Saturday, August 6, 2011

Political Digest for August 6, 2011

My book, below, has been out three months. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the news and columns coming to my inbox continue to support its conclusions.

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.

Guest Post: Poverty in America

Flashback, Obama 2009: I'll Be a One-Term President If I Don't Fix This Economy In Three Years; I Will Be Held "Accountable"
Let us hope so. ~Bob.

Important: The Facts About Spending Cuts, the Debt, and the GDP: Separating economic myths from economic truths
Excerpt: Raising the debt limit might put off a downgrade disaster in August, but that still isn’t enough—as Standard & Poor’s recent warning made clear. Perhaps the most important shot not heard around the world was S&P’s other admonition: Namely, that the U.S. bond rating will be downgraded in three months, if not sooner, unless we do something about government spending. Beyond raising the debt limit, S&P laid out clear criteria for avoiding a downgrade: 1) reduce the debt by about $4 trillion; 2) agree to a credible plan within three months; and 3) guarantee that this newfound fiscal discipline will actually stick. If S&P isn’t bluffing, then lawmakers should get serious about reducing the debt-to-GDP ratio, and they should do it quickly. But how do we achieve such a task?

Excellent US Debt Graphic

DOW plunges 500 points
This is just the beginning. The DOW dropped and consumers saved their money. QE 2 (dollar-debasing money printing à la Weimar Republic) is over, the resulting "stimulus" is gone, and Bernanke doesn't have to political clout to do a QE 3. Gee, "stimulus" didn’t work, Ben? Really? So throwing money at banks in the hands of criminals doesn't work after all? WWKD (What would Keynes do?). Isn't it great to have a government that shares our money so liberally with their banker cronies? Trillions of our -- and our children's -- money to bail out banks (many of them foreign) that deliberately made bad and questionable loans (at best) requiring no down payment or even proof of employment -- knowing the government (of both parties), which instigated the practice would stand behind their outrageous, flagrant irresponsibility, and to provide "stimulus" to the economy by giving cash to companies that, once in receipt of the cash, didn't create a single job. (It wasn't a requirement. Obama just figured the felons in charge would do the right thing). But don’t worry. Obama has it all under control. He'll tax companies more to encourage them to hire more people -- in China, Mexico, Vietnam, etc. (Why hire here and be socked with all those regulations and union straitjackets they don’t have in the Third World?) Oh, and keep the border open. We can't send them all back, so we have to keep all 20-40 million and pay them free hospital care and let their kids go to school -- and college -- for free as well as dozens of other perks. That should stimulate the economy just fine and boost employment. Just wondering: How are your kids going to pay for their college? Keep your eye on that stock market! It's teaching us a valuable economics lesson -- the one we should have learned a LONG time ago, back when the Soviet Union taught us all we needed to learn about excessive government interference in the economy. Our Harvard "educated" (read: indoctrinated) economists just didn’t bother learning it. Mad yet? Wait til the hunger sets in... --Don Hank

Dow Down 500: Should Obama Resign?
And make Biden president? Dear God...~Bob. Excerpt: The worldwide market plunge since the signing of the U.S. debt agreement tells us one thing above all: Almost no one on the planet has confidence in the leadership of Barack Obama. A CEO with such a disastrous first three years as our president has had probably would already have been called upon to resign or been pushed out by his company’s board of directors — more than likely for some time. Obama has failed in virtually every direction, foreign and domestic. His policies indeed are almost non-existent. He is completely rudderless, unless you accept the view that he is following the prescription of Cloward-Piven and has set out to destroy American capitalism from within. If that is so — and I don’t really accept it for a variety of reasons — he has failed even at that, because his reelection becomes less likely with every passing day. A Cloward-Piven strategy could not be successful in only four years. America is far too strong for that. In the case of Obama, his policies are leading to something quite the opposite — an epic disaster for the Democratic Party and (modern) liberalism in 2012. Not that we wont have plenty of pain along the way. We may even be in a full-scale Depression or close to it. And coming back will be far from easy in a world where Iran is running OPEC and the EPA acts as if The Silent Spring is The Gospel According to Mark.

Important: The Government’s Four-Decade Financial Experiment
Excerpt: Over the last four decades, the U.S. government has engaged in a financial experiment, or adventure, of exploding agency debt relative to Treasury securities. The huge debt of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, other government-sponsored enterprises, and other off-budget government agencies (“agency debt”) fully relies on the credit of the United States. This means it by definition exposes the taxpayers to losses, but it is not accounted for as government debt. As the Federal Reserve carefully notes in its “Flow of Funds” report, non-budget agency and GSE debt is not “considered officially to be part of the total debt of the federal government.” Not “considered officially,” as they say—but what is it really? It puts the federal budget at risk, subjecting it to uncertainty of defaults. It has proven its ability to generate huge losses for the taxpayers. In other words, it is really, if not “officially,” government debt.

Debt crisis in Europe: Worries grow of spread to larger economies of Italy, Spain
Excerpt: Fears mounted Wednesday that Europe’s debt crisis is reaching a critical tipping point, spreading from Greece, Ireland and Portugal to the larger economies of Italy and Spain. The deepening woes raised the prospect of a crisis that would be almost as calamitous for the global economy as the one just avoided in Washington. Investors drove borrowing costs for Italy and Spain to 14-year highs, fueling sharp stock market drops in London, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan and Madrid. Though Italian and Spanish bonds later rebounded, borrowing rates for both nations remained dangerously high, at more than 6 percent — and closing in on the 7 percent threshold that eventually triggered bailout talks with Greece, Ireland and Portugal. Concern on Wednesday focused on Italy, whose sheer size — it is the world’s seventh-largest economy — makes it potentially too big to bail out and would require radical new steps from already reluctant European leaders and the European Central Bank to prevent a full-blown crisis there.

DeMint May Turn On GOP Backers of Debt Bill
Harry Reid was saved in 2010 by GOP & Tea Party infighting in a few states. Will he get the save rescue in 2012? ~Bob. Excerpt: Some of the 28 Republican senators who voted for the new debt/deficit law may find themselves on the receiving end of powerhouse conservative Sen. Jim DeMint’s ire. The South Carolina Republican pledged after last year’s elections that he wouldn’t support any challengers to his Republican Senate colleagues. But the debt deal greatly upset him, and he may back opponents to Republican senators who voted yes on the bill, a source close to DeMint told The Hill.

Matt Damon’s got a lot to learn
Excerpt: Matt Damon is not a genius. He just plays one in the movies. At last week’s “Save Our Teachers” rally in Washington (“save them” from what — the private sector?) Damon announced that incentives — like bonuses for good performance or ending tenure for bad ones — don’t work for teachers. “You think job insecurity makes people work hard?” he asked a reporter from Reason magazine incredulously. “That’s like saying a teacher is going to get lazy when she has tenure.” “A teacher wants to teach,” Damon insisted. “Why else would you take a sh*@#y salary and really long hours and do that job unless you really loved to do it?” Sorry, Matt, but if I were your math teacher back at Cambridge Rindge and Latin, I’d have to give you an F. Wrong on theory and fact. First the data — starting with Matt’s myth that teachers work for a shi—er, “less-than-adequate” salary. According to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the average Boston teacher earned around $80,000 last year. That was the average. And that doesn’t include the generous health care or pension benefits, which would equal $100,000 in the private sector. All for just 180 days of work. Nationally, the average teacher salary is significantly lower — $53,000. But a teacher still earns more by herself (and about 75 percent of K-12 teachers are women) than the household income of the average American family. Once again, with summers and holidays off.

Mystery company dissolves after giving $1 million to PAC backing Mitt Romney
Excerpt: A mysterious company gave $1 million to an independent political committee supporting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president and then quickly folded, raising questions about the donation. W Spann LLC was incorporated in Delaware in March and made a $1 million contribution to the PAC in April. In July, the company was dissolved.

The most unpopular Congress. Ever.
Excerpt: 14 That’s the approval rating for Congress in the latest CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll. It’s the lowest approval rating ever for Congress in a CNN poll and one of only three times that approval has dipped below 20 percent.

Excerpt: The politicians think they have years. Most believe we have a decade, some (like Ryan) think we have two or more decades. We don’t. The warnings are emergent now. The heart palpitations are happening as you read this. The first “heart attack” was bad, and we nearly died. But the damage was not repaired: employment has not come back, trade policy was not rationalized, the illegal aliens in the country are still sucking down tax funds we need for citizens, the people who sold us the drugs originally were not cut off and jailed and we all didn’t stop binging. All we did was get our dope from a new pusher – the Federal government - and the government told us we didn’t have to pay for the drugs as they called them “benefits” and “entitlements.” In short we squandered the opportunity of 2007 when we could have accepted a 15% contraction in the Federal government’s size. Now we have to accept a forty percent contraction. The required contraction to restore balance not only has gotten worse it will continue to do so the longer we wait before we act. It is time to choose America, even though choosing to get well will be painful. It will result in much more unemployment in the short term, and the government will not be able to increase assistance. It will result in the stock market plunging. And it will result in the big banks and may over-levered firms, large and small, being gutted, with many of them going out of business. But if we don’t do it – and do it now – we’ll have “the big one”, and that voluntary assumption of pain will pale beside the outcome that will occur. It is time to choose, and remember: Choosing to not decide is, in fact, a choice.

New ATF bombshell--was cocaine from cartels allowed in U.S.?
When the first "Gunwalker" stories hit my inbox, I dismissed them as fantasy, thinking no one in government could be that stupid and evil. I would dismiss this also, but after gunwalker, I have no idea what to believe. ~Bob. Excerpt: In the ongoing investigation into the DOJ-ATF-Obama Administration gun smuggling scandal that is the subject of Congressional hearings, a possible new bombshell has been revealed today indicating that federal agents may have deliberately allowed the Sinaloa Mexican drug cartel to bring cocaine into the United States. The official reason given by the Feds is that the cocaine would be 'traced' in order to gather information on rival drug cartels. According to El Paso Times news reporter Diana Washington Valdez, if the latest allegations prove to be true, then the case would be a bombshell on the same par with the ATF gun smuggling scheme known as 'Project Gunwalker' or 'Operation Fast and Furious.'

Happy Birthday, Mr. President
Sobering statistics

Pawlenty: Most global warming is natural
Excerpt: GOP White House hopeful Tim Pawlenty said this week that most or all climate change stems from natural causes. The statement puts the former Minnesota governor at odds with GOP front-runner Mitt Romney, who believes climate change is occurring and that humans have contributed. It also could help Pawlenty, who has struggled to raise his standing in polls of GOP voters, stand out to conservatives at the Iowa caucuses and other early GOP presidential contests next year. 

Time to Say It: Double Dip Recession May Be Happening
Excerpt: It has been three decades since the United States suffered a recession that followed on the heels of the previous one. But it could be happening again. The unrelenting negative economic news of the past two weeks has painted a picture of a United States economy that fell further and recovered less than we had thought. When what may eventually be known as Great Recession I hit the country, there was general political agreement that it was incumbent on the government to fight back by stimulating the economy. It did, and the recession ended. But Great Recession II, if that is what we are entering, has provoked a completely different response. Now the politicians are squabbling over how much to cut spending. After months of wrangling, they passed a bill aimed at forcing more reductions in spending over the next decade. (Unfortunately, all of Obama’s cherished beliefs and the demands of his base are anti growth. Give the unions what they want to drive jobs overseas. Pass tough “green” laws to kill jobs and growth. Support the highest corporate tax rate in the world to drive jobs overseas. Oppose free trade at union behest to kill exports. Tax the “rich” who own small businesses, which create the most jobs. Increase government spending and borrowing to reward the non-productive sectors of the economy who vote for him. Then find someone to blame the resulting economic disaster on. ~Bob.)

What Does a Weak Dollar Mean for You?
Excerpt: The dollar's strength is judged against other currencies, and lately it has compared poorly against major rivals such as the Swiss franc, the Japanese yen, the Australian dollar and others. When a dollar buys more than its equivalent in another currency, it's considered strong. When it buys less than its equivalent, it's weak. However, the actual exchange rate has little direct impact on individuals. For consumers, what matters more is the purchasing power of those dollars -- reflected by the Consumer Price Index, says Fox Business News. "The key is to make a distinction between impact on GDP [gross domestic product], which is important in getting out of a recession, and standard of living, which is of paramount interest in normal times," says Bob McTeer, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and a distinguished fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis. "A weaker dollar will stimulate GDP by encouraging exports and discouraging imports." According to McTeer: A weakening dollar should have the effect of reducing the trade deficit. That hasn't happened, ironically, because the dollar has not been able to deteriorate enough. Countries like China peg their currencies to the U.S. dollar, so those trade patterns tend to be somewhat insulated from fluctuations in the dollar. But there's another problem: The United States is generally not a producer of cheap consumer goods, so it can't compete with countries that have cut-rate labor forces and a willingness to devalue their currency indefinitely. Here are three ways a weak dollar can make you poor, says Fox: Stagnant wages and increased outsourcing. Gas and luxury goods cost more. Overseas trips are more expensive for Americans. Fortunately, a weak dollar is a cyclical phenomenon. It's likely only a matter of time before the dollar strengthens against rival currencies.

Economic Freedom and Happiness
Excerpt: That liberty is necessary for greater happiness and a better life is a notion deeply rooted in the American sensibility. But is there a link between greater freedom and greater happiness across countries? Daniel M. Gropper, the David and Meredith Luck Professor in the College of Business at Auburn University, Robert A. Lawson, the Jerome M. Fullinwider Chair in Economic Freedom in the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, and Jere T. Thorne Jr., of the Home Depot and a graduate of Auburn University, answer this question by examining the empirical relationship between liberty, as measured by economic freedom and happiness across more than 100 countries. Early research tended to find that economic freedom was positively associated with happiness. More recent work, however, has been mixed. Researchers argue that the association between measures of institutional quality (like freedom) and happiness are different between rich and poor countries. Others contend that the relationship between government size (a component of economic freedom) and happiness is contingent on the quality of the governance. Still, others say that "freedom of choice" is a strong factor in determining happiness. Using the best available data for a sample of well over 100 countries, the authors find a positive relationship between national levels of happiness and economic freedom. Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita also exerts a strong positive influence on happiness. The statistical impact of both economic freedom and GDP per capita appears to diminish as the other increases, but the combined effect of simultaneously increasing both economic freedom and GDP per capita, particularly for poorer and less free nations, is positive. Around the world, freer people generally are wealthier, live longer and are happier.

From Cans to Carbines, Making a Better M4
Excerpt: What they came up with is the Brown Enhanced Automatic Rifle, or BEAR. The BEAR is a piston-operated AR design that features a variety of internal enhancements, including a forward charging handle, a bolt carrier-mounted dust shield and a free floating barrel. … An April 19 report from independent weapons testing firm HP White provided to by ADCOR shows that two of the carbines fired 6,000 rounds with no stoppages -- including 60 shots from a BEAR that had been submerged in water and buried in sand. The entire rifle, including the piston system, is designed to be disassembled and cleaned using a firing pin or rifle round. (If it’s as good as they say, the ATF could sell a lot of these to the Mexican drug cartels, help our balance of trade. ~Bob.

The Unsinkable U.S.?
Excerpt: Congress passed and the president signed the increase in the debt ceiling Tuesday, and that, as Leftmedia outlets rejoiced, ended the "crisis" just hours before the default deadline. On the other hand, the Left is grousing that the Tea Party got everything it wanted. But did the deal really end the crisis? Hardly. World markets plummeted in its wake -- the Dow fell 512 points Thursday, erasing all gains from 2011, evoking this response from the White House: "Markets go up and down." Furthermore, credit rating agencies continued to warn of a looming downgrade of the nation's AAA rating. And did the Tea Party come out with everything it wanted? Not a chance. On the contrary, the ship is still sinking. The Tea Party and the markets know that, despite all the back-patting in Washington. The $2.4 trillion debt ceiling increase is the biggest ever. In fact, total U.S. debt didn't reach $2.4 trillion until 1987. Immediately on Tuesday, the Treasury borrowed another $239 billion -- the largest one-day debt binge in history -- bringing total federal debt to $14.532 trillion, or just over 100 percent of our gross domestic product. Debt has not exceeded GDP since 1947 -- immediately after World War II -- and 30 years ago it was just 32.5 percent of GDP. Could there be a connection between the market collapse and this debt "milestone"? Democrats foisted upon the nation the biggest Keynesian spending bonanza in history, and the result has been almost no GDP growth, headline unemployment exceeding 9 percent (despite 117,000 new jobs in July), decreased consumer spending, inflation, debt as far as our great-grandchildren can see and a possible national credit rating downgrade. On Aug. 3, 2010, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner penned an op-ed for The New York Times titled "Welcome to the Recovery." That rings awfully hollow now. In fact, many think that we're headed for a double-dip recession.

54% Think Obama’s Reelection At Least Somewhat Likely
Excerpt: Most voters think President Obama has a good shot at being reelected next year, even if he continues to pursue tax increases as part of any future deficit reduction plan. Fifty-four percent (54%) of Likely U.S. Voters feel the president is at least somewhat likely to be reelected in 2012. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 40% disagree and think the president’s reelection is unlikely.

New N.C. malpractice law to cap certain damages
Excerpt: A medical malpractice reform bill set to go into effect in October could deter North Carolina attorneys from accepting those cases, according to a nonprofit trial lawyers group. It also could spark a flurry of malpractice filings before the law goes into effect, some believe.

"The White House Does Not Create Jobs"
Excerpt: Never were truer words spoken. At yesterday's press briefing, White House spokesman Jay Carney admitted: "The White House does not create jobs." As the Examiner's senior political columnist Timothy P. Carney (no relation) later noted, conservatives should greet this statement as "a true and long-awaited admission of government's limits." Despite the now-admitted fact that the President does not create jobs, President Obama continues to manipulate the economy from the West Wing, offering "stimulus" here, threatening higher taxes there, and picking and choosing which industry can thrive and which cannot under his watch. The government cannot create private-sector jobs, but it can strongly affect the conditions for job-creating economic growth. But instead, the Obama Administration has helped create the conditions to stifle job growth.

U.S. admits border violence out of control
Excerpt: While U.S. Homeland Security Department officials repeatedly assure Americans that the southern border is more secure than ever, a separate government agency has issued an alarming report warning of “recent violent attacks and persistent security concerns” in the area, although the report is getting minimal news media attention. "It’s like the Abbott and Costello version of government, where one agency can’t even coordinate with another to provide the country with a consistent story," said the president of a Washington, DC, public-interest group. … No such promotion of what appears to be a more accurate assessment, issued this week by the State Department, of the situation along the U.S.-Mexico border. Unlike Napolitano’s rose-colored glasses version, it mentions a “dramatic increase in violence” and nearly 30,000 narcotics-related murders in the last few years. The State Department report bluntly says that “the security situation along the Texas border has changed markedly from a year ago.”

Good Column: Isn’t it time we grew up?
Excerpt: …[W]hen Barack Obama was just Senator Obama on the hustings, there was a lot of talk about his lack of experience. He had never run anything. He was a typical hothouse product of our self-satisfied liberal elite culture: untested, insulated from reality, but marinated in the intoxicating certainty that the liberal consensus he represented was the key to enlightenment and prosperity — provided, of course, that those angry, narrow-minded people who “cling to guns or religion” would get out of the way. Back then, in September of 2008, I suggested that experience, while not the only important qualification for a presidential candidate, was at least one important thing. … The American poet Frank O’Hara wrote a poem whose title I’ve always admired: “Meditations in an Emergency.” That’s where we are now: you can tell it’s an emergency by the panic you smell in the air. It will get worse. And as it does, more and more people will recognize an important fact: that Barack Obama is presiding over a Potemkin Village. He hasn’t a clue about what to do to salvage the U.S economy. How could he? He was brought up on the anti-growth, statist nostrums that forsake basic human psychology for the sake of utopian schemes: forget about anything so crass as incentives! We here who are in charge will tell you how to make an electric car that no one wants but that you should buy it because it is “good for the environment!”

The Inexplicables
Excerpt: The so-called tough debt ceiling deal still ups the borrowing to $16 trillion, or over 100% of annual GDP. So why are we rejoicing about curbing, rather than stopping, the borrowing? We are not discussing paying back the massive sums that we owe. And we talk not of cutting the baseline expenditures, but only about the rate of increase in entitlements — reminding us that revolutions start not with the impoverished, but with threatened cuts of subsidies to the middle class. Its appetites increase faster than the state can satisfy them, as most judge their well-being not in having at last more than the poor but in always having less than the affluent. Our staggering debt also raises an existential question — at what point would Obama stop borrowing on his own?

Towering Wave of Alienation Threatens Both GOP, Dems in 2012
Excerpt: In the shadow of the bitterly fought agreement to raise the federal debt ceiling, the independent voters who usually hold the balance of power in American politics are expressing astronomical levels of discontent with President Obama, Congress, and the Washington system itself. This towering wave of alienation presages more volatility for a political system that has seen the public turn from Republicans in 2004 toward Democrats in 2006 and 2008, only to snap back toward the GOP with near-record force in 2010. Now, on several key measures, the public’s assessment of Congress is even more bleak than it was at this point in the last election cycle--even as Obama’s ratings have fallen to some of the lowest levels of his presidency, particularly among independents.

Dramatic Video Shows Gunmen Firing Into Philadelphia City Bus
Don’t piss off the sisters in the city of brotherly love! ~Bob. Excerpt: At least two gunmen fired into a Philadelphia city bus with assault rifles after a woman on board allegedly asked them to shoot at a passenger who criticized her for hitting her child. Dramatic video obtained by shows men with high-powered rifles firing into a Septa bus last month. Prosecutors allege that Penny Chapman, who was riding the bus with her young son, became upset after a passenger sitting behind her criticized her for spanking the boy. Chapman then made a phone call directing brothers, Karon and Raheen Patterson, to fire at the passenger when the bus arrived at her stop, prosecutors say.

How the CIA Helped The Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrate the West
Excerpt: In April of 2007, then House Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer had an encounter with Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood representatives in Cairo. Fox News reported: House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer met with the Muslim Brotherhood’s parliament leader, Mohammed Saad el-Katatni, twice on Thursday — once at the parliament building and then at the home of the U.S. ambassador to Egypt, said Brotherhood spokesman Hamdi Hassan. U.S. Embassy spokesman John Berry would only confirm that Hoyer, who represents Maryland, met with el-Katatni at U.S. Ambassador Francis Ricciardone’s home at a reception with other politicians and parliament members.

The Power of Bad Ideas: What we've got here is far worse than a failure to communicate
Excerpt: There was drama at the White House this week when a man tried to hurl himself over the fence. But the Secret Service intervened and talked the president into going back inside and finishing his term. That's from Conan O'Brien's monologue the other night. It captures the moment pretty well. Mr. Obama's poll numbers continue to fall, his position in the battleground states to deteriorate. From Politico: "Obama emerges from the months-long [debt ceiling] fracas weaker—and facing much deeper and more durable political obstacles—than his own advisers ever imagined." The president seemed to admit as much when he met with supporters at a fund-raiser in Chicago. "When I said 'Change we can believe in,' I didn't say, 'Change we can believe in tomorrow.' Not 'Change we can believe in next week.' We knew this was going to take time." When presidents talk like that, they're saying: This isn't working.

How Big Government Hurts the Average Joe
Excerpt: In the short run, job growth is very closely linked to GDP growth. If the economy is not growing, then jobs are not being added. Data from the U.S. over the past 45 years reveal that a 1% increase in GDP generally leads to job growth of about 0.6%. As a result, to get back to pre-recession employment levels, we will need about 10% of GDP growth. At the meager growth rates we've seen during this recovery, that will require three to five years.

Family of albino Muslims terrorised after one of them marries a Christian man
This is in Britain, not Pakistan. Shari’a law forbids Muslim women to marry non-Muslims, though Muslim men are allowed to, as the children will be Muslims, thus expanding the ummah. The “albino” part is meaningless. ~Bob. Excerpt: A family of albino Muslims are being terrorised by bigots because their daughter married a man from another religion. The so-called 'honour' retribution has included smashed windows at their Coventry home, vandalised cars and death threats. Now, head of the family Aslam Parvez has made a plea to the culprits to end the hatred. Aslam Parvez, 53, blames members of the Muslim community who believe the family have been dishonoured by his daughter's marriage. The hate campaign started five months ago when a national magazine published an article on albinos which featured Naseem, who no longer lives in Coventry and has little contact with her family. It revealed how she has married a Christian, goes to church and is expecting her second child with her husband.

Group Claims to Hoist al-Qaida Flag in Sinai
Excerpt: In a scene resembling an Islamist version of the post-apocalyptic film "Mad Max," dozens of kaffiyeh-covered young men ride into the heart of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula on motorcycles and in the beds of pickup trucks into El-Arish. Although they may not be there to pillage and plunder, the al-Qaida flag waved by one militant heralds a dangerous new development. The video was posted on YouTube last week and followed by a statement Tuesday from a group claiming to be the newest branch of al-Qaida. The statement said that al-Qaida of the Sinai Peninsula promised to transform the dusty backwater of the Sinai into a new Islamic Emirate. It also called for Islam to be the only source of legislation in its new state, and demanded that Egypt's military revoke agreements signed with Israel. The group also demanded military support for its brethren in the Gaza Strip, where al-Qaida inspired militants have pushed for harsher application of Islamic law and open war with Israel. The statement and the video seemed to contradict claims issued days before by the governor of the North Sinai province, that Sinai was al-Qaida free.

Making Mitch The Majority Leader: The Senate Candidates To Back
Excerpt: It will also take at least four new Senate seats in GOP hands to put Mitch McConnell's many talents to work in the job of Majority Leader. It would take 13 pick-ups to smash the hard-left's filibuster in the upper chamber which would allow McConnell, Speaker Boehner and a new president the ability to tackle the fiscal/defense crisis without the obstruction that stalled George W. Bush's push to fix Social Security in 2005, but given the complete inability of the Democrats to govern and their spectacular failures on the economy, that number of Senate seat pick-ups in 2012 is not impossible. Start, however, with the obvious GOP candidates to replace a Democratic senator, and spend this August getting to know them and indeed sending them some help from the ice cream fund. $10, $25, $50 or $100 matters enormously in getting organized and in the field for the 15 months ahead. Here's my list of Senate candidates to support. My priorities reflect a combination of favorable assessment of the candidate's ideology, abilities, experience and the closeness of the race in which they are engaged.

Scare at State Fair: Witnesses claim racially charged mobs
Notice how the reporter suggests that the witness's account of a racially motivated mob is an isolated report ("one witness said..."). Yet other reports clearly show that this WAS racially motivated black-on-white violence. What would she have said if there were reports that whites had ganged up on blacks? Friends, look for much more of this violence in your own communities as the economy continues to go south. And remember which party controls two-thirds of government. --Don H.

Rampaging mob of "dozens to hundreds" of blacks assault, beat, terrorize whites at Wisconsin State Fair
Excerpt: And this time I don't have to report ironically about mobs of "raceless teens" attacking "victims of indeterminate race," because the assaults were so extensive, and the reports on their black-on-white nature are so specific. This is both the largest black-on-white wilding or flash mob that I've heard of so far, and the most detailed in the reporting and the witnesses' accounts. Here's one witness's story that presents an unforgettable image of these black youths in action:

Prince William County sues feds for status of illegal aliens: Fatal DUI accident triggered action
Excerpt: Prince William County on Thursday filed a lawsuit in federal court demanding the release of records related to the status of more than 4,000 criminal illegal immigrants that the county has detained and transferred to the Department of Homeland Security since 2008. The county had filed two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to obtain the records, but the Department of Homeland Security has not fulfilled the requests, according to the county. Officials began seeking the information after a high-profile incident last August in which Carlos A. Martinelly Montano, an illegal immigrant who twice had been convicted of drunken driving, was charged with fatally striking a Benedictine nun with his car while again driving drunk.

DEA acknowledges supporting role in Operation Fast and Furious
Excerpt: The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration has acknowledged to Congressional investigators that her agency provided a supporting role in the ill-fated Operation Fast and Furious run by their counterparts at the ATF. Michele M. Leonhart, the DEA administrator, said DEA agents primarily helped gather evidence in cases in Phoenix and El Paso, and in the program's single indictment last January that netted just 20 defendants for illegal gun-trafficking. The development marks the first time another law enforcement agency has said it also worked on Fast and Furious cases other than the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which is under two investigations into why it allowed at least two thousand firearms to be illegally purchased and then lost track of the guns’ whereabouts. Nearly 200 of the weapons showed up at crime scenes in Mexico, and two semi-automatics were recovered after a U.S. Border Patrol agent was slain south of Tucson. (These are the folks they want to run healthcare—government bureaucrats, and not one with the stones or the brains to say, “This is a really bad idea.” ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: The Solution: A three-stage compromise to reduce the debt on a scale never before seen
Excerpt: Conventional wisdom holds that the congressional super-committee established by the debt-ceiling deal to propose further deficit reduction will go nowhere. I’m not so sure. There is a grand compromise to be had. It does, however, require precise sequencing. To succeed it must proceed in three stages: … True tax reform that removes loopholes while lowering tax rates is the Holy Grail of social policy. It appeals equally to Left and Right because, almost uniquely, it promotes both economic efficiency and fairness. Economic efficiency — because it removes tax dodges that distort capital flows (and thereby diminish productivity) while cutting marginal tax rates (thereby spurring growth). Fairness — because a corrupted tax code with myriad breaks grants deeply unfair advantage to the rich who buy the lobbyists who create the loopholes and buy the lawyers who exploit them.

John Kerry: Media Has "Responsibility" To "Not Give Equal Time" To Tea Party
Excerpt: Last week, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said conservative views about the debt ceiling should be censored from news reports. On Friday's "Morning Joe," Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) took this a step further calling on media to stop giving "equal time or equal balance" to Tea Party ideas that people like him consider "absurd" and "not factual" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

Iran Commander: We Have Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles
Excerpt: Iran has the technological ability to target any point on the planet with an intercontinental ballistic missile should it choose to, according to Brig. Gen. Seyyed Mehdi Farahi of the Revolutionary Guards Corps, who is the director of the Iranian air and space industries. A recent editorial in the Iranian Keyhan newspaper, the mouthpiece of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reports on Iran's ballistic missile technology with a headline "Iran Now Exports Ballistic Missiles." In the report the general brags about Iran's military might and its ability to simultaneously launch 14 or more rockets with extreme precision. He says that the export of ballistic missiles and the progress in Iran's space program are signs that Iran has achieved the highest levels of military and technological excellence. (This isn’t exactly news [see numerous TOJ articles, especially “Scary analysis of Iran” on 11 Feb 2010 and “Iran secretly working on developing a nuclear payload for its missiles: IAEA” on 21 Feb 2010], but it is the first mention of anyone in government acknowledging that an Iranian missile capable of achieving orbit IS an ICBM. The MSM is still ignoring the issue. Ron P. If we lose DC or NY, we might get serious with these SOBs. ~Bob.)

A City Upended by Unions-- Central Falls's receiver raised taxes, which drove people out of town.
Excerpt: On Monday the small Rhode Island town of Central Falls declared bankruptcy because its sky-high labor costs had impaired its ability to pay its bills. The ratings agencies say the development is no surprise, but we wonder whether they'll be saying the same thing when a bigger city falls off a cliff. Central Falls's financial problems are not much different from many states and municipalities. Inflexible and costly collective bargaining agreements have driven up its labor costs and crowded out services. The city is running $5 million annual structural deficits on a $16 million budget. Its pension and retiree health-care bills add up to $80 million. Public safety officers contribute a mere 7% of their salaries to pensions and can retire after 20 years with pensions equal to 50% of their final year's salary. Such a system in which employees spend more time in retirement than working is unsustainable. Greece, Q.E.D. In the last year the state has appointed two receivers to bring the city back from the dead, but neither has been able to repeat the miracle of Lazarus. The city's first receiver Mark Pfeiffer raised property and car taxes by more than 20%, but higher taxes merely drove residents out of town.

Arianna Huffington: Nobody Believes Obama's Top Priority Is Jobs - It's Getting Reelected
Excerpt: In the wake of liberal disappointment over December's budget agreement and this week's debt ceiling deal - both not including tax hikes - there's been a lot of squabbling from far-left media members about Barack Obama betraying them. On Wednesday, AOL Huffington Post editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington told MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell that nobody believes the President's top priority is jobs - it's getting reelected (video follows with transcript and commentary):

Teachers union disavows internal memo endorsing deception of parents
Excerpt: American Federation of Teachers officials have disavowed an internal report after it was posted on the union's website following its annual conference, embedded on each of its 19 pages with the union's logo and signed by a union official. The report, titled "How Connecticut Defused the Parent Trigger," was replaced on AFT's website with a note saying "we have received complaints about these materials and have removed them because they do not represent AFT's position." Education activist RiShawn Biddle copied the report before it was removed from the AFT website. The report describes in detail AFT's strategy for subverting school reform legislation in Connecticut, a strategy that relied greatly on deceiving legislators and interested parents. The Parent Trigger proposal originated in California and was adopted by education reformers in Connecticut last year. The proposal empowers a majority of parents with children attending a persistently failing school to force education officials to either close it, convert it to a charter school or replace its staff.

The Next American Revolution
It is frightening that the discussion is starting to turn to armed rebellion. I do not endorse this essay, though some of the points are perhaps valid, but I thought readers should be aware of it. Personally, I would expect to see violence from the right—a few crazies aside—in response to entitlement riots and the cities falling into chaos and thuggery. ~Bob. Excerpt: (PUBLISHER'S WARNING: The following essay may cause heartburn and knee-jerk reactions, especially in those who are predisposed to "give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety." But as Benjamin Franklin concluded, they "deserve neither liberty nor safety." For such feeble souls, Samuel Adams advised, "If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!" For those who are not cast among that faint-hearted lot, please read on.)

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