that he'll try to rescind the tax cut for them, the $250,000 "millionaires." Once past the Reagan moment, the Obama policy menu had three entrees: clean energy, education and infrastructure. This was lifted, almost verbatim, from the Obama budget message two months into his presidency: "Our budget will make long overdue investments in priorities—like clean energy, education, health care, and new infrastructure." He extolled "new jobs that pay well" such as "installing solar energy panels and wind turbines." This isn't a vision. It's an obsession.

Obama's Oxymoron: Government Innovation
Excerpt: Research and development -- who can argue with spending money on that? Except that in this economy, technology and environmental research means funneling government money into high-profile projects staffed by like-minded college graduates, a group with an unemployment rate of about 5 percent. Then, if the project actually produces something commercially viable, the new gadgets can be manufactured by low-skilled workers in a sustenance-wage corner of the world. Think solar power and China. This is not an anti-government rant. Washington has, and should have, the lead role in national defense, interstate transportation, public safety, a safety net for the truly needy and more. But as Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., put it in the GOP response, "Limited government also means effective government. When government takes on too many tasks, it usually doesn't do any of them very well."

Fatwa: "Whoever Insults One of These Four Things, Whether in Jest or Sincerity, Has Become an Infidel and Must Be Killed"
Excerpt: No, the four things are not the four Gospels, and the author of this fatwa is not a right-wing Evangelical minister. The four things, of course, are Allah, Muhammad, the Qur'an, and Islam, and this is yet another offering from the Religion of Peace and Tolerance (shocker!). The author of this fatwa, which comes from the Islamic Fatwa Council of Jerusalem, presided over by Shaykh Khalid Ghanayim, asserts that this is not only his opinion, but also the opinion of the Qur'an, the sunnah, and the consensus of Islamic scholars, and backs all of that up with references from each source.

Fatwa: "It Is Permissible to Have Sexual Intercourse with a Prepubescent Girl"
Excerpt: This is another fatwa from, which again is the sixth most popular Islamic website on the internet, according to Wikipedia. As the author of this fatwa points out, this ruling is entirely based on the Qur'an and the example of the prophet, who is considered the perfect example for Muslims in all ages. How many young girls have been and continue to be abused due to Muhammad's perverse actions in having sex with a nine-year-old, which now must be made permissible for all Muslims?

Moscow airport bomb: suicide bombers were part of squad trained in Pakistan
Excerpt: The two suicide bombers who carried out the Moscow attack were thought to be part of a suicide squad trained in Pakistan's al-Qaeda strongholds sent to the capital to target the city's transport system.

Philippine Officials See Link to Islamic Militants in Bus Explosion
Guess they didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Philippine authorities say Tuesday's deadly bomb attack on a passenger bus in Manila has the hallmarks of terrorist attacks in the nation's turbulent south. Five people were killed and at least 13 others wounded when the bomb ripped apart a bus as it was traveling near Manila's Makati business district. The blast was so powerful it damaged a nearby concrete wall. Officials say the remotely-detonated improvised bomb used in the attack was similar to those used by Muslim insurgents who have been fighting a decades-long battle for a separate homeland in the southern Philippines, but did not mention any specific group.

Bipartisan Effort to Repeal ObamaCare Tax Reporting Provision Moves Ahead in Senate
Excerpt: The effort to repeal a widely disliked provision of ObamaCare is gaining steam in the U.S. Senate after a bipartisan coalition of 54 senators introduced a bill to get rid of the mandate that both sides agree will prove burdensome for business. The provision, outlined in Section 9006 of the law, requires businesses to report to the Internal Revenue Service any transaction -- the sale of goods or services -- engaged in with another business that is valued at more than $600. This would mean that a business would have to file a 1099 tax form in many cases for such transactions as hotel stays, meals, and purchases of office supplies. (This (Section 9006) is the same provision that prompted TOJ column: 2011: the Last Year to Sell Precious Metals The House will vote for repeal of this provision easily, but there are only 54 supporters in the Senate and it needs 61 to pass. Please consider contacting your Senators to ask for their support. Ron P.)

Fatwa Against Teresa May: Scotland Yard Investigates Poster Campaign Targeting Home Secretary
Excerpt: The posters appeared at the same time as the Home Secretary announced in Parliament yesterday controversial reforms of control orders for terrorism suspects. A link on the posters directs people to a website which states: 'The current reality of Muslims living in Britain has unfortunately become very bleak; what was initially perceived by some, to be a malicious smear campaign against the Muslim community has now turned into something far more sinister. 'Subsequently, as a response to this extremely critical situation and having been left with no other alternative, a Fatwa has been launched against the head of internal affairs and national security, Theresa May. 'We understand the seriousness of this religious verdict, and will be releasing further information in due course.' The website specifies high-profile Muslims such as Khalid al Fawwaz, 48, a Saudi Arabian with links to Osama Bin Laden who is currently fighting extradition to the U.S. on allegations of terrorism. It also defends hook-handed cleric Sheikh Abu Hamza who is detained while awaiting extradition to the U.S., and Abu Qatadah - 'a loving father and an ailing elderly man'.

Stoned to death with her lover: Horrific video of execution of girl, 19, killed by Afghan Taliban for running away from arranged marriage
Excerpt: Horrific video footage has emerged of Taliban insurgents stoning a couple to death for alleged adultery in northern Afghanistan. Hundreds of villagers can be seen on the video standing around as the woman, Siddqa, is buried up to her waist in a four foot hole in the ground. Two mullahs pass sentence before the crowd begins to throw rocks at her head and body as she desperately tries to crawl free. But the 19-year-old collapses to the ground, covered in blood - but miraculously still alive. At this point a Taliban fighter shoots her three times in the head with an AK-47The crowd can be heard shouting allahu akbar as she is killed. Her lover, Khayyam, is then marched in front of the crowd with his hands tied behind his back.

Comment on DDT story in yesterday’s blog
That article on DDT failed to mention one of DDT's great triumphs, which is again facing us. Bed bugs and lice. It was used for many years without deleterious effects on humans and was total effective in ridding humans, clothing and dwellings with a simple flit gun. I'm sure you remember from your youth. It was also used in gardens. For over 20 years of use no resistance developed, which happens now. Remember those old post WW II news reels of DPs being flitted down the shirts and drawers to kill flees and thus typhus carrier potential. –Joe D., MD
ObamaCare waivers jump from 222 to 729 covering 2.2 million employees
Excerpt: Well today, the day after the President’s State of the Union, the new waivers are up. You may recall that there were 222 such waivers approved in November. That number has now jumped to 729 through the end of December. The total number of people covered by the waivers has gone from 1.5M to just under 2.2M. The list includes the usual assortment of union locals and businesses. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to suggest that OCIIO was asked to hold this development until after the SOTU. Indeed the latest waiver approved in the list is from December 30th. There is an addendum at the bottom of the page noting that four states–Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, and Tennessee–have applied for waivers covering another 93,000 people. The addendum is dated 1/21/11, but I can assure you it was not there on 1/21 or even Monday.

California 2nd Grader Says Kids Had Sex in Class
Gives new meaning to Show and Tell. ~Bob. Excerpt: A second-grade teacher in Northern California was placed on leave while a school and police investigate accounts by students that classmates engaged in oral sex and stripped off some of their clothes during class, officials said Friday. The investigation was under way at Markham Elementary School in Oakland, where the principal notified parents of the situation in a letter Thursday. "We believe if the reports are true, there was a serious lapse of judgment or lack of supervision in the classroom," said Troy Flint, a spokesman for the Oakland Unified School District. "We're investigating how could this have happened. It seems unthinkable to us, just the same way it does to the public."

Capitalism is Peaceful, Socialism is Force
Excerpt: Should affluent people be forced to give money to the poor, at gunpoint or the threat of jail?" Paul Krugman, the intellectual apostle of liberal-left socialism in the United States, recently wrote the following in The New York Times: "One side of American politics considers the modern welfare state . . .morally superior to the capitalism red in tooth and claw we had before the New Deal. It's only right, this side believes, for the affluent to help the less fortunate. The other side believes that people have a right to keep what they earn, and that taxing them to support others, no matter how needy, amounts to theft. That's what lies behind the modern right's fondness for violent rhetoric: many activists on the right really do see taxes and regulation as tyrannical impositions on their liberty." Note the choice Krugman gives us: Socialism with rich being forced to help the poor, or freedom where nobody ever helps anybody for any reason, whatsoever. Ridiculous!

Expatriates Be Warned: Irate Justice Minister Is on the Warpath
Cold we hire this guy to run the INS? ~Bob. Excerpt: Vowing a significant overhaul of the permit system for expatriates, Patrialis said he would have all foreigners residing in the country checked and rechecked. The minister said well-defined regulations should be enforced and followed by all expatriates if they wished to stay in Indonesia, particularly in relation to having a suitable sponsor, thorough identity and background checks and a clear purpose for staying in the country. Patrialis also said the naturalization process would be looked at more closely and that potential citizens should be able to prove their commitment to the country. “Even if I see a pile of documents, if don’t see a love for the country, then I will reject it,” he said. Meanwhile, Democratic Party lawmaker Pieter Zulkifli said the ministry should first find clear data on the number of expatriates in the country and if they had the required documentation. He claimed many foreigners were working without the necessary permits or visas.

Time: Mark Salter wrote anonymous Obama novel 'O'
Excerpt: The "O" mystery is over, at least according to Time magazine. Mark Halperin writes that the anonymous scribe behind this month's Obama novel is Mark Salter, a former aide to and speechwriter for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Where the cash goes, the Democratic policy flows
I’m shocked. Shocked! ~Bob. Excerpt: Employees and political action committees of organizations that make up the big four special interests that own the Democratic Party contributed hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions to the party's federal candidates in 2010. The top 20 labor unions, for example, gave more than $68 million in 2010, with 94 percent of the total going to Democrats and just 4 percent to Republicans. Most of the total, 88 percent, came from PACs associated with the top 20 unions, while the remaining 12 percent came from individual union members, according to Similarly, liberal ideological groups, many of which are heavily funded or otherwise closely linked with influential Democratic insiders like George Soros and Drummond Pike, gave more than $33 million to federal candidates in 2010. Not surprisingly, virtually all of that money went to Democrats, according to

Trial lawyers find that generosity to Democrats pays big dividends
Excerpt: In Washington, that kind of generosity translates into clout. In AAJ's case, it provided cover for the group's $4 million lobbying effort on Capitol Hill last year. AAJ scored its first congressional victory on the first bill Obama signed as president -- the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which abolished the statute of limitations on certain gender-discrimination lawsuits against employers. Trial lawyers also scored a total victory on health care reform, preventing any reforms whatsoever to the malpractice tort system, the source of jackpot settlements and jury awards in many states. Excessive malpractice awards and the resulting practice of defensive medicine add $56 billion to medical costs each year, according to a recent study by the journal Health Affairs.

Big Labor is the Democratic Party's ATM
Excerpt: Big Labor spent a record-breaking billion dollars during the 2008 election cycle and then spent hundreds of millions more in 2010, nearly all of which went to elect and protect Democratic politicians. But what does Big Labor get in return? For starters, union bosses enjoy government-granted monopoly bargaining privileges to demand employees pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment, even if they want nothing to do with the union. But if that wasn't enough, union chiefs are still pushing for ways to expand their forced-dues powers. And Big Labor's bought-and-paid-for partisans are happy to pull the levers of the government leviathan to pay back their Big Labor masters with even more special privileges to compel workers to pay forced union dues, and even grant union bosses the power to control entire sectors of our economy.

Government employee unions have become political bosses
Excerpt: Be glad you don't work or own a business in Illinois. The state just decided to close its deficit by raising taxes. Illinois business taxes will jump by 45 percent and the state income tax by two-thirds. These huge increases were the fruit of a two-year campaign by government employee unions, which lobbied legislators to raise taxes instead of cutting spending in order to close a massive state government deficit.
In the process, the state government employee unions donated millions of dollars to the re-election campaign of Illinois' deeply unpopular governor, Democrat Pat Quinn, who had succeeded the disgraced Rod Blagojevich. They ran millions of dollars of attack ads against his opponent. On Election Day, their efforts paid off: Voters narrowly re-elected Quinn, who promptly broke one of his main campaign promises and signed the tax increases hurriedly passed by a lame-duck legislature dominated by Democrats.

Chaffetz calls for FOIA to apply to Fannie, Freddie
Excerpt: From the department of "Why hasn't this happened yet?" Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz is calling for greater transparency at failed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by offering legislation requiring them to be subject to the Freedom of Information Act when under government control.

I Wish I Were a Democrat
Excerpt: Sometimes I dream of being a Democrat. Life would be so much more enjoyable. If I were a Democrat and not a Republican, I wouldn't have to dread picking up The New York Times or The Washington Post and reading that I am a lowlife bottom-feeder, a servile lackey of Big Business, eagerly doing the bidding of Wall Street plutocrats. Turning on the TV, I wouldn't have to wait long for the inevitable snarky remarks of the anchors, transparently hinting at my heartless unconcern for the travails of the poor and the minorities. I wouldn't have to listen to Democratic congressmen denounce me on the floor of the House as a Nazi, likening my opposition to Obamacare to the Holocaust. I wish I were a Democrat. I would be able to use any kind of language with impunity, secure in the knowledge that the mainstream media would explain away my behavior as the righteous anger and passionate indignation of a true paladin of progressive causes outraged by the depredations of evil conservatives.

Official: Utah Army post reopening after lockdown
Excerpt: The Dugway Proving Grounds, where military weapons are tested, has reopened after it was locked down for hours to resolve a "serious concern," officials said. Personnel were allowed to enter early Thursday and people inside were allowed to leave shortly after that, said Army post spokeswoman Paula Thomas.  Post commander Col. William E. King late Wednesday announced that gates were locked to both incoming and outgoing personnel, saying there was a serious concern but that no one was in danger.


  1. Since the U.S. "banned" DDT, the annual death toll to malaria has been cut in half.

    Who told you millions died from a lack of DDT, and why have they withheld that evidence from every science journal on Earth?

  2. How Big a Problem is Malaria?
    Malaria is very common. Each year, 300 to 500 million people develop malaria and 1.5 to 3 million–mostly children–die, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Countries in tropical Africa account for more than 90 percent of the cases and more than 6 percent occur in India, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Vietnam and Colombia. Malaria control is difficult. A third of the world's population–1.78 billion–lives where malaria once was reduced or eliminated, but the disease has returned and its control is unstable or deteriorating, WHO reports. In some areas, severe malaria problems have occurred after major ecological or social changes, such as agricultural or other economic exploitation of jungles or socio¬political unrest.

    With Annual Deaths From Malaria On The Rise: Scientists Ask 'Where Is All The Money Going?'

    85% of (malaria) deaths in children under 5 years old

    Annual Deaths from Malaria
    Sub Sahara Africa
    1950 – 307,000
    1997 – 990,000

  3. How big a problem is malaria? Let's use real figures, numbers reported in 2008 -- not Novak's numbers from 30 years ago, eh?

    880,000 in 2008:

    Malaria is a huge problem, but DDT is not the solution. If it were, how can we explain that India, the world's greatest producer of DDT, a nation that uses more DDT than the rest of the world combined, has rising malaria problems?

    Are the people at the Gates Foundation, continuing the malaria fight from the old Rockefeller Foundation, really the bad guys? No:

    Here are links to the malaria issue of Lancet from last year -- note no call for DDT, anywhere:

    Malaria is a disease of humans (mosquitoes don't like it, either, but it doesn't kill them or incapacitate them the same way). DDT is a poison that works on entire organisms, but not on malaria parasites in humans. To eradicate malaria, we need to cure humans, not poison Africa.

    Please join the fight against malaria, and stop slamming the scientists and health workers who have dedicated their lives to fighting the disease -- and cut the malaria death rates in half.

  4. My answer is stuck in your moderation queu