Saturday, June 18, 2011

Political Digest for June 18, 2011

The Coming Collapse of the American Republic
Info about my book. All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans. Please forward and post where possible.

Collapse book interview on the Rob Schilling Show
I'm scheduled to be interviewed about my book on Tuesday, 28th June from 1:15 pm EDT until 2:00 pm EDT (That's 12:15 pm CDT to 1:00 pm CDT). Also on the show will be Chet Nagle, author of The Iran Covenant and a former Naval Aviator and former CIA Agent. The show originates from Charlottesville, Virginia, home of the University of Virginia and streams live on the internet. You can get it on the "Listen Live" link at They welcome callers at (434) 977-1070 on their 'comment line.' Mark your calendars.

Worth reading: Thoughts on the Greek Madness
Anyone who has lived in Greece can see why the question of default or a “haircut” is not a matter of if, but when. It is a wonder that crazy things have lasted as long as they have there. The symptoms are well known: Tax evasion is now an art form and a matter of pride; pensions are absurd to the point of caricature; the public sector is self-righteous, bloated, and inefficient; and what little industry there is does not meet European standards of efficiency and productivity. Greece has a wonderful climate and rich soils, but few vast expanses of agricultural land, and farming has so many built-in cultural and political impediments that vine, tree, grain, or cotton agricultural productivity lags far behind comparable farming in the states, Australia, or western Europe. All this unfolds amid a landscape of a naturally beautiful, but otherwise largely resource-poor country, whose majestic disparate terrain poses enormous problems for communications, transportation, and infrastructure. Tourism, EU membership, and the Olympics all brought scarce capital to the country, but not enough to match a rising entitlement attitude among the public that can in a nanosecond adduce all sorts of complicated and Byzantine arguments why the standard of living in Greece must be roughly comparable to that found in a Germany or Scandinavia — or else.

Excerpt: The message in Coughlin's thesis, "To Our Great Detriment", is principally that ignoring so major a doctrine based ideology as Islam and refusing to consider it's potential for motivating it's followers is foolish. This is especially true when the enemy you are about to engage or the people you are about to surround your Warriors with, are uniformly beholding to that ideology. No one can deny that Islam is the predominate religion of Afghanistan to the tune of 99+%. No one can deny that Allah is their God. No one can deny that they all submit to Jihad, and live by the doctrines like Taqiyya and Kitman. If this is true then why the aversion to doing what men have done since the dawn of warfare; study the enemy and his doctrines?

Excerpt: Hamas is reporting record turnouts for its summer camps for children in 2011. The 'summer camps,' combining Islamic indoctrination, paramilitary training, and social activities are set to begin again this year as United Nation’s summer camps, considered competition by Hamas, are being openly denigrated by jihadists. Children and adolescents are an important target demographic for Hamas, from which its future army of terrorists will be recruited. Summer camps are an important means for indoctrinating Gaza's youth with Hamas' jihadist ideology.

3/5 Sangin deployment (Two Parts)
Dark Horse in Afghanistan. Powerful and sad. Bonnie and I attended services for one of these Marines who was from Illinois. ~Bob.

US pays European groups $1 million to hunt for anti-aircraft missiles in Libya
Excerpt: The U.S. is paying two European mine-clearing groups nearly $1 million to hunt and destroy portable anti-aircraft missiles on Libya’s battlefields to prevent the weapons from being used by terrorists against passenger airlines abroad. U.S. and United Nations officials say the action comes after American and allied authorities made it clear to Libyan opposition figures that their cooperation on the missile launchers would be a factor in future assistance. The move does not ease concerns about caches of mostly Russian-built anti-aircraft launchers and missiles still in the hands of Moammar Gadhafi’s forces.

Tim Pawlenty goes after Mitt Romney, part two
Excerpt: Later, Pawlenty added: “I don’t think you can prosecute the political case against President Obama if you are a co-conspirator in one of the main charges against the president on a political level.”

Which State Is Most Free?
Illinois is 41, no surprise. ~Bob. Excerpt: Freedom in the 50 States, a study from the Mercatus Institute, comprehensively ranks the American states on their public policies that affect individual freedoms in the economic, social and personal spheres. Mercatus' approach to measuring freedom in the states is unique in three respects: (1) it includes measures of social and personal freedoms such as peaceable citizens' rights to educate their own children, to own and carry firearms, and to be free from unreasonable search and seizure; (2) it incorporates more than 150 distinct public policies; and (3) it is particularly careful to measure fiscal policies in a way that reflects the true cost of government to the citizen. The overall freest states in the country are New Hampshire and South Dakota, which together achieve a virtual tie for first place, while New York is the least free by a considerable margin. On personal freedom alone, Oregon comes first, with Vermont and Nevada not too far behind, and Maryland brings up the rear. On economic freedom alone, South Dakota easily takes first and New York is a distant last. The most improved states since the last edition of the study are Oregon, Nevada, Maine and Washington, while Wyoming, California, Arizona and Massachusetts have fallen the furthest. Two of the most intriguing findings are that Americans are voting with their feet and moving to states with more economic and personal freedom, and that economic freedom correlates with income growth.

Auditing Access to Specialty Care for Children with Public Insurance
Expansions of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) are designed to extend access to high-quality medical care to all U.S. children.1-3 However, evidence suggests that the 37 million children covered by Medicaid–CHIP4,5 are less likely to receive specialty care than children covered by commercial insurance.6-13 Children covered by Medicaid–CHIP may face greater barriers to specialist care as a result of fewer resources within their families, including lower levels of income, education, language proficiency, and health literacy.14 Another possible explanation for disparities is that specialists choose not to accept public insurance.15 In contrast to patient-related or family-related barriers, which are less malleable to change, provider-related barriers are potentially modifiable through health care policies.16 To date, research on children’s access to specialty care has not adequately distinguished between provider-related barriers and patient-related ones.

As Promised, Free Trade Agreements Deliver More Trade: Manufacturing Exports Receive an Extra Boost
Excerpt: As Congress and the administration decide the fate of pending free-trade agreements (FTAs) with Korea, Panama, and Colombia, advocates and opponents will likely point to the experience of other recent bilateral and regional trade deals to support their positions. In the past decade, FTAs with 14 other nations have been signed, approved, and enacted, providing evidence to evaluate the effects of such agreements on bilateral trade flows. After a hiatus in the 1990s, a number of free-trade agreements have been enacted in the past decade. The U.S. government entered into an FTA with Jordan in December 2001, an agreement first negotiated by the Clinton administration. After Congress approved trade promotion authority during the Bush administration in 2002, the United States entered FTAs with Chile and Singapore in January 2004, Australia in January 2005, Morocco and Bahrain in January 2006, El Salvador in March 2006, Honduras and Nicaragua in April 2006, Guatemala in July 2006, the Dominican Republic in March 2007, Costa Rica and Oman in January 2009, and Peru in February 2009.1 Collectively, these countries accounted for $96.4 billion in U.S. goods exports in 2010 and $71.3 billion in imports. If these 14 nations were considered a single economic unit, they would collectively be America's third largest export market, and our sixth largest source of imports.2

Man Suspected of Carrying Ammonium Nitrate in Backpack Taken into Custody near Pentagon
Excerpt: The incident began when a man -- believed to be a naturalized US citizen who came to the US from Ethiopia -- was found in the nearby Arlington National Cemetery overnight Thursday. The man was arrested at the scene. US Park Police then searched for the man's vehicle. A short time later, a car was located near the Pentagon. Several roads near the Pentagon were blocked off as law enforcement agencies including the FBI, the US Park Police, and the Pentagon Police rushed to the scene. A Pentagon Police spokesman said that an explosives team was also called in to investigate the vehicle. (Care to give odds on whether or not he’s a Baptist? Ron P.)

Reports Say Suspicious Pentagon Man May be Marine, Referenced al Qaeda
As long as you can’t screen Muslims for their views, due to PC concerns, you will have Jihadists in the military. ~Bob. Excerpt: The man was identified as Yonathan Melaku, 22, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Ethiopia, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Investigators and bomb-sniffing dogs were sifting through his family’s home in Fairfax County, Va. According to Fox News, Melaku is a Lance Corporal Marine reservist and also a Muslim

Al-Qaida Leadership Reborn
Excerpt: Al-Qaida has announced that Ayman al-Zawahiri, the former No. 2 of the organization, is the new permanent head of the organization. The announcement also functioned as the mission statement for his new leadership, affirming key al-Qaida plans and emphasizing some previously neglected points. "[T]he best of fulfillment for the pious martyrs… and of Shaykh Mujahid Usama bin Laden… would be to continue on the path of Jihad for the cause of Allah," the group said in a statement posted to the Ansar al-Mujahideen, and translated by the NEFA Foundation. "The General Command for Qaidat al-Jihad Group—after finishing the discussion—announces that Shaykh Dr. Abu Muhammad Ayman al-Zawahiri is undertaking of responsibility of Amir of the group." As quickly as al-Qaida announced its new leader, the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff pledged he will meet the same fate as bin Laden. "There is not a surprise from my perspective that he's moved into that position," Admiral Mike Mullen told journalists. "He and his organization are still threatening us, and as we did both seek to capture and kill -- and succeed in killing -- bin Laden, we certainly will do the same thing with Zawahiri."

Historic Marine Base Gets 1st-Ever Female General
Excerpt: Parris Island, S.C. – For the first time in its 96-year history, a female general will lead the famed Marine Corps training installation at South Carolina's Parris Island.
The Marine Corps says Brig. Gen. Loretta Reynolds will take charge of the depot Friday. The one-star Naval Academy graduate is taking command from Brig. Gen. Frederick Padilla, who will lead the 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan. Reynolds has been a Marine for 24 years. She's also going to be in charge of Marines' Eastern Recruiting Region, which covers the 23 states east of the Mississippi River. She has been a communications officer and commanded Marines from platoon to battalion levels.

Easterbrook on the potential demise of sunspots
Excerpt: Glaciers all over the world advanced and pack ice extended southward in the North Atlantic. Glaciers in the Alps advanced and overran farms and buried entire villages. The Thames River and canals and rivers of the Netherlands frequently froze over during the winter. New York Harbor froze in the winter of 1780 and people could walk from Manhattan to Staten Island. Sea ice surrounding Iceland extended for miles in every direction, closing many harbors. The population of Iceland decreased by half and the Viking colonies in Greenland died out in the 1400s because they could no longer grow enough food there. In parts of China, warm weather crops that had been grown for centuries were abandoned. In North America, early European settlers experienced exceptionally severe winters. So what can we learn from the Maunder? Perhaps most important is that the Earth’s climate is related to sunspots. The cause of this relationship is not understood, but it definitely exists. The second thing is that cooling of the climate during sunspot minima imposes great suffering on humans—global cooling is much more damaging than global warming. (Easterbrook, the author, has an impressive list of publications at the end of the article; he is a frequent guest poster at WUWT. The next 20 to 30 years should answer whether carbon-dioxide or the sun drives the climate more. Countries that have de-industrialized will either be big winners or big losers (depending on which is the driver), but they won’t remain close to even. Countries that have decided to “live with or adapt to climate change” should be fairly stable, but also have the advantage of not having wasted a large percentage of their effort “preventing the unpreventible.” For the warmists, this means they have to force their programs through as quickly as possible or perhaps see any chance of implementing them vanish. So, they won’t give us 20 – 30 years to see what happens, they’ll demand immediate action. Ron P.)

Senate advances measure to end ethanol tax credit
Standing up to Big Corn. The beginning of the end for another disaster brought to us by the Greenies? ~Bob. Excerpt: The Senate agreed Thursday to do away with an ethanol tax credit, a pivotal sign of waning support for industry subsidies amid mounting concerns over deficit spending and the nation's mounting debt. The 73-27 vote to advance the proposal drew support from across party lines as farm state senators found little backing for the tax break that government accountants have called duplicative and unnecessary. Still, ending the ethanol credit is unlikely to happen soon, as the legislation was attached to a stalled economic development bill.

Pelosi's wealth grows by 62 percent
Some people are doing well in this economy. ~Bob. Excerpt: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) saw her net worth rise 62 percent last year, cementing her status as one of the wealthiest members of Congress. Pelosi was worth at least $35.2 million in the 2010 calendar year, according to a financial disclosure report released Wednesday. She reported a minimum of $43.4 million in assets and about $8.2 million in liabilities. For 2009, Pelosi reported a minimum net worth of $21.7 million.

Why 'Green' Costs More
From The Patriot Post
People who run out and buy an electric car, such as the heavily federally subsidized Chevy Volt, probably believe that they're doing their small part to help the environment. But are they getting (or considering) the whole picture? Chances are that shiny new Volt is recharged by a coal-burning electrical plant. Coal has been used for decades to create electricity because it's cheap and reliable. Unfortunately, coal is allegedly -- as ecofascists constantly tell us -- "destroying the planet," so government policy is attempting to limit its use as much as possible via tough regulations. Faced with the prospect of expensive upgrades, utilities are responding by closing many of their coal-fired plants, thereby driving up the price of electricity. Experts predict that prices may jump up to 60 percent over the next three years as coal goes away and more expensive -- if any -- alternatives kick in. Barack Obama wasn't kidding when he said that "electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket" if he had his way. Indeed, that was his goal all along. There's more bad news for greenies. Not only will recharging the Volt become more expensive, but a new British study claims that an electric car's "carbon footprint" is almost equal to that of a conventionally powered one. When the manufacture and eventual replacement of the battery are factored in, the study found that electric cars actually produce just one ton less carbon over their lifespan than do gasoline-powered models -- a difference of just 4 percent. Finally, the Michigan-based Center for Automotive Research reports that Barack Obama's Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) mandate that autos average 62 mpg by 2025 "could force vehicle prices up by nearly $10,000, reduce sales by 5.5 million vehicles annually, and eliminate more than 260,000 jobs." So paying thousands more for an electric car -- even with government subsidy -- could make only a minimal impact on the environment, while costing hundreds of thousands of jobs. Yep, it sounds like yet another wise "investment" by those in charge.

Climate Change This Week: Warming? What Warming?
From The Patriot Post
A new study using NASA satellite data has shown that over the past 10 years, the temperature of the planet has not risen, despite the huge increase in carbon dioxide. The numbers punch yet another hole in the envirofascists' theory that a direct correlation exists between carbon emissions (and, by extension, human activity) and global warming.
To those who know that climate change "science" is closer to science fiction, this comes as no surprise.

Union Owned and Operated
Excerpt: "Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected," observed President Obama this week, enjoying a nice chuckle about the unhappy fate of his near-$1 trillion stimulus. To be sure, Obama has also been promoting a less amusing remedy for anemic growth and high unemployment: exports. In this year's State of the Union address, he proclaimed a national goal of doubling exports by 2014. One obvious way to increase exports is through free-trade agreements. But unions don't like them. No surprise then that for two years Obama has been sitting on three free-trade agreements -- with Colombia, Panama and South Korea -- already negotiated by his predecessor. Under the pressure of dire economic conditions and of the consequences of stiffing three valued allies, Obama appeared ready to relent -- only to put up a last-minute roadblock. He's demanding an expansion of Trade Adjustment Assistance -- taxpayer money (beyond unemployment compensation) given to workers displaced by foreign competition, something denied to Americans rendered unemployed by domestic competition. It's an idea of dubious fairness but nicely designed to hold up ratification, while placing blame on Republican heartlessness rather than on political sabotage by Democrats beholden to unions for the millions they pour into Democratic coffers. (A deal reportedly may be near. But the years of delay have been costly.)

Surprise! Tim Pawlenty Comes on Strong
Excerpt: In the wake of Monday evening's GOP Presidential debate, we have learned much about those who would lead us into the future. This campaign season already is shaping up to be one of the best in living memory. First of all, we must not listen to the media hacks who currently push two agendas: 1) that the GOP field is weak and has no ideas and 2) that Mitt Romney is our strongest candidate. How they would love to see their failed Messiah run against Mitt Romney, who carries the albatross around his neck -- RomneyCare. That boondoggle negates the artillery we gained through Obama's pigheaded insistence on passing Obamacare over the explicit and strenuous objections of the American people. How can the GOP fight Obamacare with a candidate whose own plan served as the model for it?

Why Is Weiner’s Muslim Brotherhood Wife Not Resigning?
Excerpt: Anthony Weiner resigned yesterday, unable to withstand the relentless pressure put on him for his sexting extravaganzas. Yet if an article written by former PLO terrorist-turned-Christian and Israel supporter Walid Shoebat (along with KTEM radio host Ben Barrack) is any indication, it may very well be that the wrong member of the family resigned. According to Arabic sources translated by Mr. Shoebat, Huma Abedin’s mother and brother are both associated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Ms. Abedin’s mother, Saleha Mahmoud Abdeen, is reportedly part of a special woman’s unit known as the Muslim Sisterhood or the International Women’s Organization (IWO) which, according to a counter-terrorism report obtained by the Terrorism Committee of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, operates within the Brotherhood in Egypt and possibly other Arab nations as well. The Egyptian newspaper Al-Dostor confirms that the Sisterhood includes 63 international members in 16 different countries.

Britain Admits Failure of Anti-Terrorism Program
Excerpt: The program’s strategy aimed to counter terrorist groups largely by funding so-called “moderate” Muslim organizations in an attempt to work jointly toward its goals. PREVENT also financed overseas operations that were allegedly designed to stem terrorist activity in the U.K. As it turned out, much of the program’s money went to support non-violent radical organizations that share the same hard-line Islamist ideology as Al-Qaeda and other terrorist entities. Further, the program’s emphasis on international projects merely wasted precious pounds and “diverted valuable resources” away from the prevention of home-grown terrorism, a growing concern in the U.K.

Philippines on alert over bomb plot
Excerpt: A top Asian terrorist suspect and the notorious Abu Sayyaf extremist group may have deployed militants to bomb targets in the Philippines' capital, according to a Philippine intelligence report seen by The Associated Press on Thursday. The threat remains unsubstantiated and comes from only one source, but the military and police are taking it seriously. Intelligence operatives fanned out in metropolitan Manila to thwart any attack, the report said.

"Gay Girl in Damascus" wasn't just a lie, it was pro-jihad leftist propaganda that included claims of Americans throwing dung at woman for wearing the hijab
Excerpt: After all, left-wing radicals don't throw dung, do they? We have noted a few times at this site that a curious hierarchical scheme emerges -- like a strange game of "rock, paper, scissors" -- when one finds the aims of fashionable left-wing causes such as feminism, gay rights, and campaigns against "Islamophobia" in competition with one another. That phenomenon is confirmed below in the discussion of "pink washing," "a term used by some anti-Israel critics to decry any attempt to compare Israel's treatment of gays with that of Arab states." Even for the fictional Levantine lesbian, the Islamic agenda absolutely trumps even basic personal safety for gay people.

A Shovel-Ready Punch Line
Excerpt: I'm sure they don't, but the fact that the president laid an egg when he tried to be self-deprecating isn't the scandal here. After all, Obama has pretty much said the same thing several times. In a New York Times magazine profile last October, the president admitted he had to learn the hard way that there's "no such thing as shovel-ready projects." This is a staggering indictment of the president, the team he assembled and the journalists who accepted this administration's arrogant assertions that they knew exactly what to do, how to do it, and what would happen as a result. Remember, this is the administration that to this day insists it is "pragmatic" and simply cares about "what works."

Despite Growing Concern, Democrats Ignore Islamic Radical Threats
Excerpt: At a House hearing on Muslim-American radicalization in prisons Wednesday, several Democrat members were anxious to focus on anything but the topic at hand, instead bringing up threats in prisons posed by "right-wing" radicals, gun possession, and gang members.

Operation Fast and Furious should end Holder tenure
Excerpt: Watergate cliches though they are, two questions beg to be asked about the exploding Fast and Furious scandal at the U.S. Department of Justice: What did Attorney General Eric Holder know and when did he know it concerning the underlying concept, operational protocols and legal status of the Operation Fast and Furious program in the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms bureau? Those questions gained special relevance Wednesday when four ATF agents testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and squarely contradicted a Feb. 4, 2011, claim by a department spokesman that DOJ did not approve of the program that sanctioned the illegal sale here in America by legitimate gun dealers of assault weapons to representatives of Mexican drug cartels. The idea behind the program was that the hundreds of firearms thus sold would then be traced from specific crimes, thus enabling prosecutions of the individuals involved.

Fed Up With Freeloaders
Excerpt: [T]here are other reasons, based on painful experience, for the new hesitancy to use U.S. military force. One is blowback, the whiplash recoil that inevitably follows even beneficial U.S. action. When Obama sent SEAL Team Six on that secret mission to kill Osama bin Laden, we so humiliated the Pakistani army its pro-American commander, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, could be ousted and replaced by officers hostile to the United States. Second, while the U.S. military has shown itself capable of taking down regimes, we have proven less capable of establishing replacement governments that are strong, stable and pro-American. And we have thus far not succeeded at the follow-up business of nation-building, despite the investment of hundreds of billion of dollars. Third, Americans are fed up with freeloaders, domestic and foreign.

A new paradigm for the Left?
Excerpt: If you compare the Carter malaise with the Obama debt doomsday machine, any GOP 2012 presidential candidate should sail to victory with greater facility than Ronald Reagan did in 1980. But will she or he? I am optimistic but also believe that in making his economic case, the Republican candidate will have different challenges because of the ongoing growth of our welfare state and the attitudes it has ushered in, along with heightened class warfare. We could be seeing a paradigm shift in the way people view their social compact with government. More and more people believe that government exists not just to perform essential services as delimited in the Constitution, but as a grand equalizer of economic outcomes.

Undocumented students could get financial aid under state DREAM Act
Driving the last few nails in the California fiscal coffin. ~Bob. Excerpt: Under a bill working its way through the state Legislature, some undocumented college students could get access to Cal Grants, institutional aid and fee waivers at publicly funded colleges.

Hotels Warned of 'Mumbai-Style' Terror Threat
As I say in The Coming Collapse of the American Republic, a simultaneous series of Mumbai-style attacks in the US seems to me to be a likely scenario. They could do a great deal of damage to our economy and society relatively cheaply and easily. I hope I’m wrong. ~Bob. Excerpt: Federal authorities are warning hotels in major U.S. cities to be vigilant after intelligence recently obtained in Somalia shows Al Qaeda was planning to launch a “Mumbai-style” attack on an upscale hotel in London, England, Fox News has learned exclusively. The intelligence came from computer accessories and other materials gathered at the checkpoint in Mogadishu where Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, the Al Qaeda operative who masterminded the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa, was killed Saturday, according to sources.

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