Thursday, April 28, 2011

Political Digest for April 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.

Resources
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.

Limited Posts?
I have meetings going late Thursday & Friday, commitments over the weekend. Not sure if or how much time I’ll have for the blog.

This blog is now a Royal-Wedding-free-news-zone
Sure, I wish Will and Kate well, and would be happy to buy them a pint in the local pub, but between them and Donald Trump, the Democrats favorite RINO contributor, it’s squeezing serious news out of the cycle.

Important: US Military: Schizophrenia Is the New Normal
Excerpt: The carnage inside an operations room of the Afghan Air Corps at Kabul airport has yet to be sorted, identified and tallied but this much we know: Another Afghan Muslim "partner" in uniform -- a veteran military pilot according to the AP -- has opened fire on NATO troops in a meeting, killing as many as eight troops and a contractor. While we await the grim but thoroughly predictable details -- the exemplary lives of the personnel murdered while "partnering" with our Afghan "allies"; the shooter who for reasons "unknown" to ISAF earned his place in Islamic paradise through this "holiest" act of jihad against infidels (ISAF would croak before saying that) -- I want to call attention to a story from the Clarksville, Tenn. Leaf-Chronicle that was featured last week at Army Times and which came to my attention from friends in the military segment of our thoroughly bifurcated society The article is titled: "NCOs offers stern message for war-bound soldiers." And what is that "stern" message? The article -- written a day after another Hair-Trigger-Moderate in the Afghan Army went off, using grenades to kill five Americans troops -- reports that message as being, "Don't trust anyone but you still have to partner up" -- and in that order.

Excerpt: Today, Matt Lauer did us proud. He asked the question that the Media has thus far not dared to ask; is there anything to these incidences involving Afghan National Soldiers and Police turning their weapons on their American and ISAF Trainer/Handlers? Until today, the standard answer has been that these were individual acts of murder perpetrated by deranged, angry men, acting, if you will out of personal discontent. Any suggestion that these were connected in any way was not only regarded as incorrect, but bordering on racial slur.

White House releases Obama’s ‘long-form’ birth certificate
Won’t silence the “birthers,” who are as wedded to this as the warmists are to global warming. Watch for screams of forgery immediately. ~Bob. Excerpt: The White House on Wednesday released President Obama’s long-form birth certificate, a stunning reversal after years of ignoring of rumors--widely discredited--that the nation’s commander-in-chief had been born in a foreign country.

Race and Economics by Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Walter Williams fans are in for a treat-- and people who are not Walter Williams fans are in for a shock-- when they read his latest book, "Race and Economics."
It is a demolition derby on paper, as Professor Williams destroys one after another of the popular fallacies about the role of race in the American economy. I can still vividly recall the response to one of Walter's earliest writings, back in the 1970s, when he and I were working on the same research project in Washington. Walter wrote a brief article that destroyed the central theme of one of the fashionable books of the time, "The Poor Pay More." It was true, he agreed, that prices were higher in low-income minority neighborhoods. But he rejected the book's claim that this was due to "exploitation," "racism" and the like.

Great Column: The increasingly odd political optics of Barack Obama
Excerpt: In politics, what you're really doing is often much less important than what it looks like you're really doing. And with only 560 days left until the voters' next verdict, President Obama is rapidly painting himself into a public-relations corner with an ongoing series of possibly accidental gaffes that are accumulating in the public mind. And the biting humor repertoire of late-night comics: "Donald Trump says he's President Obama's worst nightmare," Jay Leno said last night. "No. Having to make a decision is President Obama's worst nightmare." The former state senator may, in fact, be slaving away on 18-hour policy days. But much of that is closed out of sight. So the public is left to focus on Obama's frequent vacations, golf outings, celebrity gatherings and proclivity to give a speech at the first whiff of trouble. With no real opposition, Chicago's Democrat pols care little about how insensitive things look. Any one of these apparent missteps is inconsequential. However, accumulated over his 118 weeks in office, they create the impression of carelessness at best or, worse, arrogance.

Excerpt: The security forces of Bashar Assad — a thug whom Hillary Clinton deemed a “reformer,” and with whom Barack Obama was determined to restore diplomatic relations — are slaughtering hundreds in the streets of Syria’s major cities. I know that the Turkish government will express no outrage. It will not help to sponsor a flotilla of private ships to sail into the port of Latakia to protest the government-sponsored barbarity. European “human rights” activists will not fly into any Arab city to board a freighter, Gaza-style, that would bring humanitarian assistance by sea to those being blown apart by the Assad regime. I know that. Recently, Palestinian teenagers, in service to a Palestinian terrorist organization, massacred — in the literal sense of the word — the Fogel family of Israel, a savagery replete with the throat-slitting of toddlers and infants. The Palestinian police authority — U.S. trained and equipped — just shot down Jewish worshippers at Jacob’s Tomb. This comes amid the Palestinian Authority’s commemoration of the 2002 Passover Massacre of 30 Israeli civilians, apparently a national moment of honorific reflection on the West Bank. Yet I know that no one in Europe and few in America will protest to the Palestinian Authority, which the West subsidizes, that it seems to commemorate butchery in its midst. This week President Obama ordered Predator drone attacks against Libya, as NATO and American forces began re-targeting the Qaddafi clan personally. I know that there will be no outcry that the U.S. is a party to targeted assassinations of a foreign leader and his family, an act once deemed illegal for an American administration.

Former president accompanies injured vets on grueling bike ride
Excerpt: A group of young veterans, accompanied by a special guest, began a grueling 100-kilometer, or 62.1-mile, mountain biking trek through Big Bend National Park in the heat Monday afternoon. Though the narrow, single track trails aren't much wider than the bikes they ride, they have all fought bigger battles to be where they are today. The 14 "Warrior" riders, along with former President George W. Bush, knocked out 12 miles of the three-day journey Monday upon arrival at the park. The group said they planned to leave early in the morning for Tuesday's 30-mile and Wednesday's 20-mile trek. For most of the riders, like Iraq veteran Andy Hatcher, the activity has been key to their rehabilitation.

The Violent Mobs of Keratea: America’s Future
Excerpt: A week ago, with little attention from the Trump-obsessed American media, one of the most important stories in the last years of Western Civilization happened in a small town outside of Athens, Greece. After months of rioting and mayhem, Keratea residents agreed to a “truce” with authorities wherein riot police would withdraw from Keratea and cede control of the city to the violent mobs. The Greek state has ceded control of an entire city to rioters. If this isn’t newsworthy, nothing is. But the American media has barely covered this story which is surprising since it is about “the people” rising up against the government in a Wisconsin (or Egyptian) style protest.

Excerpt: I realize Barack Obama graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and was Editor of Harvard Law Review, but I’m starting to think he’s not that bright — or at least lacks sense (never mind that he won’t release his college transcripts). He’s definitely an amateur and it shows when, late yesterday, Obama came out in favor of even higher gas prices. As a friend noted on Facebook, Obama’s popularity is falling so fast that Kenyans are now claiming Obama was born in the United States. This won’t help that. Now, he does not say he is in favor of higher gas prices (though his Secretary of Energy does), but Obama wants Congress to “take ‘immediate action’ to end tax subsidies for oil and gas companies”

The Left Hates Oil Companies
Excerpt: When oil prices blew sky high in 2008, ExxonMobil paid $36.5 billion in income taxes, $34.5 billion in sales taxes, and $45 billion in other taxes, for a total of $116.2 billion in taxes paid and collected in 2008. That’s according to Mark Perry at the Carpe Diem blog. Exxon will report earnings later this week. And while oil prices aren’t quite as high today as they were three years ago, it’s all a bit like 2008. I read somewhere that either Exxon or the whole oil industry pays more in taxes than the bottom 50 percent of the whole income-tax system. So while president Obama is out there ragging on oil companies to remove so-called tax subsidies, it’s odd that he doesn’t mention how much in taxes the energy firms actually pay to Uncle Sam.

Jihadis enraged at Zionist/Crusader occupation of Uzbekistan, plotting attacks on U.S. interests there
Excerpt: This story vividly illustrates the bankruptcy of the common claim that jihadis are simply reacting to provocations from the U.S., Israel, or other Western entities. If that were so, there would be no reason whatsoever for jihad activity in Uzbekistan.

Torturing the Truth at Duke Divinity
Why would he stay in a country that treats him so badly? Will no Islamic Republic take him in? ~Bob. Excerpt: Should we automatically accept -- at face value -- Duke University's first Muslim chaplain, Abdullah Antepli, as part of an emerging loyal, moderate American Islam, simply because he insists that we do so? Perhaps not, when all his words and associations are taken into account. He seems eager to join hands with others -- Muslim, Christian, and secular -- who express animosity toward this country and Western societies in general. And at one recent event, he attacked the citizens of his adopted country for their failure to blindly assume Muslim immigrants mean them well. "Being a Muslim in the United States is another form of torture, a psychological torture, an emotional torture, and it's just getting worse," he declared at the "Toward a Moral Consensus against Torture" conference at Duke University on March 25-26. The conference attracted approximately 100 left-wing academics, theologians, and members of the local activist community for some old-fashioned America-bashing.

Europeans Blame Israel for Murders Committed by Islamists
The Jews probably dressed provocatively, brought it on themselves. ~Bob. Excerpt: Many European reactions to the recent murders by radical Islamists of pro- Palestinian Israeli filmmaker Juliano Mer-Khamis and Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni replicate the typical recurrence of the same: Shift the blame to Israel in an a priori fashion without delving into existing empirical evidence. Take the example of Inge Höger, a Left Party member of the German Bundestag, who blamed both executions on the Israeli government. Relying on German taxpayer funds to pay for her Left Party website, she said:

Most Egyptians want Quran as source of laws: Poll
Excerpt: : A poll conducted by a US-based center has shown that a majority of Egyptians believe laws in their country should follow the teachings of Islam's holy book, the Quran.

Turkey begins dismantling monument meant to promote reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia
Excerpt: It overshadows an Islamic shrine. And who needs reconciliation with those kuffar Armenians, anyway? Islamization of Turkey Update: (The first genocide of the 20th century was the Turks' attempt to exterminate the Armenians. But the Turks are Muslim and the Armenians Christian infidels, so who cares? ~Bob.)

Why does Britain have an Islamist problem while America doesn't? Answer: the welfare state
Excerpt: London was the global headquarters of Islamic terrorism in the years before and after 9/11. This fact wasn’t exactly a closely guarded secret, but the WikiLeaks Guantánamo Bay files shed interesting new light on the American perspective. (I especially like the detail that the US government suspected the BBC of being a “possible propaganda media network” for al-Qaeda after a BBC phone number was found on a terrorist. What do they mean “possible”? Have they not listened to Radio 4?) London became the world terrorist hub partly because the country had a long tradition of shielding dissenters of all stripes; because it had a very unintrusive state compared to its European neighbours (no ID cards); and because of Britain’s historic links with many Arab countries. But there was another reason, and this is central to the reason why Europe has an Islamist problem and the United States doesn’t – the welfare state. Welfare is intimately linked to the failure of western European countries to integrate their Muslim populations, and explains why Britain has such a problem with Islamism. (America doesn't? But it's kind of like the West in 1939 putting members of the Nazi party of welfare. ~Bob.)

WikiLeaks: Guantánamo Bay terrorists radicalised in London to attack Western targets
Excerpt: Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza, two preachers who lived off state benefits after claiming asylum, are identified by the American authorities as the key recruiters responsible for sending dozens of extremists from throughout the world to Pakistan and Afghanistan via London mosques. The leaked WikiLeaks documents, written by senior US military commanders at Guantánamo Bay, illustrate how, for two decades, Britain effectively became a crucible of terrorism, with dozens of extremists, home-grown and from abroad, radicalised here. Finsbury Park mosque, in north London, is described as a “haven” for extremists. United States intelligence officials concluded the mosque served as “an attack planning and propaganda production base”. (Britain is probably lost with the rest of Europe. ~Bob.)

Liberal rot, al Qaeda terrorists and the BBC
Excerpt: Just a few data points to look at here. One, according to WikiLeaks, a Beeb phone number turned up over and over again in captured al Qaeda documents. The Beeb is doing what it does best — it’s not coming clean on who the number belongs to or why the terrorists had it.

60+ Churches Burned in Nigerian Muslim Stronghold
Thank God a Qur'an wasn't destroyed--would have meant trouble. Burning churches--not so much. ~Bob. Excerpt: More than 60 churches were burned and thousands of Christian-owned homes destroyed in Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north after the recent election of incumbent Christian president Goodluck Jonathan, according to the Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors. Riots broke out Monday after the preliminary results of Saturday's vote were announced. Jonathan, who was sworn in as president in May 2010, was announced president over his Muslim opponent Muhammadu Buhari.

Ann Barnhardt's New Front Door Sign
“All friendly visitors, stand on the doormat and smile for the cameras. All hostile visitors, I aim for the cranium. You shouldn't feel a thing, sweetie.”

Rep. Allen West to Far Left Astroturfed Mob: “I’m Just Going to Tell You This… You’re Not Going to Intimidate Me”
Excerpt: A far left heckler was arrested at Rep. Allen West’s town hall Tuesday Evening in Fort Lauderdale. Several other hecklers were later asked to leave. Of course, Rep. Allen West (R-FL) kept his cool during the assault by the astroturfed mob.

VIDEO: Allen West Townhall on GOP Budget Turns Rowdy
 Excerpt: The left will have to do better than this. Not only is West predictably unperturbed by the heckling but the crowd is overwhelmingly on his side. You’d think progressives would be out in force to try to embarrass a tea-party all-star, but no. In fact, see the woman being hauled away by security at the end? That’s Nicole Sandler, formerly of … Air America. When the big dissident presence at a rally is a host from a defunct radio network, you’ve got yourself an optics problem.

How to Behave in an Islamic Massacre

San Francisco may vote on banning male circumcision
FGM in Muslim countries? No sweat. ~Bob. Excerpt: A group opposed to male circumcision said on Tuesday they have collected more than enough signatures to qualify a proposal to ban the practice in San Francisco as a ballot measure for November elections. But legal experts said that even if it were approved by a majority of the city's voters, such a measure would almost certainly face a legal challenge as an unconstitutional infringement on freedom of religion.

Medicare As We've Known It Isn't an Option
Excerpt: The Democratic Party is urging Americans to choose Medicare as we've always known it rather than a new plan by Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) that would enroll seniors in private health insurance beginning in 2022. This choice is a hoax: Medicare as we've always known it is already gone. It was eviscerated by President Obama's health law. Yet if the president and the Democratic Party successfully bamboozle voters, they may win back independents and registered Democrats who voted for Republicans in 2010. The 2012 election could turn on this falsehood. The truth is that the Obama health law reduces future funding for Medicare by $575 billion over the next 10 years and spends the money on other programs, including a vast expansion of Medicaid. In 2019, Medicare spending under the Obama health law is projected to be $14,731 per senior, instead of $16,162 if the law had not passed, according to Medicare actuaries (Health Affairs, October 2010).

Melanie Phillips: Britain IS a Centre of Terror
 Excerpt: The key problem I identified five years ago remains true today: that Britain’s ruling class even now does not want to acknowledge the true nature and scale of the threat that we face. There remains a fixed belief within Whitehall that this is hardly more serious than, say, the threat once posed by Irish terrorism. But this is surely a terrible error. Terrorism uses violence against civilians to force society to yield to its demands. The Islamic jihad, by contrast, is a world-wide war on many fronts to destroy a society altogether. For heaven’s sake, as the WikiLeaks files reveal there has been much Al Qaeda ‘chatter’ that somewhere in Europe it has stowed away a nuclear weapon, to be detonated if Osama Bin Laden were ever to be killed or captured

The Fiscal Impact of the Offshore Drilling Moratorium
Excerpt: Due to declining production at existing wells and bureaucratic delays on new wells in the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig blowout in 2010, the federal government is forfeiting revenues of more than $4.7 million per day. The losses will grow significantly if the federal government does not sell new drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico this year, says Rob Bluey, director of the Center for Media and Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation and an adjunct scholar with the National Center for Policy Analysis' E-Team. The lack of new leases ultimately means the government will collect less rent. The number grows even larger when royalty payments are coupled with a lack of Gulf lease sales and fewer rental payments. Those three components -- royalties, leases and rent -- make up a sizable amount of revenue each year. For example: In 2008, the offshore industry paid $237 million in rent, $8.3 billion in royalties and $9.4 billion for bids on new leases. By comparison, last year those numbers dropped to $245 million in rent, $4 billion in royalties and just $979 million in lease bids. The Obama administration has dismissed the financial impact of less production, but the economic forecasting firm IHS Global Insight estimates that royalties, lease bids and rent payments amounted to more than $6 billion in 2009. Federal, state and local taxes related to the offshore oil and gas operations in the Gulf totaled $13 billion. That $19 billion pot of money could go a long way toward deficit reduction, says Bluey.

Americans depend more on federal aid than ever
Excerpt: Americans depended more on government assistance in 2010 than at any other time in the nation's history, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data finds. The trend shows few signs of easing, even though the economic recovery is nearly 2 years old. A record 18.3% of the nation's total personal income was a payment from the government for Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, unemployment benefits and other programs in 2010. Wages accounted for the lowest share of income — 51.0% — since the government began keeping track in 1929.

Important: Regulatory Expenditures, Economic Growth And Jobs: An Empirical Study
Abstract: With a sluggish economy, high unemployment, and unprecedented deficit spending, growing the economy and curbing federal spending are top priorities in Washington. A now-popular target for reform is regulation, which even President Obama claims to have “stifled innovation” and to have had “a chilling effect on growth and jobs.” In this POLICY BULLETIN, we use fifty years of data and modern econometric methods to provide an estimate of the relationship between government spending on regulatory activity and economic growth and job recovery. We estimate that reducing the size of the regulatory bureaucracy may grow the economy and invigorate the labor market. Even a small 5% reduction in the regulatory budget (about $2.8 billion) is estimated to result in about $75 billion in expanded private-sector GDP each year, with an increase in employment by 1.2 million jobs annually. On average, eliminating the job of a single regulator grows the American economy by $6.2 million and nearly 100 private sector jobs annually. Conversely, each million dollar increase in the regulatory budget costs the economy 420 private sector jobs. Accordingly, as Congress and the President struggle with the difficult decisions of how to shrink federal spending, an excellent place to start would be to investigate responsible cuts in the size of the federal regulatory budget. That said, while regulation imposes costs, regulation may also have social benefits, and this fact should be considered.

Trump’s donation history shows Democratic favoritism
All ego, no principles. ~Bob. Excerpt: Billionaire Donald J. Trump, an early presidential favorite among tea party activists, has a highly unusual history of political contributions for a prospective Republican candidate: He has given most of his money to the other side. The real estate mogul and “Celebrity Apprentice” host has made more than $1.3 million in donations over the years to candidates nationwide, with 54 percent of the money going to Democrats, according to a Washington Post analysis of state and federal disclosure records. Recipients include Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), former Pennsylvania governor Edward G. Rendell, and Rahm Emanuel, a former aide to President Obama who received $50,000 from Trump during his recent run to become Chicago’s mayor, records show. Many of the contributions have been concentrated in New York, Florida and other states where Trump has substantial real estate and casino interests.

The Wild Hunt
Excerpt: Americans — or at least many Americans — discovered that indulging in the premise that Islam is a religion of peace and not a determined theo-political enemy is an untenable fantasy. Yet far too many still play the game of interfaith dialogue and sympathetic outreach, some changing their names and embracing the five pillars, others supporting building mosques even on inappropriate ground, still others believing that an “Arab Spring” is not what it ominously portends, that is, a fundamentalist winter. (Submitted for your consideration: an oddly intriguing look at today’s politics. Ron P.)

The Equal Earth Amendment
Excerpt: The “bid” in question purports to provide the third rock from the sun with a variety of specific rights, including “life, water and clean air; the right to repair livelihoods affected by human activities; and the right to be free from pollution.” Unfortunately, Gaea rarely seems inclined to actually speak to anyone aside from a few indigenous shamans who’ve eaten a fist full of psilocybin mushrooms. Therefore, the planet would be represented by an ombudsman, “whose job is to hear nature’s complaints as voiced by activist and other groups.” (What? No seat for Thor, Diana, or Apollo? Shall we cower under our beds when night falls, too? I half suspect this is satire. Ron P. Beds? Making beds produces carbon. You’ll sleep naked on the rocks, because using animal skins offends PETA, Spokes-Group for the Animals of the Planet. ~Bob.)

Panetta to Be Tapped for Defense Secretary, Petraeus in Line to Lead CIA
Excerpt: President Obama plans to name CIA Director Leon Panetta as the next secretary of defense, Fox News confirms. As part of a broad reshuffling of his defense and intelligence teams, the president is also expected to pick Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in charge in Afghanistan, to take Panetta's place at the helm of the CIA.

Gas Pump Activism on Obama's Outrageous Energy Policy
Excerpt: Americans are leaving a sticky note or taped flyer hoping to get a message to President Obama and his energy policy fiasco that is driving up the price of fuel for all Americans nationwide. This also will connect fellow Americans getting gas too. President Obama has not listened yet, or has ignored common sense energy policy moves. He has closed down exploration off the East Coast, and his EPA has shut down the Shell operation in Alaska, and his endangered species act may shut down major operations in Texas and New Mexico. President Obama is keeping a campaign pledge when he stated his promise on skyrocketing energy costs to American consumer ... What can Americans do with a deaf President or a Commander and Chief whose only action is to disrupt U.S. energy supplies in favor of the green dragon? This energy crisis negatively impacts every American and especially those middle and lower income Americans who have to decide between gas for their car or food for their home. In response to the worse energy policy in our lifetime, a blogger on the Disruptive Narrative blog did a simple act. He began leaving a message when he got gas. Now this has caught on and going viral.

The Gas-Price Blame Game — Round 36
Excerpt: This is the sort of rhetoric that beleaguered consumers, aching from soaring fuel prices, are vulnerable to. Obama is giving them a straw man on which they can vent their frustrations. But their focus should be on the presidential candidate who said while campaigning in 2008 that under his environmentalist regime, "electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket." On the day Obama took office, gasoline was $1.83 a gallon. On Tuesday, according to the American Automobile Association's Daily Fuel Gauge Report, the national average was $3.87. While electricity prices haven't yet necessarily skyrocketed, gasoline prices sure have. Obama could have prevented this. But he's done nothing to push crude supplies up and thereby bring gasoline prices down. In fact, it appears that his goal is to reduce domestic supply. Among the energy roadblocks his administration has thrown up:

Quotes from The Patriot Post www.patriotpost.us/subscribe/
"As the national income grows, the federal government will ultimately end up with more revenues. Prosperity is the real way to balance our budget. By lowering tax rates, by increasing jobs and income, we can expand tax revenues and finally bring our budget into balance." --President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

"A society that robs an individual of the product of his effort, or enslaves him, or attempts to limit the freedom of his mind, or compels him to act against his own rational judgment ... is not, strictly speaking, a society, but a mob held together by institutionalized gang-rule." --author and philosopher Ayn Rand (1905-1982)

"Just how dire is the crisis over the $14,294,000,000,000 debt ceiling, which America will hit on about May 16? So dire that President Obama spent much of last week traipsing across the West collecting campaign cash (and hit the golf course for Round No. 65 on Saturday). So dire that Congress headed off on a two-week vacation (and Sen. Harry Reid jetted off to China on a 10-day junket with nine colleagues, costing taxpayers millions)." --former White House correspondent Joseph Curl

Hope? Nope. For Barack Obama, it'll be no more Mr. Nice Guy.
Excerpt: One other thing we expect is to start hearing about race again--not from the president himself so much as from his supporters, especially in the media. Here again, the message will be a negative one: not "Wouldn't it be cool to have a black president?" but, "If you vote to fire the first black president, you're racist." We saw this sort of appeal in 1993, when Rudy Giuliani sought to become the 111th white mayor of New York City. It wasn't enough to get David Dinkins re-elected, and it won't do the trick for Barack Obama. The president won't get re-elected without some help from the GOP.

On target: Cooling on Global Warming
Excerpt: "What the heck went wrong?" That, apparently, is the question roiling the environmental community as it realizes that the fight against climate change has fizzled. As Brad Plumer writes in the New Republic, everything was looking great in 2008 for a sweeping effort to make good on candidate Barack Obama's pledge to start turning back the rising oceans. The Democrats held Congress. Both John McCain and Obama had promised to push for capping carbon emissions. Corporations had gotten on board. Al Gore and "An Inconvenient Truth" had seemingly softened up the public to the point where it might go along with whatever a popular president promised. "Instead, the climate push was ... a total flop," laments Plumer.

More expensive energy won't make America richer
Excerpt: In a recent speech, President Obama defended his costly subsidies to "clean energy," yet, except for a reference to "green jobs," he offered no clear reason for treating these items as sacrosanct. So why does he cling so tenaciously to these programs? One thing is clear: His subsidies to clean energy production and use are not a plausible answer to climate change. For instance, one major thrust of these programs is to mix corn-based ethanol with gasoline. But that effort shrinks global food supplies. As the world struggles to replace the corn that is going into U.S. gas tanks, demand for land on which to plant food crops grows. The pressure to fell tropical rain forests rises with it. Such forests store carbon dioxide, a major warming gas, and cutting them down releases the CO2. Thus, if using corn ethanol as fuel lowers warming emissions a bit at home, it also raises them abroad. The net effect on the rate of climate change can only be trivial. And the president has never shown that this or any of his other big subsidy schemes would have a discernible direct impact on global climate.

Ryan being boosted by Obama's opposition
Excerpt: Faced with a fork in the road, President Obama and the Democrats have decided to take it, trying to do two things at once: rekindle the glow of the 2008 rapture, and recapture the rage of the town halls a year later, and unleash it, this time for their side.
Phase one is not going brilliantly, as one can run on Hope and Change only once in one's lifetime, and after that Change means voting oneself out of office.
Phase two -- the hope that the Medicare-cutting plan advanced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan will kindle the rage-in-reverse that Obamacare once did -- may also be problematic.

Kicking class warfare to the curb
Excerpt: In order to promote his class warfare-driven policies, Obama repeatedly extols a notion of “shared sacrifice.” (Translation: The “rich” aren’t funneling enough of their cash to the federal government.) As noted by The Heritage Foundation, “The top 1 percent of income earners paid 38 percent of all federal income taxes in 2008, while the bottom 50 percent paid only 3 percent. Forty-nine percent of U.S. households paid no federal income tax at all.” In April of 2010, the AP reported, “Less noticed were tax cuts for low- and middle-income families, which were expanded when Obama signed the massive economic recovery package last year. The result is a tax system that exempts almost half the country from paying for programs that benefit everyone, including national defense, public safety, infrastructure and education. It is a system in which the top 10 percent of earners — households making an average of $366,400 in 2006 — paid about 73 percent of the income taxes collected by the federal government.” Does that sound like a system in which the top earners haven’t been sharing the sacrifice?

The DC Morning: The Donald Demanded a Gig in Obama's White House, Likes to Write Checks to the DNC
Excerpt: If he decides to run, Television’s Donald Trump will be the first Republican presidential candidate to have given more moolah to mainstream Democrats than to Republicans, and the second (after Jon Huntsman) to have entertained working for Obama. On the money front, Trump has given big bucks to Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), former Pennsylvania governor Edward G. Rendell, Rahm Emanuel, former senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), Rep. Charles B. Rangel (N.Y.), Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) and the late liberal lion Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.),” reports the Washington Post, which also has the other scoop: Trump asked David Axelrod if he could be in charge of the BP oil spill. “I know how to run big projects,” Trump reportedly said. “Why don’t you put me in charge?” The tent’s big, but it ain’t that big.

Update: Air America Host Arrested for Disrupting Allen West's Town Hall Event
The Civil Left. ~Bob. Excerpt: Local police arrested a woman who appears to be former liberal radio network Air America host Nicole Sandler while she was disrupting Rep. Allen West’s Tuesday town hall event in Fort Lauderdale and harassing the Congressman’s wife. According to video obtained by Florida blogger Javier Manjarres, known better online as The Shark Tank, police charged Sandler, who revealed her name on camera, with trespassing after they removed her from the event and she “continued her tirade and used an expletive to address a police officer.”

Brewer signs bill targeting union paycheck deductions
Probably meaningless. The union thugs will just threaten them to give. ~Bob. Excerpt: Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill meant to prevent labor unions from using members’ dues for political activities. The bill, SB 1365 prohibits any employer – whether a private business or a governmental entity – from taking money from employees’ paychecks to use for political purposes, unless authorized by the employee. Employees must provide annual authorization for such deductions under the bill. The law is aimed at preventing unions from funding political activities through dues and automatic deductions from employee paychecks. The Arizona Education Association, Arizona AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union and other labor unions opposed the bill, which was strongly supported by conservatives and business interests, such as the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Americans for Prosperity and Intel.

YouTube and Vlad Tepes
The Jihad against free speech goes on. ~Bob. Excerpt: I've frequently featured or linked to the Vlad Tepes counter-jihad website here on my blog. I go to Vlad’s site because it is always a treasure-trove of information and videos about what’s really going on inside the World of Islam - items that you will never read or watch on Good Morning, America or on CNN’s nightly news. Tonight I made my regular trip over there and found an announcement that YouTube has shut down Vlad’s video account, purportedly over a video copyright violation issue that is over six months old and, according to Vlad, should be moot. However, I am also informed via an e-mail that there is a move on within the cyber-space war zone to shut down several counter-jihad websites by repeatedly flagging them as offensive. The al-Shamikh forum, which Vlad tells me is a password-protected Muslim jihad site, has apparently issued a fatwa against three counter-jihad sites - one of which is Vlad Tepes. They call themselves The Jihad Smack-Down Crew. Vlad Tepes is one of them. And they’re all on the jihad hit-list.

EPA abuses the permit process for an icebreaker
Excerpt: Shell announced today, for now, it must end a project to drill for oil off the coast of Northern Alaska, because of a decision made by an EPA appeals board to deny permits to acknowledge that Shell will meet air quality requirements. This is not part of ANWR. (...) Talk about moving the goalposts. They must have been really desperate to cancel this project given that this was the best straight-faced excuse they could muster. Not only do you have to be below the legally required emission limits but you must also not even be “close” to the limits, as defined by unelected officials, one of whom is a former attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund. (Here’s a little more detail on the other day’s report that the EPA refused an “air quality permit” to Shell, forcing the shutdown of a proposed drilling site in the Arctic Ocean. I wonder if the Russians will be as cautious along their Arctic shores? I also wonder if the Obama administration will loan them money and promise to buy their oil? Why not? That’s what we’re doing in the southern Caribbean. Ron P.)

Pinal County inmate says he attacked guard to stay in jail
Excerpt: A 26-year-old Yuma man waiting to be released from the Pinal County Adult Detention Center attacked a guard last week so he would remain in custody, the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday. Alexandro Guerrero told authorities that he was afraid the drug cartels were going to kill him if he was released, leading him to attack a detention officer, said sheriff's spokesman Tim Gaffney.

Outdoing Israel in brutality by Faisal Al Qasim
Noticing that the biggest danger to Muslims in the world is other Muslims. ~Bob. Excerpt: The Arab media has, for over half a century or so, strongly condemned Zionist crimes against the Palestinians and other Arab peoples. It has in actual fact provided a hell of a lot of satire on Zionist brutality, which is fair enough. But is the Arab media still able to satirise Israeli barbarism with the same vigour after it has witnessed what Arab dictators have done to their own people? Isn't it a bit silly to bombard the Israelis with criticism and keep quiet about savagery against unarmed demonstrators? An Israeli journalist remarked cynically about two decades ago that the Arab media can easily see a dust particle in the eyes of Israel, and can hardly see a log in the eyes of Arab regimes. In other words, the journalist wanted to expose Arab media hypocrisy, where it ignores the massacres committed by some Arab rulers. Funnily enough, comparing the number of Arab people killed during the wars between Israel and Arab countries with the number of Arabs killed locally, one will notice that Arab dictatorships have killed more people.

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