Saturday, August 13, 2011

Political Digest for August 13, 2011

Best older posts for new blog readers

Excerpt: Texas Gov. Rick Perry will make "a definitive announcement that he is in the 2012 race for the presidency Saturday," aides told Fox News.

Appeals court strikes down health overhaul requirement that most Americans must buy insurance
Excerpt: A federal appeals court panel on Friday struck down the requirement in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul package that virtually all Americans must carry health insurance or face penalties. The divided three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the so-called individual mandate, which is considered the centerpiece of the law, siding with 26 states that had sued to block the law. But the panel didn’t go as far as a lower court that had invalidated the entire overhaul as unconstitutional.

London Riots: How Some Residents Burned Their Own Community
Excerpt: It took 140 years to build up the House of Reeves furniture store, but only a few hours to destroy it. On Aug. 9, the morning after arsonists left the Croydon landmark in ruins, its owner put on a brave face for reporters. "It's been there since 1867, survived two wars, a depression. Yet the community seems to have burned it down," Maurice Reeves told news crews. "I'm 80 years old. It was my wedding anniversary yesterday. I don't know how I'm here today, but I am." On Aug. 10, Reeves paced around the wreckage - red bricks charred black, wooden planks split like toothpicks - but kept his eyes glued to the asphalt. Then, when a yellow bulldozer emblazoned with the word "Demolition" pulled up, Reeves walked away. For a town recovering from the worst violence since bombs rained down during World War II, the destruction of the House of Reeves symbolizes the mindless thuggery that engulfed Croydon as well as cities and towns across England. Millions watched the Croydon blaze grow larger on live television; police couldn't ensure that the mob wouldn't attack the fire crews, so the firefighters were delayed and arrived too late to save the store. … It's more of a statement than a question, and underscores the skepticism many have about the police's ability to control the country's youth. "The police were absolutely useless," says Malcolm Carter, a street sweeper who has spent much of the past two days cleaning up the mess. "Two hundred kids ruled the police in Croydon. The police are scared of them." Sure, 16,000 police swelled the streets of London on Aug. 9 - up from 6,000 the previous night. And it's now clear that the show of force helped reinstate a degree of calm. But when police ranks inevitably thin, vigilantes may need to keep the peace using chains and cricket bats. On the two nights after the fire, up to 50 men assembled at a pub in Croydon at sunset to prepare for the worst. "If they come down here, they'll be at them," Carter says. "They're going to do what the police won't and take the law into their own hands. (Why would the police risk their lives, knowing the government is more likely to try them than the thugs? In ten years it will be shoot to kill, and hanging looters on the spot. You heard it here first. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: How the liberals ruined Britain
Excerpt: So now the chickens have well and truly come home terrifyingly to roost. The violent anarchy that has taken hold of British cities is the all-too-predictable outcome of a three-decade liberal experiment which tore up virtually every basic social value. The married two-parent family, educational meritocracy, punishment of criminals, national identity, enforcement of the drugs laws and many more fundamental conventions were all smashed by a liberal intelligentsia hell-bent on a revolutionary transformation of society. Those of us who warned over the years that they were playing with fire were sneered at and smeared as right-wing nutters who wanted to turn the clock back to some mythical golden age.

England Used to Be a Country of Men: Something has changed in the English character.
Excerpt: With London succumbing to looters and muggers, it’s time to ask what happened to the once-manly English people. The August 9 issue of the Daily Mail, for example, includes a photo of a young man taking off his pants on the street as an impatient looter waits with the emasculated Briton’s sneakers and shirt already in his hands. Luckily the feeble Englishman chooses boxers over briefs, but I can’t help wondering if men such as T. E. Lawrence, Winston Churchill, or Lord Acton could have stomached the state of manliness in this generation of Englishmen. … So I used a largely forgotten piece of history that always makes Englishmen blush: After Dunkirk in May of 1940, only the British Navy, an outnumbered British air corps, and about 20 miles of water protected the English people from German invasion. In their retreat back to England, the British forces lost much of their firearms and weaponry; meanwhile, gun-control laws passed after World War I had mostly disarmed British civilians, leaving the English people helpless. Aware of their plight, a group of Americans, headed by C. Suydam Cutting, established the “American Committee for Defense of British Homes,” a group that ran an ad in the National Rifle Association’s official journal American Rifleman that read in part: “Send a Gun to Defend a British Home.” The NRA subsequently sent more than 7,000 private arms to England. The U.S. military, of course, sent many more. Winston Churchill said, “We had become a hornet’s nest. Anyhow, if we had to go down fighting . . . a lot of our men and women had weapons in their hands.”

Forced to strip naked in the street: Shocking scenes as rioters steal clothes and rifle through bags as people make their way home
Excerpt: This picture shows the shocking depths the thugs were prepared to plumb – stealing the clothes from a man’s back. The taller, broader man already holds a pair of white and green trainers and a white T-shirt in his hands. Now, it seems, he wants the trousers too. The shorter man dutifully removes his jeans, leaving only his dark blue underpants and his white socks.

Excerpt: Thousands of pages have already been written in explication of the British rioting and (quite lesser incidence of) American flash mobbing. If one combines these analyses with direct news accounts, op-eds, Youtube confessionals, and official government pronouncements describing constantly changing strategies, I think one can draw three disinterested conclusions. 1. Material well-being is now defined in relative rather than absolute terms. That is, poverty means lacking the opportunities afforded the 21st-century upper middle classes, not in being deprived, in a Dickensian sense, of food (obesity, not hunger, is a Western epidemic), shelter, hot water, or access to transportation. 2. There is a natural assumption that inequality is attributable to oppression of some sort, rather than luck, fate, circumstances of birth, hard work, education, and all the multitude of complex factors that determine that a few work for $200 an hour and far more earn $20 or less.

England riots: Are brooms the symbol of the resistance?
A more positive story, but they didn’t win the Battle of Britain by sweeping up after the raids. They have to go after the anti-British barbarian invaders. ~Bob. Excerpt: After the rioting every night this week, the news headlines told a bleak story of communities under attack. But hours later locals wearing wellies and washing up gloves were reclaiming the streets with brooms, bin bags and dustpans. The fightback has been co-ordinated by the Twitter campaign #riotcleanup, launched by Dan Thompson and Sophie Collard, two strangers who were united by a shared sense of outrage at the scenes of devastation. "The most shocking thing was the TV footage of fires spreading across London," says Thompson, an artist in Worthing. "The pictures of the furniture warehouse in Croydon burning was like something out of the Blitz." The response to the Twitter campaign was dramatic. By the following morning crowds of people had gathered in riot-affected areas like Clapham Junction and Hackney. When London Mayor Boris Johnson went to inspect the damage in Clapham Junction, the crowd chanted "where's your broom" and one was soon pushed into his hand.

Police furious at sentences handed out to young rioters despite Cameron's vow they will pay the price
Excerpt: Police are disappointed with sentences being handed out to the rioters that have brought chaos to England's streets, senior chiefs have revealed. David Cameron has insisted that anyone involved in the violent unrest of recent days will feel the full force of the law, regardless of their age. But Deputy Assistant Commissioner Stephen Kavanagh has admitted some his officers in London are unhappy with the punishments they have been given. Child looters are being freed and allowed to return home to their families - and because of their age the law dictates their identities have to be protected. (Contrast the sentences -- or lack thereof -- given to the rioters per this article shown below to the imprisonment of Norman Scarth, an 80+ year old WW II hero, simply for recording in court (which he had been allowed to do previously -- then he had merely submitted a request to the judge and was granted permission). Norman was sentenced for being a dissident. Real criminals -- the Lumpenproletariate -- get a slap on the wrist. That is how Marxist dictatorships often work. It is clear that European nations are no longer part of the "free" world -- whatever that has come to mean. Let me spell it out: the only REAL crime left in Europe is opposing the elites publicly in such a way that the Ruling Class could lose some of its sway over people's minds. Rioters are politically unaware and only riot out of a vague sense of disenfranchisement. Otherwise, they are inarticulate, so they are no threat to the powers that be, which can easily persuade the bovine masses that they are "protecting" them simply by making speeches and press releases that make them seem tough. Pure posturing. Protecting the innocent from dangerous rioters who senselessly burn buildings and throw rocks at the police is no longer the role of government. David Cameron, like Barack Obama, is ONLY there to lie skillfully to the public and keep them docile -- an increasingly easy job as Westerners are dumbed down to near earthworm level. Western governments have lost the ability to govern. In the long run, that may prove to be a blessing. --Don Hank)

Petition: Free WW II hero Norman Scarth from prison
Norman Scarth was recording in court because he is hard of hearing. In that past he had received permission to do so. This time he was unable to reach the judge in time with his request. Because Norman is a dissident who states what most already know, namely, that the EU is a dictatorship (the incarceration of an octogenarian war vet is solid evidence of that), he is being punished for speaking out. He has been locked up with serious offenders. His "crime" hardly calls for that. Please sign this petition for Norman's immediate release. --Don Hank

London's Islington borough was the exemplar of leftist Britain. Now it's up in smoke.
Excerpt: In April 1993, black teenager Stephen Lawrence was stabbed to death at a bus stop in south London. The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) bungled the investigation, and by 1997 Britain's new Labour government announced a judicial inquiry into the matter. The report was published in 1999 and found that "institutional racism affects the MPS, and police services elsewhere." It also made recommendations aimed at "the elimination of racist prejudice and disadvantage and the demonstration of fairness in all aspects of policing." Since then the country's police services have been suffering a public nervous breakdown, quaking at every public-relations setback and buckling under mounting restrictions on their ability to do their jobs. The Metropolitan Police is also leaderless, its commissioner having resigned last month in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal. (Same thing is coming here) What has happened to the British police in the last decade is a textbook example of how to wreck an institution. In November 2010, when students and anarchists took to the streets in protest of rising tuition fees, they vandalized property and smashed the Conservative Party's headquarters. The police seemed unable to stop them. A couple of nights ago a member of the public in an affluent London neighborhood accosted a group of rioters. They beat him into traction while a policeman looked on. He had apparently called for backup and could not do anything until it arrived. Dysfunction does not only permeate Britain's police force. It applies to most of Britain's institutions, from schools to social services to local governments.

West Allis Police release timeline detailing incidents at State Fair
Excerpt: The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department released 911 audio from the opening night of State Fair. These tapes display the graphic details of the attacks, some of which were racially motivated. We also spoke with someone who could put that part of the story in perspective. Most callers tell dispatchers they see a racially motivated melee. One caller told dispatchers, "A whole bunch of black dudes f----- jumped on me. I'm bleeding all over. West Allis Police recently released a statement on what took place at State Fair on opening night. They say there are currently nine assaults, one robbery without a weapon and one attempted robbery with a weapon being investigated. (Trust the media to interview a former White Power guy for balance. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: Brotherly love from Philly’s mayor
Excerpt: Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia was true to his word when he took to the pulpit at Mount Carmel Baptist Church and prefaced his remarks: “I’m going to say some things this morning that I know from time to time many of you think, but may not say. They will not be PC.” He proceeded to unloose a 25-minute speech that must rank among the most brutally forthright calls for personal responsibility and adult authority that an elected official has ever delivered in these United States. Philadelphia has been beset by “flash mobs,” roving bands of teenagers who descend on innocent bystanders to beat and rob them in a miniature version of the senseless destruction that has engulfed London. Urban violence always occasions tawdry excuse-making under the guise of a search for “root causes.” With a pungent plain-spokenness, Nutter zeroed in on the true root causes -- irresponsible parents and their ignorant, slovenly and undisciplined kids. “Parents,” Nutter said, “get your act together. Get it together, right now!” On the cusp of officially announcing a new curfew for teens that will bring potential sanctions for the parents of violators, he warned neglectful parents: “You’re going to find yourself spending some quality time with your kids in jail, together.” And that was practically the warm-and-fuzzy portion of his presentation. He had scorching words for absent fathers in a city with an astronomical black illegitimacy rate: “You’re not a father just because you have a kid, or two, or three.” If you’re not providing moral instruction to your children and instead are sending child-support payments, “You’re just a human ATM.” If you’re doing neither, “You’re just a sperm donor.

Troubled Waters: Why China's Navy Makes Asia Nervous
Excerpt: Macau's harbor was never deep enough for the Varyag. The orphaned warship of a former superpower, with its distinct ski-jump-like bow for launching planes, wound up instead in the northeastern Chinese port city of Dalian. There, it has slowly been transformed into the first aircraft carrier of a future superpower. Now the world has a new set of concerns about the former Varyag. On Aug. 10 the newly refurbished carrier set sail from Dalian for its first sea trial. Its casino cover story long discarded, the ship will enter a wager with decidedly higher stakes: the projection of China's military power on the high seas.

As The World Burns, Obama Blames Israel
Excerpt: After the bloodiest day ever in Afghanistan, the first downgrade of U.S. credit in history, the Dow crashing and England run riot, it's comforting to know Obama is focused on what's really wrong: Jews building homes in Jerusalem. Commentary reports: "Obama Renews Assault on Jewish Jerusalem" "The Obama administration renewed its attack on Jewish Jerusalem today by formally condemning the construction of apartments in part of the city. The approval last week of a housing project in the Har Homa neighborhood of the city was blasted by the State Department as being contrary to the peace process and an impediment to the renewal of negotiations with the Palestinians." Given Obama's disastrous week, I expect President Palin will be in Jerusalem to celebrate the opening of these much-needed new homes.

Who is the focus at this dignified transfer?
Excerpt: “A White House photographer (the only photographer there) was allowed to take and widely distribute a photo from the ceremony Tuesday for the return of the remains of 30 American troops killed in a weekend helicopter crash in Afghanistan despite the Pentagon's claim that any public depiction of the scene would violate the wishes of bereaved families.” Under the Pentagon policy spelled out in March 2009, the option to allow media access is explained to family members when they are notified of their loved one's death, and "primary next of kin will make the family decision regarding media access to dignified transfers at Dover." I have to ask the obvious question apparently. If the Pentagon respected the requests of the family members (19 out of the 30) that didn’t want the event photographed, why didn’t the White House respect those 19 family members’ requests? The photograph wasn’t of “caskets” but it was of the President and was posted on the White House website as the "Photo of the Day." It showed Obama and other officials in silhouette and did not depict caskets, family members or anything that brought respect to those fallen. Was the White House photographer there to focus on the heroes killed in action and the event at hand or was this a staged event that was focused on the POTUS?
Suggested letter to your local paper
From Paul, a blog reader: Dear Editor: I’ve been – like most Americans – following the debt limit fiasco in Disneyland East (Washington, DC) since it began many weeks ago all the way to its typical political “solution” last week, followed by S & P’s downgrade of our debt (U. S. Treasury issues) from AAA to AA+. For the last 4-5 days, though, when I wake up (and before I have my morning coffee), I have this strange feeling that, overnight, I must have slipped into an alternate universe. It seems like – just the night before – when I went to bed, the continual television news “winners-losers” competition about the debt limit increase, followed by the downgrade, had the GOP House at a slight lead in the competition, followed by the Democratic Senate, with President Obama equally on the same negative level as his Senate. When I woke up this morning and turned on my cable news, after hearing what I thought I heard, I knew that, somehow, I had been transported to an alternate universe. Where before, the GOP was regarded as the only group on capitol hill who had the real solution to solving the burgeoning U. S. debt problem, who maintained that the increasing debt load wasn’t because of not enough revenue (taxes), but, instead, was the result of our government spending and spending way too much money. The GOP-controlled House had also prepared their own well-thought-out budget, which was immediately tabled by Sen. Reid in the Senate. Instead, now I’m hearing that the budget deal could have been reached much more quickly if the GOP hadn’t been so obstructionist, and we wouldn’t have a debt downgrade if it wasn’t for the GOP and the Tea Party. What happened? When I went to bed, Sen. Reid, majority leader of the Democratic majority in the U. S. Senate, had done nothing but refuse to bring to a vote or table anything that originated from the House GOP majority to reduce spending and begin to build to balanced budgets within ten years, without a tax increase. The Senate never even suggested generalities of what they’d like to see and was never specific about anything. Even the bi-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), when asked about the President’s plan, responded by saying, “We can’t score a campaign speech.” The American people have got to wake up, become much more well informed about our U. S. budget deficit, and then vote next November of 2012 to elect a President and more House and Senate members who will vote for what’s best for our country, not just for their re-election and their Party. --YOUR NAME

Bachmann Is For Real: Connecting with crowds as she heads into the straw poll
Excerpt: Things look different in the Midwest. Back in Washington, people are talking about Pres. Barack Obama’s poor showing this past week. (Did you see that Maureen Dowd has turned against him?) In Iowa, they’re focused on the state Republicans’ presidential straw poll in Ames next Saturday. And in Wisconsin, they just got through counting the votes in a recall election that has great national significance. In Iowa, most of the focus has been on Rep. Michele Bachmann. She’s only in her third term in the House, and she hasn’t sponsored any major legislation; she has no executive experience in government. Her Iowa headquarters, in a suburban shopping mall near a Panera Bread cafe, opened only two months ago. But the buzz is that she has a serious chance to come in first in the straw poll — and far ahead of her Minnesota neighbor, former governor Tim Pawlenty, who several months ago seemed destined to carry Iowa.

We Don’t Need Another George W. Bush
Last Saturday, Texas Governor Rick Perry unofficially launched his 2012 Presidential candidacy in Houston (in my opinion). Speculation is he will officially announce his intentions this weekend in South Carolina. If he does declare his candidacy, many election-watchers say Perry will become the GOP frontrunner, due to an extremely weak field of declared candidates. If Perry does declare his candidacy, everyone will know that the Houston event was staged for the purpose of launching his Presidential bid, rhetoric to the contrary notwithstanding. If Perry declares his candidacy (and I’m confident he will), people should also realize that the Houston event was a precursor to the type of campaign that Perry will use throughout the Republican primary season. As a fellow Texan, it was not lost on Rick Perry how George W. Bush obtained the Republican nomination--and eventually the White House. In short, Rick Perry is going to use the G.W. Bush model to win a Presidential election. Think about it: G.W. Bush won the White House after an extremely unpopular liberal Democrat had been President. Barack Obama’s popularity is even lower than Bill Clinton’s was--and Clinton was only the second President in US history to ever be impeached!

They’re not all here to work
Excerpt: For years, we have been told by politicians such as Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), former President George W. Bush and current President Barack Obama that illegal aliens are just here “doing the jobs that Americans won’t do.” Open-border advocates continue to make this absurd claim even as actual unemployment in this country approaches 20 percent. While it is true that many illegal aliens are working, it is also true that by doing so, they are in fact, taking a job away from an American. In many cases, they have also stolen a citizen’s identity to take that job from an unscrupulous employer. However, far too many of those who cross into this country illegally do so to commit heinous crimes against the American people. On Monday, the U.S. Border Patrol arrested three previously deported Mexican nationals with serious criminal histories in the Arizona desert.

USPS proposes cutting 120,000 jobs, pulling out of health-care plan
Excerpt: In an attempt to stem its financial hemorrhaging, the U.S. Postal Service is seeking to reduce its workforce by 20 percent, including through layoffs now prohibited by union contracts. USPS also wants to withdraw its employees from the health and retirement plans that cover federal staffers and create its own benefit programs for postal employees. This major restructuring of the Postal Service’s relationship with its workforce would need congressional approval and would face fierce opposition from postal unions. But if approved, eliminating contract provisions that prevent layoffs and quitting the federal employee health and retirement programs could have ramifications for workers across the government and throughout the national’s labor movement.

Betting the French credit rating drops next
Excerpt: It was only a matter of time. Paddy Power, which calls itself “Ireland’s largest bookmaker,” is out with a betting line on which country will be next to have its credit rating downgraded by Standard & Poor’s. The bookies say France is the “early favorite” to get whacked, offering 2-1 odds Thursday that the rating agency will drop France down to AA+ from AAA. Paddy Power put the French in the top spot apparently after President Nicolas Sarkozy came out and insisted that no downgrade was imminent. (A fine vote of confidence in Sarkozy.) “Early betting trends suggest that France could be next in the firing line,” the bookmaker said, “but the USA downgrade shows that no country is safe.”

Michele Bachmann: Still standing
Excerpt: Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) faced her first major test as the Iowa frontrunner at Thursday’s debate, and with just two days to go before the Ames Straw Poll, she came out of it with some battle scars but still retaining her frontrunner status. Bachmann had both good and bad moments during the debate, as a few of her competitors — and even a moderator — made it a point to make her an issue. Overall, she came out of the debate still looking like the frontrunner in the straw poll, but certainly not bulletproof when it comes to the caucuses several months down the road.

The High Cost of Public Employee Health Benefits
Excerpt: In light of budget deficits and the need to identify ways to reduce spending in states across the United States, public discussion has increasingly focused on health care costs for public employees. Much of that discussion has focused on the relatively low share of insurance premiums paid by government workers when compared with their private-sector counterparts. Although this is a real phenomenon, it is not the only, or even the most important, reason for high health insurance costs, says Josh Barro, the Walter B. Wriston Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Among the reasons identified for the cost differences are: Public employees contribute less to their premiums -- an average of about 15 percent of the overall premium, compared with about 25 percent in the private sector. Public employee plans offer more generous benefits, including lower deductibles and lower copayments. Governments require shorter enrollment waiting periods for new employees than in the private sector. Public employees have higher opt-in rates for employer-provided coverage: 26 percent of private-sector workers choose not to participate in available employer health plans, while just 16 percent of government workers chose not to. Realigning government-employee contributions to match those of the private sector could save taxpayers millions of dollars a year. However, this simple approach does not bend the cost curve over time -- benefits will still continue to grow astronomically -- and further, it will understandably upset workers by reducing their take-home pay. Barro recommends instead that governments work more broadly to reduce their spending on health benefits -- including by reducing the overall cost of plans offered to employees. 

Shortening Unemployment Benefits Will Help U.S. Jobless: View
Excerpt: In 2009, Congress extended jobless benefits to 99 weeks, the longest period in U.S. history. Those payments were meant to help unemployed workers get through a tough recession, while shoring up a faltering economy. Was it a wise approach? And with extended benefits expiring at year’s end, should compensation be prolonged again? Drawn-out benefits have been most effective at sustaining household income for displaced workers. State and federal programs will pay $129.5 billion this year in jobless benefits, according to Labor Department actuaries. Those payments provide roughly 50 percent of lost wages. Nearly all that cash re-enters the economy quickly as recipients pay for food, clothing or housing. For that reason, jobless benefits have long been thought of as one of the most efficient ways to prevent consumer spending from collapsing during a slump. Unfortunately, the 99-week experiment hasn’t been so successful in helping people get re-employed. Drawn-out benefits have caused job hunts to stretch out by almost a month -- with no greater guarantee of success -- according to economists Mary Daly, Bart Hobijn and Rob Valletta. All three work for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. (Surgery is often painful, often necessary for survival. ~Bob.)

Are Taxpayers Getting Their Money's Worth?
Excerpt: Citizens across the country are struggling to make ends meet. They are frustrated with the failure of their elected representatives in Congress to address pressing national problems to make things better for all Americans. Compounding their frustration is the fact that members of Congress receive pay and benefits far in excess of what average working Americans receive, says the Taxpayers Protection Alliance. In addition to a salary of $174,000 per year, which by itself puts members of Congress among the highest-paid 5 percent of American workers, Congressmen and women receive more generous fringe benefits than typical American employees. In fact, congressional compensation including benefits totals around $285,000 per year. In a time when unemployment rates are at unacceptably high levels and those who are working are often subject to "pay for performance" standards, it is galling to many to hear of the generous pay and benefits Congress has provided for itself. Members of Congress should be adequately compensated for their efforts. However, the salaries and benefits make them among the best compensated employees in the American workforce. Given record budget deficits and Congress' seeming inability to agree on plans to address the shortfall, many Americans are skeptical of what they receive in return for what they are paying their elected representatives. Immediate steps need to be taken to cut Congressional salaries and benefits and reassure Americans that sacrifices made during this economic downturn are being widely shared. (Congressmen do not get a “lifetime pension” after only one term. They have a generous retirement system, probably better than yours, but not that generous. It’s an Internet rumor, forwarded by people who believe everything in their inbox and are too lazy to check. ~Bob.)

President Obama Sticks to Stimulus Script
Excerpt: In the 1993 comedy Dave, a small-town presidential impersonator is called on to pretend to be the actual President of the United States when the commander in chief takes ill. Dave steps into the White House, takes his new role too far, and with wide-eyed innocence promises America, "I'm initiating a program to try to find a decent job for every American who wants one." Yesterday in Holland, Michigan, President Barack Obama made a strikingly similar pledge: Over the coming weeks, I’m going to be putting out more proposals, week by week, that will help businesses hire and put people back to work. And I’m going to keep at it until every single American who wants a job can find one. It's anyone's guess if President Obama was taking a page from Dave's playbook, hoping that the magic of Hollywood or the power of a populist message would resonate with Americans, helping to turn around his plummeting poll numbers.

Dozens of Donors Back Multiple GOP Presidential Candidates
Excerpt: Fred Bialek isn't sure whom he'd like to support in the GOP presidential race. So he made a $1,000 contribution to both former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty to attend events at which they spoke and to hear what they had to say. "When I did give the money, it was to go to session with them, and my primary motivation was to get a feel for them," Bialek, a retiree from Woodside, Calif., told OpenSecrets Blog. "I was trying to find out if I wanted to support them." He is far from the only individual who has donated to both of the former governors. At least 66 individuals have contributed to both campaigns through the second quarter of 2011, new research by the Center for Responsive Politics shows. And about half of those donors gave $2,500 or more to both men. Some of the people making these double contributions are prominent Republican donors who have had a heavy hand in previous Republican campaigns. (Some people try to cover all bets. In my second senate campaign in 1974, I discovered two people who contributed to me and to my Democrat opponent, Bernie Chartrand. I can still tell you their names and the amounts. I had more respect for folks who only gave to my opponent—at least they were sincere. If wrongheaded. ~Bob.)

Debate Tweet from @moelane
Moe Lane
Did Tim Pawlenty just advocate Mossad's assassination campaign of Iranian nuclear scientists? I mean, YES, of course, but damn.

Perry Tweet from @comradescott Comrade Scott
They were going to name a street after Rick Perry, but no one crosses Rick Perry and lives. (No, I’m not on Twitter yet. Picked these up from posts. ~Bob.)

The Left's Summer of Discontent
Progressives increasingly see Obama as a loser. If so, it's because he is one of them. Barack Obama's recent political difficulties have proved shattering to many of his erstwhile enthusiasts. One of them is Jacob Weisberg, editor of, who in a column last week declared himself fed up—with America. The lesson of the debt-ceiling deal, Mr. Weisberg sobbed, is that "there is no point trying to explain complex matters to the American people. The president has tried reasonableness and he has failed." A pithier expression of this lament was the headline of an online column by liberal Republican Charles Fried: "Obama Is Too Good for Us." It takes an authoritarian mindset to look at a failing leader and fault the people for failing to follow him. But Mr. Weisberg has long harbored suspicions about his countrymen's fitness to be led by the man he described, in an August 2008 column, as "handsome, brilliant and cool." At the time, Mr. Obama was not doing as well in the polls as Mr. Weisberg thought he should have been, given the all-around awesomeness of the junior senator from Illinois. If Mr. Obama lost to John McCain, Mr. Weisberg concluded, it could mean only one thing: America was irredeemably racist. You heard that a lot in those days, and although Mr. Obama is generally credited with having run a high-minded postracial campaign, he was not above slandering his critics as bigots in an effort to evade scrutiny. "We know what kind of campaign they're going to run," he said at a fund-raiser in June 2008, after securing the nomination. "They're going to try to make you afraid of me. He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black?"

Sharia Enclaves in the West Islamist organizations are hard at work creating Muslim enclaves in the West, including right here in the United States. These efforts are designed to create Islamic autonomous areas, often with the expressed desire of incrementally bringing the host country completely under Sharia-based governance. This campaign has not stopped or even slowed down since FrontPage Magazine and the Middle East Forum shined the light on it one year ago. One group leading the effort to establish Islamist communities within the U.S. is As-Sabiqun, led by an extremist cleric named Imam Abdul Alim Musa. His list of heroes reads like a who’s-who of the jihadist world, from Hasan al-Banna to Sayyid Qutb to Ayatollah Khomeini. He recently heaped praise upon Iranian President Ahmadinejad. In June 2002, he expressed support for suicide bombings in Israel. He preaches that the 9/11 attacks were a CIA/Mossad operation, says he “like[s]” Osama Bin Laden, supports Hezbollah, and describes Hamas as being “very nice people.” The As-Sabiqun Web site has a plan to create Sharia enclaves in the U.S. in stages, beginning with moving Muslims to one area and setting up independent social services. As-Sabiqun is now fundraising for two new initiatives: The “Islamic Institute of Counter Zionist American Psychological Warfare” and the “College in Islamic Movement Studies.” The appeal for support explains, “We are an anti-Zionist American psycho-guerrilla warfare movement.”

The Left Owns the Election Law Industry
Excerpt: Before the 2000 presidential election, most Americans assumed the mechanics of elections functioned smoothly. The thirty-six day battle for the presidency demonstrated otherwise. Today, most Americans still assume the institutions, firms and foundations that fight about election law disputes are equally matched and similarly funded as between left and right. That is a dangerously incorrect assumption, especially with the 2012 election fast approaching. From an election administration perspective, the 2012 presidential election is already upon us. And the Left is fully engaged. Like so many other institutions, whether academia or the media, leftists dominate the field of election law, and the consequences are immediate and devastating. Worst of all, hardly anyone has noticed that these scores of leftist election experts enjoy a largely unopposed battlefield. Leftist foundations, litigators and organizations have established permanent structures designed to alter election outcomes through policy advocacy and strategic litigation.

The End of Israel?
Excerpt: Maybe imagining nightmarish scenarios is only the fantasy of some pessimist writers. Maybe Israel will live through a very quiet period ahead and the worst-case predictions will never materialize. But Israel’s enemies are working for a future that is clear to them: a world without Zionism, a world without Israel. Why is it not alarming when Haifa, the third-largest Israeli city, is building “the largest underground hospital in the world” to be used in case of war? Is it immoral to be on alert for a possible disaster when the Jewish State is distributing new gas masks or when the Habima Theater in Tel Aviv installs numerous underground shelters? Even the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, is building a labyrinth of tunnels and rooms from where the Jewish leadership would guide the country in case of attacks. Israel remains the only “bunkered” democracy in the world, a country where its military Research and Development Directorate calculated the effects of an Iranian nuclear bomb on Tel Aviv: “A blast radius of about 500 meters and 20,000 people killed,” they said.

Soaking the Rich Won't Get Us There
Excerpt: The point missed in the article above--and apparently by many in the public--is that $750 billion over a decade is $75 billion/year out of a deficit that has been running at more than a trillion dollars per year for the last three years. Even draconian and confiscatory tax increases on the wealthy would not be enough to substantially decrease the deficit without endangering economic activity. (Because the rich can often avoid taxes, either illegally like Tim Gaithner and Charlie Rangel or legal, and because increased taxes on them reduce their participation in the tax paying economy, the $75B a year figure may in fact be inflated. ~Bob)

48% Think Spending Cuts Could Trigger Violence
They are right, of course, but the coming forced spending cuts of fiscal collapse will produce much worse violence. ~Bob. Excerpt: Nearly one-out-of-two Americans (48%) think that cuts in government spending are at least somewhat likely to lead to violence in the United States, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. But that includes just 13% who feel it’s Very Likely. Nearly as many Adults (44%), however, believe violence as the result of spending cuts is unlikely, but only 12% say it’s Not At All Likely.

The White House tries to put one over on the Supreme Court.
Excerpt: "The White House . . . has quietly altered its website to remove the references to Jerusalem being in 'Israel,' " the New York Sun reports. It sounds like another make-work Keynesian stimulus: dig a hole, fill it up. But the Obama administration forgot the first rule of holes: When you're in one, stop digging. (How's that for a passably bad Thomas Friedman imitation?) The website editing is an attempt to put one over on the Supreme Court, and we doubt it will succeed. Currently pending before the high court is the case of Zivotofsky v. Clinton. Appellant Menachem Zivotofsky, 9, is a U.S. citizen who was born in Jerusalem. As a Sun report from last week explained, two months after Menachem's birth, his parents went to the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to apply for a passport for the boy. They asked that his country of birth be listed as Israel, but "the embassy refused, citing longstanding State Department policy that such passports list only 'Jerusalem,' with no country added." (This policy applies only to the capital, not other Israeli cities.) In 2002 Congress enacted legislation to reverse this policy, directing the State Department to list the country of origin as Israel on passports (as well as birth and nationality certificates) if a Jerusalem-born applicant requests it. The provision was part of a larger spending bill, which President Bush signed into law, but he issued one of those "signing statements" that were anathema to liberals before Barack Obama fundamentally transformed America.

CALIF. State's high school dropout rate almost 20 percent
Excerpt: Nearly 1 out of every 5 students in California's projected class of 2010 - 18.2 percent - dropped out of high school before graduation day, meaning 94,000 teenagers hit the streets without diplomas, according to data released Thursday. Perhaps more alarming are the 17,000 eighth-grade students who quit before attending a single day of high school, about 3 percent of their class. These numbers are believed to be California's first accurate assessment of the dropout and graduation rates using a data system that tracks individual students over their four-year high school career, according to the state Department of Education. (Worse, how many of those who did graduate can read, write, do math or know civics or history at what should be the high school level? ~Bob.)

Five things Obama should do to lead
Excerpt: When you have flown through a heavy storm, the plane tossing one way and another, have you ever wondered whether there was really anyone in the cockpit? That's the feeling that many Americans have today -- as if we are lurching through an economic storm with no one in charge. Ordinarily in a crisis, people keep their hopes up because a leader steps forward and instills faith that eventually, this, too, shall pass. Think of Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Depression and World War II, calming the country with his fireside chats. Think of John F. Kennedy in the Cuban missile crisis. Or Walter Cronkite during the Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. assassinations. Ronald Reagan after his shooting. Or Rudy Giuliani on 9/11.But in the current economic turmoil, the country doesn't have much confidence in anyone. With the stock markets crashing early this week, President Barack Obama tried to reassure -- and the Dow sank another 200 points. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke up Tuesday, and the roller coaster continued. While still popular with their base, Republican leaders have lost considerable ground beyond that group. Voices in the White House -- and some outside -- blame the media for making things worse than they are. And CEOs -- looked to as oracles only a few years ago -- have long since toppled from their pedestals.

No comments:

Post a Comment