Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Political Digest for March 22, 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.

For those who want further information about the topics covered in this blog, I recommend the following sites. I will add to this as I find additional good sources.

Obama in his own words
I’m starting a list of the gaffes (e.g., I campaigned in 57 states) and broken promises (e.g., Gitmo). Please send me suggested additions with links, if possible. Thanks.

I see on TV that the fighter plane shot down was a rebel plane. Shot down by the rebels. Every time they show the rebels on TV, most don't have guns and the few who do are shooting them in the air to celebrate. (Insha'Allah, the bullets will be gathered into heaven and no come down on our heads. And Allah will give us more ammo if the government mercenaries show up.) CNN was describing the rebels as "brave freedom fighters." It's going to be interesting to see if the government these "brave freedom fighters" build has things like, oh freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of the press. If not, I'm sure it will be Bush's fault. Somehow.

In the event, they should have called it a “no move” zone, as the airstrikes are pounding ground forces as well as air defense sites. Pretty much we are in the war on the side of CNN’s “brave freedom fighters.” (A statement is expected from Muhammad al-Washington today.) My fear is that the “brave freedom fighters” overthrow the regime, and then establish an Islamist, anti-western, pro-jihad regime, with the people we are supporting today killing us tomorrow. But there’s another possibility. Gaddafi holds Tripoli, but can’t make gains. The revels, despite close air support from the coalition, are too weak, disorganized and untrained to take Tripoli. Libya descends into a chaotic stalemate. Oil production ceases and starvation stalks the land. What will the Student Prince do then? Call Presley O’Bannon? How will Marines on the ground, killing Muslims, be received in the Muslim world? ~Bob.

Must Read: Obama Goes to War
Excerpt: It was as if the Sunday morning talk shows were being broadcast this week from an alternate dimension. There was Paul Wolfowitz defending the president from George Will's criticisms. President Obama, that is, not George W. Bush. That would be the same Paul Wolfowitz Obama once denounced as an "arm-chair, weekend warrior" shoving his "ideological agendas down our throats." As Jim Traficant would say, "Beam me up, Scotty." Barack Obama sits in the Oval Office today because he opposed the Iraq war. Like most of his accomplishments, Obama acquired his antiwar record verbally. While Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid, Steny Hoyer, and John Kerry were in Congress voting for the invasion, Obama was a candidate for office giving a speech. What a speech it was. Obama, the Reinhold Niebuhr of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, opened by saying he was "not opposed to war in all circumstances." "What I am opposed to is a dumb war," he elaborated. "What I'm opposed to is a rash war." A sentence later the future president took his swing at Wolfowitz, throwing in Richard Perle and Karl Rove to keep him company. Obama allowed that Saddam Hussein was a "brutal man," a "ruthless man," a "man who butchers his own people to secure his own power," a "bad guy" even.

With no debate and no objective, Obama enters a war
Excerpt: At once presumptuous and flippant, President Obama used a Saturday audio recording from Brazil to inform Americans he had authorized a third war -- a war in which America's role is unclear and the stated objectives are muddled. Setting aside the wisdom of the intervention, Obama's entry into Libya's civil war is troubling on at least five counts. First is the legal and constitutional question. Second is the manner of Obama's announcement. Third is the complete disregard for public opinion and lack of debate. Fourth is the unclear role the United States will play in this coalition. Fifth is the lack of a clear endgame. Compounding all these problems is the lack of trust created by Obama's record of deception.

You'd think Qaddafi would know better than to be flying his compound around a “no fly” zone….. ~Bob.

Obama Takes Hard Line With Libya After Shift by Clinton
Only the day before, Mrs. Clinton — along with her boss, President Obama — was a skeptic on whether the United States should take military action in Libya. But that night, with Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces turning back the rebellion that threatened his rule, Mrs. Clinton changed course, forming an unlikely alliance with a handful of top administration aides who had been arguing for intervention. Within hours, Mrs. Clinton and the aides had convinced Mr. Obama that the United States had to act, and the president ordered up military plans, which Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hand-delivered to the White House the next day. On Thursday, during an hour-and-a -half meeting, Mr. Obama signed off on allowing American pilots to join Europeans and Arabs in military strikes against the Libyan government. (Just out of curiosity---did it cross anyone’s mind in the executive branch to consult with Congress since they had no legal right to commit an act of aggression against another sovereign nation? Just asking. --Tom C. U.S. Marine Corps (ret). Ah, Tom, you don't understand the Constitution the way a Constitutional Scholar like Obama does. You see, while almost everything Bush did was "unconstitutional," anything Obama wants to do is permitted by the "Commerce Clause." Military equipment is purchased through interstate commerce, thus a Democrat president--but not a Republican one--can utilize it in any fashion he chooses, especially to help "brave freedom fighters." ~Bob.)

A Very Liberal Intervention
Excerpt: In its month-long crab walk toward a military confrontation with Libya’s Muammar el-Qaddafi, the Obama administration has delivered a clinic in the liberal way of war. Just a week ago, as the tide began to turn against the anti-Qaddafi rebellion, President Obama seemed determined to keep the United States out of Libya’s civil strife. But it turns out the president was willing to commit America to intervention all along. He just wanted to make sure we were doing it in the most multilateral, least cowboyish fashion imaginable. That much his administration has achieved. In its opening phase, at least, our war in Libya looks like the beau ideal of a liberal internationalist intervention. It was blessed by the United Nations Security Council. It was endorsed by the Arab League. It was pushed by the diplomats at Hillary Clinton’s State Department, rather than the military men at Robert Gates’s Pentagon. Its humanitarian purpose is much clearer than its connection to American national security. And it was initiated not by the U.S. Marines or the Air Force, but by the fighter jets of the French Republic.

Libyan rebels launch offensive; coalition continues pounding Gaddafi’s forces
Excerpt: Buoyed by U.S. and allied airstrikes that relieved a siege of Benghazi, Libyan rebels launched an offensive early Monday aimed at retaking the strategic city of Ajdabiya, as Western warplanes continued pounding forces loyal to longtime leader Moammar Gaddafi. Explosions and plumes of smoke marked the scene of the strikes against Gaddafi’s forces in Ajdabiya, about 100 miles south of the rebels’ de facto capital of Benghazi, and advancing rebels cheered when Western warplanes flew overhead. The rebels by Monday had regained control of Zuwaytinah, an oil terminal about 16 miles northwest of Ajdabiya that had been captured by loyalist forces last week, news agencies reported…. The intensity of the attacks startled the 22-member Arab League, which had backed the creation of a no-fly zone. Secretary General Amr Moussa called an emergency meeting of the organization in the wake of a bombardment that he said “led to the deaths and injuries of many Libyan civilians.” “What is happening in Libya differs from the aim of imposing a no-fly zone, and what we want is the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians,” said Moussa, according to Egypt’s state news agency.

Obama Punked by the Arab League on Libya
Excerpt: No doubt Ashton Kutcher is hiding behind a bush at whatever golf course Barack Obama happens to be playing today, ready to jump out and shout at the hapless president, “Dude, you just got punked!” That’s about the only explanation after the Arab League reversed course and criticized the U.S.-led attack on Libya

Double standard seen in Arab response to Libya
Excerpt: Arab leaders don't relish attacking one of their own. But bloodshed across Libya and Western pressure have forced them into supporting international airstrikes against Col. Moammar Gadhafi, who in many ways is merely a caricature of monarchies and autocrats throughout the Middle East. The Arab League urged the United Nations to impose a no-fly zone over Libya. Now, with French warplanes and U.S. Tomahawk missiles streaking across the North African sky, the league is criticizing the air assault as Arab kings and presidents confront decades-old ironies, religious animosities and fears they will be blamed for siding with Western imperialism.

Yemen in Crisis: A Special Report
So, will BO bomb the president of Yemen, a despot who has helped us against al Qaeda, in behalf of the “brave freedom fighters,” who may be al Qaeda? ~Bob. Excerpt: A crisis in Yemen is rapidly escalating. A standoff centered on the presidential palace is taking place between security forces in the capital city of Sanaa while embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh continues to resist stepping down, claiming that the “majority of Yemeni people” support him. While a Western-led military intervention in Libya is dominating the headlines, the crisis in Yemen and its implications for Persian Gulf stability is of greater strategic consequence. Saudi Arabia is already facing the threat of an Iranian destabilization campaign in eastern Arabia and has deployed forces to Bahrain in an effort to prevent Shiite unrest from spreading. With a second front now threatening the Saudi underbelly, the situation in Yemen is becoming one that the Saudis can no longer leave on the backburner.

Nader: Impeach Obama for 'war crimes'
People like Nadar and Michael Moore should walk around with their arms fully extended. That will make it hard to get the net over them. ~Bob. Excerpt: Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader said "innocents are being slaughtered" in the waging of the war Afghanistan. Former presidential candidate Ralph Nader says that President Obama should be impeached for committing "war crimes" in Iraq and Afghanistan. The consumer advocate and former presidential candidate said in an interview that aired Friday that Obama has committed "war crimes" on the same level as President Bush.

'Israel Apartheid Week': Language as Weapon
One need only visit an Israeli hospital to understand the true nature of Israeli society. For there are Arab patients and Arab medical personnel; Arab doctors sometimes treat Jews, and Jewish doctors sometimes treat Arabs. This would be totally incomprehensible within a system of apartheid. Even while these charges are made against Israel, black Africans -- Muslims, Christians, and animists -- are voting for Israel with their feet. Word has gone out, among those seeking political refugee and those seeking economic betterment -- that Israel is the place to get to. Their understanding transcends the myths being constructed to destroy Israel.

WILLIAMS: Now it's time to defund NPR
Excerpt: Even after they fired me, called me a bigot and publicly advised me to only share my thoughts with a psychiatrist, I did not call for defunding NPR. I am a journalist and NPR is an important platform for journalism. But last week my line of defense for NPR ran into harsh political realities. Rep. Steve Israel (D- N.Y.) chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out a fundraising letter with the following argument for maintaining public funding of NPR. They [Republicans] know NPR plays a vital role in providing quality news programming – from rural radio stations to in-depth coverage of foreign affairs. If the Republicans had their way, we’d only be left with the likes of Glenn Beck, Limbaugh and Sarah Palin to dominate the airwaves.” With that statement Congressman Israel made the case better than any Republican critic that NPR is radio by and for liberal Democrats.

Allen West Mimics Harry Reid

Utah Bucks Conservative Trend on Illegal Immigration
Excerpt: President Obama's aides were flabbergasted. Here was Mark Shurtleff, the conservative Republican attorney general of deeply red Utah, explaining how he and other GOP officials had approved a statewide version of the immigration measures that the president and his progressive allies have long sought. "You sued us on healthcare," Shurtleff recalls the aides saying during his meeting in Washington this month. "How is it you did something differently on immigration?" The answer lies in how Utah expresses its conservative values — particularly the importance placed on family and business — and the influence of the Mormon Church. Gov. Gary Herbert last week signed a bill that would give illegal immigrants who do not commit serious crimes and are working in Utah documents that, in the state's eyes at least, make them legal residents. For the law to work, however, the Obama administration would have to permit Utah to make it legal to employ people who entered the United States illegally — a federal crime.

Snopes on drilling in ANWAR
Interesting pictures and the arguments of both sides, in brief.

Excerpt: I can’t think of any single act of government that creates more inequality than the lottery—at least per dollar raised and spent. Think about it. Thousands of (mostly below-average income) people buy tickets and, after the drawing, one of them becomes immensely wealthy. As far as I can tell, the single largest winner in the United States at $315 million was Jack Whittaker, a West Virginia businessman who was already well off when he won! I can’t think of anything in the private sector that even begins to compare to this reverse Robin Hood redistribution from the poor to the rich and the nouveau riche. And remember, in order to pull it off, government first has to establish a monopoly, keeping private competitors (who would at least raise the poor bettor’s expected return) out of the market. If you really care about the ethics of income distribution (more on that in a future Alert), a lottery has wonderful heuristic value. For example, if you’re the kind of person who thinks that rich people don’t deserve their riches, that their wealth is the result of good fortune and chance, or that income is somehow collectively rather than individually generated—that is, if you are inclined to believe that life itself is one big lottery—then in your search for genuine unfairness, a real live lottery winner is hard to beat. After all, the lottery winner didn’t do anything special. He did what everybody else did: he bought a ticket. His immense winnings are by definition the result of good luck and random chance. He surely did nothing to warrant, merit or deserve his wealth. Unlike in the economy, the winner’s winnings really are made possible by the losers’ losses. The lottery’s rich get rich precisely because the lottery’s poor become poorer. So here’s the question of the day: When is the last time a liberal friend or acquaintance of yours complained about the lottery? When’s the last time The New York Times complained? Or The New Republic? Or Mother Jones? (Why would liberals complain? It raises money they can spend on chimeras like “light rail” and “green jobs,” and the poor don’t complain that it comes from them, because it’s voluntary, ~Bob.)

The Need for Better Forecasting in Federal Debt Levels
By 2020, the temptation to pay the government’s debts by printing money, thus creating hyper-inflation, will be over whelming, and the collapse will take hold. ~Bob. Excerpt: There is broad consensus among American citizens, elected representatives and federal administrators that the U.S. government is on a fiscally unsustainable path. Our national debt is currently 62 percent of the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S. economy and, absent concerted action, it could reach an amount in excess of 100 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020, threatening stability and prosperity at home and abroad, says Margaret M. Polski of the Mercatus Center. U.S. government estimates suggest that growing public debt threatens the stability of the financial system. However, there is wide variability across estimates of the size and trajectory of federal debt levels and the forecasting track record is poor. While there are many challenges associated with improving the U.S. government's financial position, experience demonstrates that progress can be achieved with effective budgeting, financial planning and policymaking. However, each of these exercises requires sound estimates of needs, events and trends: We can't make good decisions about allocating and managing public revenues if we do not have a good understanding of our current situation and how it may change over time. Conventional analytical techniques consistently fail to produce useful forecasts or policy direction for the U.S. political economy. Major sources of uncertainty over the next 25 years include legislative actions, particularly those related to tax and spending rates; the impact of structural change in the global economy on domestic economic growth, which affects incomes, revenues and prices; military and emergency spending; and mandatory spending on veterans benefits, government retirement benefits, Social Security and health care costs.

Important, but too boring and fact-based for the media to cover:
Who Benefits from Corporate “Loopholes”?
Excerpt: President Obama has been critical of so-called tax loopholes because, he maintains, they unfairly reward some industries—such as the oil and gas industry—and incentivize others to expand overseas rather than domestically. Despite this well stated position, the president’s recently released FY 2012 budget shows that, like most people, he believes there are good tax expenditures and bad tax expenditures, and one’s opinion and priorities determine which is which. On the one hand, the president’s budget recommends eliminating or modifying more than $242 billion worth of tax expenditures benefiting multinational firms, oil and gas firms, coal companies, and insurance companies. On the other hand, the budget recommends making the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit permanent (worth $106 billion over ten years) and expanding a variety of other targeted tax credits for business worth more than $15 billion over ten years….. Contrary to popular opinion, only about 8 percent of corporate tax expenditure benefits are targeted to specific industries such as renewable energy, insurance, oil and gas, and coal. Indeed, the benefits received by state and local governments are nearly twice the amount targeted to specific industries. The vast majority of tax expenditures are largely available to all corporations and industries.

We Have A Debt Crisis Because Washington Spends Too Much, Not Because Washington Taxes Too Little.
Excerpt: Since 1946, spending has averaged 19.7 percent of the economy, and tax revenue has averaged 17.7 percent of the economy. While tax revenues are predicted to remain near historic levels of the economy, spending is projected to rise to more than 80 percent of the economy, driving historic deficit and debt. According to Stanford Economist John Taylor, simply to balance the budget in 2019 would require an immediate 60 percent tax increase across the board.

The enemy within
Excerpt: Radical Islam threatens American democracy. It is slowly subverting America from within and without. If it is not stopped, U.S. civilization is doomed. For decades, Europe has been in the grip of an Islamist assault. Largely ghettoized Muslim populations have become dangerously alienated from the European mainstream. From Paris to Hamburg, Germany, radicalized imams preach the virtues of global jihad. Subway systems in London and Madrid have been bombed; hundreds of civilians have been slaughtered. Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered. These atrocities were committed largely by homegrown terrorists - people who were either born or raised in European countries. They felt no loyalty to their homelands. Instead, they considered themselves part of the Muslim ummah, the international Islamic political community. Their religious identity supersedes their national one. America faces the same kind of threat. Yet when anyone tries to put a spotlight on the growth of domestic Muslim extremism, liberals, Islamic lobby groups and their fellow travelers cry “Islamophobia” and “racism.”

‘Nobody Messes With Joe'
Excerpt: If it weren't so sad, this story from the Washington Times would be too funny. It seems that money from President Obama's $862,000,000,000 "stimulus" bill of two years ago has been spent to upgrade the Wilmington, Del., AMTRAK station. Vice President Biden lobbied personally, we read, to get the funding for the station he has famously used ever since he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972. Now, AMTRAK, grateful for his support, has all on its own initiative decided to name the spruced-up station the Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. AMTRAK station. Well, we all wanted to know who would replace the late, beloved Robert Byrd of West Virginia as the king of pork. Now we know. Washington legend has it that Sen. Byrd modestly turned down all attempts to re-named the Mountaineer State for him. It seems the name "Byrdland" was already taken.

Thinking Like a Master
Excerpt: When some Chinese naval officers crossed the Pacific to visit the Naval War College here on an Atlantic-lapped island, they gazed reverently at a desk used by Capt. Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914). This compliment to America's pre-eminent naval strategist has scholars here wondering whether Mahan's Chinese readers are taking from him lessons similar to those Theodore Roosevelt derived. How could they not? Mahan did not make TR bellicose; nature did that, immoderately. But Mahan supplied a theory for Roosevelt's metabolic urge to throw around his nation's rapidly growing weight. Mahan and Roosevelt met in 1887 when Mahan was president of the college and the future president -- an amateur naval historian and general know-it-all -- was a guest lecturer in his late 20s. From Mahan's 1890 book "The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783" Roosevelt learned that a powerful navy is indispensable to a nation with great commercial interests and an interest in geopolitical greatness. China certainly has the former. Does it have the latter?

Cost of Living Hits Record, Tops Pre-Crisis High
Excerpt: The cost of living in the United States is as high as ever, even worse than before the financial meltdown during the past few years. A Labor Department index measuring the actual cost of living, known as the chained consumer price index, hit 127.4 in February, beating a previous record high 126.9 in July 2008, just as the housing crisis began to tighten its grip, CNBC reports. That's bad news for most Americans, especially considering the record comes at a time of weak economic activity and high unemployment rates.

How Obama Crushed The Dreams of A Generation (of Lefties)
Excerpt: Few people talk about it anymore, but Obama became president riding on a number of promises: he was the rock star that would save the Democratic Party; an enlightened being who would redeem America and unite the country while immanentizing the Eschaton. He would literally make for a better planet. After the Left successfully demagogued every single move the Bush administration made for 8 years, here he was: a candidate upon whom every single aspiration of the Left could be projected and then some. Independents flocked to him. Crowds gathered in far off countries just to hear him speak. He was The One. But he was also a product. A product that was marketed and sold, like a Hollywood movie. And like a bad Hollywood movie, he didn’t live up to the hype. And then, irony of ironies, fate turned the tables on Obama and his administration.

EPA’s Greenhouse Power Grab: Baucus’s Revenge, Democracy’s Peril
Excerpt: Congress…never authorized EPA to determine fuel economy standards for motor vehicles, much less dictate national policy on climate change. The CAA, after all, was enacted in 1970, years before global warming was even a gleam in Al Gore’s eye. Adopting the Baucus amendment would put Congress’s legislative stamp of approval on EPA’s end-run around the legislative process. The Baucus amendment has almost no chance of passing in the GOP-led House of Representatives. However, it does not need to pass to perpetuate EPA’s shocking power grab. All it has to do is peel off enough votes in the Senate to prevent passage of the Inhofe-Upton Energy Tax Prevention Act. That bill, which is almost certain to pass in the House, would repeal EPA’s Endangerment Rule and permanently stop the agency from implementing climate policies Congress never approved. Like Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s (D-W.Va.) amendment to delay EPA’s GHG regulations for two years, the Baucus amendment provides political cover for Senators who want to appear to be doing something to rein in EPA while in fact protecting the agency’s purloined power to restrict America’s access to affordable, carbon-based energy. (actually, the leftist scare de jure in 1970 was global cooling and the famines that would hit the US in the 1990s due to over population. ~Bob.)

Google Accuses Chinese of Blocking Gmail Service
Excerpt: Google said that it was not having any technical problems with Google’s main Web site or Gmail service in China. “There is no issue on our side; we have checked extensively,” Google said in a statement released Sunday. “This is a government blockage, carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail.” Analysts who track Web developments say that the Chinese government may be intentionally disrupting access to Google and other Web services as part of a campaign to tighten Internet controls and censor material. (Did I hear someone mention “Internet Kill Switch?” Ron P.)

Australian Anti-Carbon Tax Protests
Excerpt: We all have better things to do, but when the people who represent us call the greatest plant nutrient “pollution”, and label the volunteers “stooges” while calling their paid hacks “independent”; when they look at a color chart and say yellow is really red (and they call us “deniers”); we know things are running off the rails. When they ask us to pay billions to change the weather, then we know the quicksand has come. And when even they admit if we succeed beyond our wildest dreams that the results will be too small to measure (how many thousandth of a degree will that be, Julia?) sometimes we just have to do something don’t we? We can act now or pay the cost for years to come. Each time we let them get away with an untruth they grow stronger. Each time we ignore the Orwellian perversion of our language (Is it carbon (sic) pollution (sic)?), we feed the parasites who want our freedom and our money, and that hurts us, our children and the environment.

Rigor Please
Excerpt: For some time, I have made a habit of asking students their major (and minor) immediately after they ask me a silly question. This is necessary because I teach two basic studies courses per semester – both populated by students from across the spectrum of academic disciplines. I have found (consistently) that nearly all inane questions and comments come from students in just a handful of academic majors. In the past, I’ve gotten myself in hot water for suggesting that the African American Center, LGBTQIA Center, Women’s Center, and El Centro Hispano be shut down in order to ease our current state budget crisis. But, today, I propose that we go further by eliminating all academic majors and minors ending with the word “studies.” This is not meant to be prejudicial – although, having little else to do, the Arrogant American Centers will try to make it so. Let it be known that I propose eliminating more than just Arrogant American and Hyphenated American Studies. I also want to do away with Communication Studies, Environmental Studies, Liberal Studies, Women’s Studies, and Gay and Lesbian Studies. And I want the cuts to be implemented across our sixteen-campus system.

Unions Have A Place In America But Are Overstepping!
Excerpt: There was a time when America's business owners were turning a deaf ear to the workers that were in their employ. Hourly wages were basically non-existent as workers were paid by the day. Often that day's work entailed 10 to 12 hours with no breaks for rest and very little meal times. Unions were formed and after some violence and hardships wage laws were agreed upon giving workers a fair-shake on their earnings as well as hours being made more reasonable. The 'three shift day' came about as well as holiday times off. All was well UNTIL the Unions began to want more. Not content with wage-work hour-holiday intervention they began to seek more control over the business aspects of any place wherein they had a toe-hold. Now Unions are not bargaining for wage-work hour-holiday matters as they seek to control every aspect of businesses without the requirement of risking capital money. They also seek to control work conditions, teaching materials, and anything else they think is money making to justify their existence.

Tim Pawlenty forms presidential exploratory committee
Excerpt: Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty announced the formation of a presidential exploratory committee this afternoon , the first major step toward an official 2012 run. The announcement, which came in the form of a two-minute web video posted on Facebook at 3 p.m. eastern time, focused heavily on Pawlenty’s humble roots and his plan to restore the country. “There is a brighter future for America,” says Pawlenty in a slickly-produced video packed full of patriotic music and symbolic images. “We know what we need to do: grow jobs, limit government spending and tackle entitlements.” In the video, Pawlenty also sought to align himself with the likes of past presidents like Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln; “We the people of the United State will take back our government,” he says.

Japan Nuclear Crisis 'On Verge of Stabilizing,' U.S. Official Says
Excerpt: "The fact that offsite power is close to being available for use by plant equipment is the first optimistic sign that things could be turning around," said Bill Borchardt, executive director of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Operations. Japanese workers made significant progress over the weekend at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant connecting crippled reactor cooling systems to power lines, with the systems expected to be brought online in Units 1 and 2 today, and Units 3 and 4 in the next few days, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) officials said. (First the sky is falling, and now everything is roses. Both are inaccurate. How difficult can it be for the media to keep things in proper perspective? They keep reporting ‘smoke’ that about half the time turns out to be steam from the on-going hosing down of the area. The lack of a complete resolution to the problem may continue for quite a while. Any equipment, cabling, and wires that have been damaged will need to be repaired or replaced under very awkward conditions. I don’t envy the repair crew at all; they’ll earn their pay and then some over the next few weeks. But as long as the containments continue to hold, the problem will remain in the immediate vicinity of the reactors. Ron P.)

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