Saturday, April 16, 2011

Political Digest for April 16, 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.

My colleagues at work gave me a card. Cover: The Democrats took your birthday cake. Inside: They sliced it up and gave it to people who aren’t fortunate enough to have a birthday today.

Worth watching: Shariamerica: Islam, Obama, and the Establishment Clause
The US government burning Holy Bibles is fine—the Holy Qur'an, not so much. ~Bob.

Afghan mullahs push peaceful protest in wake of Quran-burning violence
May Allah infest their genitals with the fleas of a thousand diseased camels for desecrating the Holy Qur’an. ~Bob. Excerpt: As the dust settles in Afghanistan after sustained protest over a Florida pastor's Quran burning, many residents in Kandahar are facing an unpleasant truth: More Qurans were burned in the course of their protests than by Terry Jones.

Bushwacked Barack
Excerpt: Worse for Mr. Obama, the voting public’s perception of him when compared to Mr. Bush is not flattering. Democratic pollster Douglas Schoen recently asked likely voters whether Obama had been a better president than Bush. The results were surprising. Just 43% said Mr. Obama had been a better president while 48% favored Mr. Bush. A majority of 56% said that Mr. Obama did not deserve a second term. Mr. Bush’s increasing popularity coupled with Schoen’s results show that the voting public is much less inclined to pay attention to attacks against Mr. Bush this time around. Running another referendum on Bush could end up backfiring on President Obama.

The Mystery of Barack Obama Continues
I'm not much into conspiracy theories, and think the birther thing is a dead end, for many reasons, and probably helpful to Obama. But still one has to wonder about some of this stuff. I offer it for what you may make of it. ~Bob. Excerpt: Most Americans don’t realize we have elected a president whom we know very little about. Researchers have discovered that Obama’s autobiographical books are little more than PR stunts, as they have little to do with the actual events of his life. The fact is we know less about President Obama than perhaps any other president in American history and much of this is due to actual efforts to hide his record. This should concern all Americans. A nation-wide network of researchers has sprung up to attempt to fill in the blanks, but at every opportunity Obama’s high-priced lawyers have built walls around various records or simply made them disappear. It is estimated that Obama’s legal team has now spent well over $1.4 million dollars blocking access to documents every American should have access to. The question is why would he spend so much money to do this?

Trump/West 2012? Allen West Not Closed to Idea of being Donald Trump's VP
This is backwards. West has more intellectual capacity, more integrity and has been a far better Republican than Trump, who contributed to Charlie Rangel, among others, for God's sake. ~Bob. Excerpt: Florida Congressman and Tea Party favorite Allen West isn’t opposed to the idea of joining possible presidential contender Donald Trump, West told The Daily Caller Thursday. When pressed repeatedly if he would rule out the possibility of running with Trump, the Republican House freshman did not say that the idea was off the table. “Who knows what’s going to happen,” West said when asked if he’d accept a veep invitation from Trump. “If the people think that I have an ability to continue my service of my country in a different capacity, first of all we gotta talk to God, we gotta talk to my family, we gotta talk to the constituents.” Trump and West will speak at the same Tea Party rally in Boca Raton, Florida this Saturday.

What goes around: VIDEO: Useful Idiot Kidnapped in Gaza
Excerpt: An Italian aid worker named Vittorio Arrigoni was kidnapped in Gaza today, and the group that is holding him says it will kill him if its demands are not met within thirty hours. There are a couple of interesting twists to this incident. The group that kidnapped Mr. Arrigoni, A-Tawheed wal Jihad, is described as “Salafist”, but it is not part of Hamas. In fact, its demands include the release of members of A-Tawheed wal Jihad that are being held prisoner by the Hamas “government”. For added irony: Vittorio Arrigoni is an Italian Communist who has been working in Gaza for several years in solidarity with the Palestinians, and decries Israeli oppression. It will be interesting to see how the MSM dances its way around this one. The video below was posted on YouTube by the kidnappers, and shows the blindfolded hostage with a hand holding him by the hair. Vlad Tepes has moved the clip to a different host in anticipation of its being taken down by YouTube. (Let's take up a collection to free him. Think--if your 1% of you gave a lira a day, in a few months we'd be up to ten bucks or so. ~Bob.) (Yes, I know they use Euros now. Part of the joke. Besides, after the collapse, who knows what they will use. ~Bob.)

Hamas: Kidnapped Italian Activist Found Dead in Gaza
The death of a Communist who was helping Jihadists attack Israel and western civilization at the hands of other Jihadists seems to me not to be a cause for extensive grief. As the Brits say, when I read the news, I had a little holiday in my heart. ~Bob. Excerpt: Security officials found the body of an Italian man who had been abducted in the Gaza Strip in an abandoned house overnight Thursday, a Hamas security official said. Two men were arrested and others were being sought. In a You Tube clip the group posted online earlier Thursday, a Jihadist Salafi group in Gaza aligned with al Qaida had threatened to execute Italian rights activist Vittorio Arigoni by 17:00 local time (1400 GMT) unless their leader Hesham al-Sa'eedni, whom it detained last month, was freed.

Cultural Enrichment Begins at Home: UAE to Try 14-year-old Girl on Adultery Charges  
Excerpt: “The law states that the minimum age of suspects in crimes related to sex must be 15 years. Such cases should be conducted in special juvenile courts. Otherwise, suspects are considered victims rather than suspects,” the daily quoted a “law expert” as saying. On April 5, Gulf News said police in the emirate of Ajman had arrested the teenager after she met up with her boyfriend on the roof of her family home. She has since been forced to undergo a gynaecological examination which “confirmed she was still a virgin”, the unnamed girl’s father was quoted as saying by the English-language daily. (One is tempted to make a joke, until one remembers that teen girls who were rape victims have been stoned to death for "adultery" by Islamists. ~Bob.)

Labor Leaders Tee Off at Barack Obama, Harry Reid
Excerpt: “Now, not only are we getting screwed by the Republicans but the Democrats are doing it too,” said one union official, characterizing the mood at a summit of labor leaders who are worried that Democrats seem unlikely to go to the mat for them as an election year approaches. Presidents of several unions and an AFL-CIO spokesman declined to repeat their private criticism to a reporter Tuesday, a sign that labor feels it must still try to maintain a relationship with the Democratic Party, even if it’s deeply troubled . With Republicans increasingly shifting from private antagonism toward open war with organized labor, unreliable Democratic allies are the only allies the movement has, and it remains unclear whether disappointments will dampen enthusiasm among union activists and voters in the 2012 elections.

Jesse Jackson slapped with discrimination complaint
Excerpt: A former employee of the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. at the Rainbow Push Coalition has filed a bombshell wrongful termination and discrimination complaint against the civil rights leader with the City of Chicago’s Commission on Human Rights. The complaint, filed sometime last year by Tommy R. Bennett, a regular on the Tom Joyner Radio show and member of Barack Obama’s LGBT Leadership Council, includes shocking details about Jackson’s behavior toward the openly gay staffer including a suggestion that the civil rights leader may have propositioned him. Jackson has denied the allegations in a legal response that was filed in July 2010 and resurfaced when the Windy City Times published a story Tuesday.

Larry Elder: Why isn't Obama 'Racist' for Ignoring Black Africa?
Excerpt: In 1994, President Bill Clinton sent 20,000 troops to Haiti, restoring to power that country's first democratically elected president. Ten years later, when violence threatened to further destabilize Haiti, the Congressional Black Caucus again argued for American military intervention. President George W. Bush refused. He properly understood that a commander in chief should put the military in harm's way for one reason only -- to protect, defend and advance national security. Black detractors called Bush racist. Jackson said: "It is clear that the right wing in this country does not support that democracy. (Bush) is, in fact, supporting overthrow of this government in this hemisphere." "Black Americans," wrote, "have contended that such a policy smacks of racism. They say the United States is unwilling to risk sending soldiers into the chaotic Caribbean nation, the Western Hemisphere's poorest, because its people are of African descent."

Why Did Obama DOJ Prosecute Anti-Communist CIA Agent?
Excerpt: With a military officer from a terrorist-sponsoring nation and a washed out journalist as key witnesses, the Obama Justice Department has suffered an embarrassing defeat after dedicating infinite resources to prosecute an elderly CIA operative who fought communism. The 83-year-old, Luis Posada Carriles, once worked to destabilize communist governments throughout Latin America and the Obama Administration was determined to convict him for something. So the Justice Department mounted quite a performance during a 13-week trial in El Paso Texas, flying in a lieutenant colonel from Cuba, which for years has appeared on the U.S. State Department’s list of terrorist-sponsoring nations, to testify against him. The government’s other star witness was a notoriously leftwing author, Ann Louise Bardach, who once worked for the New York Times and has written several favorable books about Cuba’s oppressive communist regime. Bardach testified that more than a decade ago Carriles bragged about his anti-Castro militancy, which supposedly included organizing bombings in Havana to scare tourists and blowing up a jetliner in the 1970s.

'We've all been taught that this doesn't happen'
Excerpt: “You could stare at the equations of motion all day and you will not see this possibility. We’ve all been taught that this doesn’t happen,” said Rand, an author of a paper on the work published in the Journal of Applied Physics. “It’s a very odd interaction. That’s why it’s been overlooked for more than 100 years.” Light has electric and magnetic components. Until now, scientists thought the effects of the magnetic field were so weak that they could be ignored. Rand and his colleagues found that at the right intensity, when light is traveling through a material that does not conduct electricity, the light field can generate magnetic effects that are 100 million times stronger than previously expected. Under these circumstances, the magnetic effects develop strength equivalent to a strong electric effect. (Though this could be the breakthrough solar power has been awaiting, this discovery is in the concept stage. Any practical use of it for you and me is probably years or decades away. But, who knows? Ron P. An energy break through could be a game changer for us. We sure need one. ~Bob.)

A Bankrupt Option: States should not be allowed to file for bankruptcy.
Not while the taxpayers are withholding one dime from the public unions! ~Bob. Excerpt: The 50 states, as we have seen recently in Wisconsin and elsewhere, are in serious fiscal trouble. Total state debt is estimated at more than $1 trillion, and that doesn't include another $3 trillion in unfunded liabilities from pensions and other obligations. We can afford neither a federal bailout of this sum nor the precedent it would set. But how about giving states the option of filing for bankruptcy, as municipalities can do via Chapter 9?

Do Trade Deficits Point to a Flaw in Free Trade?
Excerpt: The creation of the U.S. Trade Deficit Review Commission in 1999 reflected concern over the fact that for much of the postwar period the United States experienced a "merchandise trade deficit" (a.k.a. "balance of payments deficit" or "current account deficit") in international trade: The dollar value of goods and services imported into the U. S. exceeded the dollar value of goods and services exported, says Lawrence H. White, a professor of economics at George Mason University. There are two other ways that the difference might be paid for: with exports of currency or with exports of financial claims. The cumulative U.S. current account deficit over 2005-2009 inclusive totaled $3.3 trillion. Only a trivial share, perhaps 3.5 percent of the deficit, was financed by exporting Federal Reserve Notes. The other 96.5 percent of the U.S. trade deficit corresponded to other financial exports, namely sales of IOUs (government and corporate bonds) and sales of ownership claims (shares in corporations, real estate) to assets that remained in the United States. A current account deficit thus mirrors a capital account surplus under floating exchange rates. The economic forces that create international financial flows (borrowing from abroad) can be thought of as the fundamental drivers, with the merchandise trade deficit only a side effect or symptom, says White. When foreigners want to buy more financial claims from the United States than Americans want to buy from abroad, that enhances the exchange value of the dollar, making U.S. merchandise exports relatively expensive on world markets, giving rise to a merchandise trade deficit for the United States. Whether it is good for a regional or national economy to be a net borrower from the rest of the world is much like asking whether it is good for a household to be a net borrower. It depends on the reason for the borrowing.

Why Raising Social Security’s Tax Cap Wouldn’t Eliminate Its Shortfall
Excerpt: If one surveys left-of-center commentators about how to solve Social Security’s financing shortfall, one suggestion is heard more frequently than all others: increase the amount of worker wages subject to the Social Security payroll tax. The rationale is usually presented much like this:

On Green Energy: A Dutch (Re)Treat
Excerpt: The Netherlands went big for wind power, particularly offshore wind. The Netherlands is the world’s third-largest producer of offshore wind power. And while there are no data available about green jobs in the Netherlands, there is evidence that its green power plants will not produce many, because the new conservative government has radically reversed course and is slashing subsidies to wind and solar power. In the Netherlands, the new conservative government has radically reversed course, slashing subsidies to wind and solar power. According to the journal Energy Debate, the new Dutch government has lost its faith in windmills. The government has taken exception to the massive subsidies required to build and operate wind farms, and to the expected export of €4.5 billion in subsidies to a German company (Bard Engineering) that would have built, owned, and operated the wind farms. The new prime minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, is reported to have said that “windmills turn on subsidies.”

House passes Ryan's '12 budget; conservatives want more cuts
Excerpt: The House on Friday approved a fiscal year 2012 budget resolution from Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) that seeks to drastically limit government spending next year and in years to follow. But the vote on the measure — which imposes $5.8 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade — came after a clear sign that at least half of the Republican Caucus supports even tougher spending cuts. The final tally was 235-193, with four Republicans opposing it. Every Democrat voted "no."

Obama caught on audio slamming GOP
Well, anyone with half a brian knew all that bi-partisan, transparency stuff was just for the rubes. ~Bob. Excerpt: Yesterday, President Obama delivered some of his harshest criticism yet of his recent battle with Republicans to fund the government. However, Obama may not have intended for everybody to hear him. While listening to an audio feed from a Chicago fundraiser Thursday night, CBS News reporter Mark Knoller heard Obama speaking with donors after other reporters had left the room. That's when the president really opened up about his disdain for the recent GOP pushback: "I said, 'You want to repeal health care? Go at it. We'll have that debate. You're not going to be able to do that by nickel-and-diming me in the budget. You think we're stupid?'" the president reportedly said.

Excerpt: The most serious charge against Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget is not the risible claim, made most prominently by President Obama in his George Washington University address, that it would “sacrifice the America we believe in.” The serious charge is that the Ryan plan fails by its own standards: Because it only cuts spending without raising taxes, it accumulates trillions of dollars of debt and doesn’t balance the budget until the 2030s. If the debt is such a national emergency, they say, Ryan never really gets you there from here. But the critics miss the point. You can’t get there from here without Ryan’s plan. It’s the essential element. Of course Ryan is not going to propose tax increases. You don’t need Republicans for that. That’s what Democrats do. The president’s speech was a prose poem to higher taxes — with every allusion to spending cuts guarded by a phalanx of impenetrable caveats.

Public Radio vote on Scott Walker’s first 100 days
He’s trailing, but on a leftie radio site. Please vote.

Arizona gun shop told ATF that sting was dangerous
Excerpt: Federal agents and prosecutors last year encouraged Arizona gun dealers to sell firearms to buyers for Mexican cartels even after the store owners fretted that weapons might be used to kill Border Patrol agents, according to e-mails obtained by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

Michelle Malkin, America the Dependent
Excerpt: So much for the new era of fiscal responsibility. The federal government's dependency drones have been spared the chopping block. After vowing to eliminate funding for President Obama's bloated $6 billion AmeriCorps social justice army, House Republicans retreated -- and will shrink the AmeriCorps budget by a minuscule 6.7 percent. Politicians originally sold AmeriCorps as an alternative to big government -- a program to "renew the ethic of civic responsibility and the spirit of community throughout the United States." With bipartisan support, the program has morphed into an all-purpose progressive slush fund. Instead of reining in the national service boondoggle, Washington has turned taxpayer-subsidized helping hands into a legion of Nanny State handout helpers. Goodbye, AmeriCorps. Hello, FoodStampCorps.

'Eco-friendly' biofuels may do more harm than good
Excerpt: The drive for ‘eco-friendly’ biofuels has backfired and may be contributing to climate change, says a report. Plant-based fuels have pushed up food prices, increased deforestation and threatened endangered animals, the Nuffield Council on Bioethics found. The think-tank said their spread has led to ‘near slavery conditions’ on sugar plantations in the developing world and may have increased greenhouse gas emissions.

The Presidential Divider: Obama's toxic speech and even worse plan for deficits and debt.
Excerpt: The immediate political goal was to inoculate the White House from criticism that it is not serious about the fiscal crisis, after ignoring its own deficit commission last year and tossing off a $3.73 trillion budget in February that increased spending amid a record deficit of $1.65 trillion. Mr. Obama was chased to George Washington University yesterday because Mr. Ryan and the Republicans outflanked him on fiscal discipline and are now setting the national political agenda. Mr. Obama did not deign to propose an alternative to rival Mr. Ryan's plan, even as he categorically rejected all its reform ideas, repeatedly vilifying them as essentially un-American.

AUDIO: Steyn Explains GOP Tentativeness Contributing to the "Trump Phenomenon"
Excerpt: “I think undoubtedly that a ‘Trump Party’ run guarantees Obama a second term,” Steyn continued. “But you know at some point, real Republican candidates have to get in this game for real. And this is no time – this is just no time for the tentativeness we’re seeing from the Republican establishment. That’s just driving traffic to the Trump end of the spectrum.”

Democrats' Disgust With Obama
Excerpt: There is no more visible symbol of Democratic disgruntlement than the woman who was perhaps the president’s closest ally when she wielded the speaker’s gavel. When Nancy Pelosi voted against the budget measure Thursday, she did little to hide her anger with the White House over the fact that Obama, for the first time, had left her out of the negotiations on a major deal. Instead, he chose to work directly with Boehner and Reid to hammer out the compromise that each could take back to their caucuses for approval. (…) “I have been very disappointed in the administration to the point where I’m embarrassed that I endorsed him,” one senior Democratic lawmaker said. “It’s so bad that some of us are thinking, is there some way we can replace him? How do you get rid of this guy?” The member, who would discuss the strategy only on the condition of anonymity, called the discontent with Obama among the caucus “widespread,” adding: “Nobody is saying [they want him out] publicly, but a lot of people wish it could be so. Never say never.” (Hell hath no fury like a liberal scorned. Ron P.)

Imaging devices late to battlefield
Excerpt: Troops in Afghanistan may have to wait 10 to 12 months for advanced medical machinery for treating concussions, raising concerns among top military leaders that the equipment will not be available for potentially hundreds of service members with mild brain injuries.

Winning the Real ObamaCare War
Excerpt: The 2011 budget deal is done, and it's clear the Republicans' real victory was shifting the terms of the debate to fiscal reform. House Speaker John Boehner got President Barack Obama, one of history's great spenders, to praise the cuts he once resisted, and to present a do-over of his own budget. The groundwork is now in place for the real fight, over House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's comprehensive fiscal 2012 blueprint. This is the opportunity to move the spending-reform debate from the b-word (billions) to the t-word (trillions). That is, if the GOP doesn't put symbolism ahead of substance. That risk exists, as evidenced by the recent brouhaha over ObamaCare funding. Behind the scenes, and increasingly in front of them, the GOP and the grass roots have been working up a lather over the ObamaCare "slush funds." The funds are a worthy target—symbolic of everything offensive about the new health law. They are also arguably a diversion.

Iranian Winter Could Chill the Arab Spring
Excerpt: From nukes to terrorist proxies, Tehran's power grows—and Washington dithers. Since the "Arab Spring" began four months ago in Tunisia, U.S. media have focused constantly and generally optimistically on the turmoil in the Middle East. Unfortunately, the rising threat of an Iranian Winter—nuclear or otherwise—is likely to outlast and overshadow any Arab Spring. Iran's hegemonic ambitions are embodied in its rapidly progressing nuclear-weapons program and its continued subversion across the region. In a case that emphasizes the fragility of aspiring democracies, Iranian Winter has already descended upon Lebanon, where Iran's influence has helped replace a pro-Western government with a coalition dominated by Tehran's allies, including Hezbollah. Last week, departing Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri condemned Iran's "flagrant intervention" in his country.

Obama: I Voted as a Senator to Help My Career, Not the Country
excerpt: The GOP has just found a campaign sound bite for the Presidential campaign of 2012 and it came from the world’s greatest orator himself: Barack Obama. Here is what President Obama told ABC News George Stephanopoulos regarding his Senatorial vote in 2006 opposing a debt increase: “I think that it’s important to understand the vantage point of a senator versus the vantage point of a … president. When you’re a senator, traditionally what’s happened is, this is always a lousy vote. Nobody likes to be tagged as having increased the debt limit for the United States by a trillion dollars. … As president, you start realizing: ‘You know what? We — we can’t play around with this stuff. This is the full faith in credit of the United States.’ And so that was just a example of a new senator, you know, making what is a political vote as opposed to doing what was important for the country.”

Pakistan's blasphemy vigilantes kill exonerated man
Didn’t get the “Islam is a Religion of Peace” memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Mohamed Imran had been accused, jailed, tried and cleared: if anything, society owed him a debt as a man wrongfully accused. But his crime was blasphemy. He was meant to have said something derogatory about the prophet Mohammed, so in Pakistan justice worked a little differently. Two weeks after he returned to his small patch of farmland on the rustic outskirts of Islamabad, his alleged crime caught up with him. Two gunmen burst into the shoe shop where he was sat talking to a friend. Imran tried to duck, to seek cover behind the man next to him -- terrified so greatly for his own life that he perhaps forgot about those around him.

Man Confesses To ‘Jihad Operation' Murder In Nashville
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: Abdulhakim Muhammad is accused of killing one Army soldier and wounding another outside a military recruiting station in 2009. He's now confessed to shooting a Nashville man as part of a "Jihad Operation." The father of Carlos Bledsoe believes his son became an extremist Muslim during his time in Nashville.

Gaza fighter died in 'jihad mission'
Feel-good news. ~Bob. Excerpt: The armed wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine said one of the group's fighters was killed Thursday morning, when an explosive device detonated while the young man was on a "jihad mission," a statement said. It is the second accidental death of a Gaza resistance fighter reported in as many days, following the death of an Al-Qassam brigadesman in Khan Younis on Wednesday.

Arianna Huffington vs. New York Times' Bill Keller - A Liberal Version of Hatfields vs. McCoys?
Excerpt: Angry and unpaid Huffington Post bloggers first complained about her $100-million payday, demanding a piece of the action. They’ve escalated that into a strike that involves the newspaper union and, in their latest move, they’ve even sued her leftiness.
Rather than celebrate the “progressive force” of Huffington Post seizing power at AOL like some Cyber Che, lefties suddenly seem to fear that Arianna cares more for her pocketbook than Mao’s “Little Red Book.” They are worried that her latest switch would transform her from liberal icon to neutral newsy, a more extinct creature than the Dodo. Her sudden wealth has only added to their suspicions.

First The New York Times, Now Tasini Takes on Huffington Post
Excerpt: The man responsible for a significant copyright ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the rights of freelance authors in the Information Age is now taking aim at the Jonathan Tasini alleges that the Huffington Post, recently purchased by AOL, is profiting greatly from the uncompensated efforts of contributing bloggers. In a class action filed Tuesday, he is seeking damages of at least $105 million from the defendants.

Another Obama Constitutional Grab in the Works
President Barack Obama, the confiscator-in-chief of your constitutional rights is at it again. As we’ve come to expect, when President Obama tramples on the Constitution it’s usually under the guise of some noble cause. He embraced new rules for broadcasters designed to silence conservative talk show hosts under the guise of localism and diversity. This year, he’s pushing for so-called “common-sense” legislation that ultimately deprives citizens of their Second Amendment rights. The Obama administration is working with Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) to pass S. 679, the “Presidential Appointment Efficiency and Streamlining Act,” which would sharply curtail the number of presidential appointees that must be confirmed by the Senate.

Romney's Iron Stethoscope
Excerpt: When Mitt Romney passed his health care law as governor in Massachusetts, it was initially quite popular -- more so than President Obama's similar law at the national level. But now that the policy has been in place a few years, the approach's popularity has sunk. According to a new poll released last week, and conducted by non-partisan sources, Suffolk University and WHDH-TV, when asked if Massachusetts' health care laws were working or not, only 38 percent said yes, while 49 percent said no. As John R. Graham points out, in 2008, polls found support for Romney's reforms of 69 percent approval -- far more popular than Obama's law has ever been (according to Rasmussen, consistent majorities of American voters support its repeal).
Obama's reputation on Medicare is unsustainable
"The U.S. government is not going to be able to afford Medicare and Medicaid on its current trajectory. ... The notion that somehow we can just keep on doing what we're doing and that's OK, that's just not true." These are not the words of Rep. Paul Ryan, the budget-slashing Wisconsin Republican who chairs the House Budget Committee, but rather those of President Obama, from a news conference in June of 2009. Imagine, then, our surprise to hear the same Obama complain in his Wednesday speech that Ryan's long-term budget plan "ends Medicare as we know it." Isn't that the point? Isn't that what Obama was implicitly calling for when he previously called the program "unsustainable" in its current form?

Ron Arnold: Suppressed EPA Hushgate climate report returns to snag CO2 regulation
Excerpt: But senior research analyst Alan Carlin, Ph.D., a 38-year EPA veteran never known as an ideologue, submitted his unlikely critique that the agency's case was full of predetermined, politically mandated, cherry-picked scientific garbage. Carlin criticized as many details as possible in the four days before the finding's release: EPA had relied on outdated research and ignored major new developments, including declines in global temperatures, projections that hurricanes won't get worse, and findings that ocean cycles best explain temperature fluctuations. "I did the reasonable thing," said Carlin. "I applied the scientific method to every study used in EPA's technical support document," as you'd expect from a man with a physics degree from CalTech and a Ph.D. in economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Alarmingly, he found more computerized guesswork and editing by advocates than observable results. Carlin urgently requested that his report be forwarded immediately to top decision makers.

Have the U.S. and NATO given up on Libya mess?
Excerpt: While Washington has been consumed by the battle of the budget, the people running the real war in Libya seem to have given up hope of using American and NATO firepower to drive Moammar Gadhafi from power. "There is no military solution to this conflict," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said this week. "We need a political solution, and it's up to the Libyan people to come up with one." "There will not be a military solution to the problem," said French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe. "We will not see a military solution in Libya," said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

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